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Forgot your Windows password? No problem. Learn how to reset it like a pro with Net User. This comprehensive guide covers everything from understanding the command to avoiding common pitfalls. Say goodbye to locked accounts and hello to easy password changes in Windows 10 and 11.

A strong, secure password is essential for safeguarding your Windows 10 and 11 accounts from unauthorized access and protecting sensitive data. Changing your password need not be daunting—even for those less technically inclined—thanks to the net user command. The following chapter delves into this command’s syntax and parameters, empowering you to confidently update your password. Let’s begin mastering the net user command.

Understanding the Syntax and Parameters of the Net User Command

Understanding “Net User” Command Fundamentals
At its core, the net user command is the backbone of user account operations within Windows Command Prompt. By mastering this command, users gain the ability to manage account specifics with ease and expertise. This command follows a structured syntax:

net user [username] [password | *] [options] [/domain]

Where [username] represents the target account, [password | *] allows setting or changing a password, and [options] specify the actions and modifications to be applied, with [/domain] extending these operations to domain accounts.
net user command
Parameters at a Glance
A multitude of parameters are at your disposal to govern user accounts meticulously. For instance, 


This parameter switch creates a new user account


This parameter removes the account


This parameter toggles an account’s status.


This parameter sets an account’s expiration date in a strict format without spaces (e.g., 01/09/2023 or jan, 9, 2023)


It regulates login hours with an array of notations (e.g., M,4AM-5PM;T,1PM-3PM). These parameters, when combined, offer a comprehensive suite for account management.
Advanced Parameter Usage
For more nuanced management, parameters such as /fullname:"Full Name", /homedir:path, and /scriptpath:script detail a user’s full name, establish home directory paths, and designate logon scripts, respectively.  The  /passwordchg and /passwordreq options dictate password change permissions and requirements, enhancing security protocols.
Executing “Net User” with Precision
The execution of net user demands precision. A simple net user reveals a list of user accounts, while appending a username specifies the account in focus. Administrators can pair these with a plethora of options like /usercomment:"comment" to annotate accounts or /workstations to limit logon stations. These tailored commands, when properly executed, reinforce an admin’s capacity to fortify user account configurations and enforce policy compliance.
The net user command proves indispensable for Windows 10 and 11 users seeking to secure their systems through proficient password management and user account control. By leveraging its wide-ranging parameters, admins and power users alike can ensure a fortified and orderly digital environment, offering them the professional edge in systems administration.

Extra: Resetting Your Windows Password with Renee PassNow

If you forget your password and do not have a password reset disk, do not worry! You can still reset your Windows login password and regain access to your account using a user-friendly tool called Renee PassNow.
Tips:If your account is Microsoft Account, Renee PassNow will convert this account to Local account. After resetting login password, you need to connect your account to your Microsoft Account again.
To reset your Windows password using Renee PassNow, follow these steps:
Step 1: Download and Install Renee PassNow
Start by downloading Renee PassNow from the official website and install it on a different computer that you can access. You can choose the appropriate version based on your computer’s operating system.
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Step 2: Create a Bootable USB or CD/DVD
Launch Renee PassNow and insert a USB flash drive or blank CD/DVD into the computer. Select the option to create a bootable media. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
Create New Windows 10 Password Reset Disk with Renee PassNow
Step 3: Boot the Locked Server from the Bootable Media
Insert the bootable USB or CD/DVD into the locked Windows computer. Restart the computer and enter the BIOS settings by pressing the appropriate key (usually F2 or Delete). Configure the boot order to prioritize the bootable media.
Common Server:
Server TypeEnter boot menu method
DELLPress the F12 key repeatedly before the Dell logo appears on the screen.
HPPress the F9 key multiple times when the HP logo is displayed.
Common Computers:
BIOS NameEnter boot menu method
ASRockDEL or F2
ASUSDEL or F2 for PCs, DEL or F2 for Motherboards
AcerDEL or F2
DellF12 or F2
Gigabyte / AorusDEL or F2
Lenovo (Consumer Laptops)F2 or Fn + F2
Lenovo (Desktops)F1
Lenovo (ThinkPads)Enter then F1
Microsoft Surface TabletsPress and hold Power and Volume Up buttons
Origin PCF2
HPEsc, F9 for "Boot Menu", Esc, F10, Storage tab, Boot Order, Legacy Boot Sources
Boot the target PC with the created password reset USB/CD/DVD.
Step 4: Select password reset function
After successfully booting from the bootable media, Renee PassNow will load. Select “PassNow!” function after booting from the new created Windows password reset disk.
After loading into main interface, please select the “PassNow!” function.
Step 5: Resetting the Password
Choose the user account for which you want to reset the password. Then, click on the “Clear Password” button. Renee PassNow will remove or reset the password for the selected user account.
Select target Windows system in the list
NO_TRANS:Select target user account in the list
Tips:You may try to use “Create new account” to create a new Administrator account to regain access to your computer. (new account name will be “reneelab” and the password is “123456789“)
Step 6: Reboot the PC
Once the password is reset, remove the bootable media from the PC and restart the computer. You will now be able to log in to Windows Account without a password.
Now that you know how to reset your Windows password using Renee PassNow, you can confidently regain access to your account if you forget your password in the future. If you encounter any issues, you can refer to the subsequent chapters for alternative methods.

Accessing the Windows Command Prompt When forgot password

If you have forgotten your Windows login password and do not have access to another administrator account, do not worry! You can still reset your password and regain access to your account using the Windows installation Media.
If you do not have a Windows Installation media, you may download Windows Installation Creation Tools here:
Windows VersionDownload LinkRequirement
Windows 7 with a working Internet connection, a blank USB flash drive or DVD with at least 8 GB of available storage space, a product key
Windows 8/8.1 to above
Windows 10 to above
Windows 11 to above
To begin, insert the CD/USB and restart your computer. Watch for the “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD” message and press a key when it appears. This will load the Windows installation screen.
Once the installation screen appears, press the Shift+F10 keys on your keyboard. This will open the Command Prompt window.
Press shift + F10 to open the Command Prompt window in windows installation disk
Note: If you can not download the Windows installation CD, you can also use a third-party tool like Renee PassNow to reset your password. Refer to the subsequent chapters for instructions on how to do this.
If you found this chapter useful, be sure to check out the following chapters for more tips on using the net user command to change passwords for local user accounts in Windows.

Type 1 : Resetting Local User Account Passwords with Net User

Accessing Command Prompt with Installation Media
Continuing from our prior discussions, we delve into using the net user command for changing passwords of local user accounts when you cannot log into Windows 10 or 11. As a prerequisite, you must boot from the Windows Installation Media and open the Command Prompt, a procedure previously explained.
Understanding the “net user” Command Syntax
The net user command is a versatile tool for user account management in Windows. To change a password, the syntax is:

net user [username] [new_password]

Replace “[username] ” with the target account name and “[new_password]” with the new password. If you prefer to be prompted for the password, use an asterisk (*) instead of “[new_password]“.
net user set password
Executing the Password Change
In the Command Prompt, type net user and press Enter to display all user accounts. Identify the account for which you want to change the password. Then, execute the command with the appropriate username and new password. Remember, the password is not displayed for privacy. If you’re unsure about the command syntax, use net help user for detailed information or net user /? for basic syntax help.
net user command
Exploring Advanced “net user” Options
The net user command includes several options for account management, such as:
Activating/deactivating accounts with:

/active:{yes | no}

Setting user full names with this parameter:


Specifying logon hours with:

/times:[timeframe | all]

These options provide granular control over user accounts and their properties. For example, to restrict user logon hours, you could use


To add or change the User Comment for an account, use this parameter:


If you need to specify the workstations a user can log onto, particularly useful in a domain environment, use:

/workstations:{computername[,.] | *}

Finalizing the Password Update
After changing the password, ensure to confirm it by entering it a second time if prompted. This verification step is critical to avoid mistakes. Once the password is changed, you can reboot and log in using the new credentials. This method is applicable to local accounts, not domain accounts, which require different procedures.
Alternative Tools and Methods
For those preferring a graphical interface, tools like Ophcrack or Renee PassNow provide user-friendly alternatives to the net user command. These tools guide users through the password reset process with a more intuitive approach.

Type 2 : Resetting Passwords for Domain Accounts using Net User Command

Accessing Command Prompt with Elevated Privileges
To manage domain accounts, it’s essential to use the Command Prompt with administrative rights. Begin by clicking the Windows Start menu and typing CMD. Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator. This will provide the necessary permissions to execute domain-level commands.
Understanding the “net user” Command Syntax for Domain Accounts
The net user command is versatile and allows for password changes on domain accounts. To use it correctly, append the /domain parameter to specify that the operation should be performed on a domain controller. The syntax for resetting a password for a domain account is:

net user [username] * /domain

replacing [username] with the actual account name.
After entering the command, you’ll be prompted to type the new password. For security, the password will not be displayed on the screen. Press Enter after typing the new password, and then re-type it to confirm. It’s crucial to ensure that the new password adheres to the domain’s complexity requirements.
Direct Password Assignment
If discretion is not a concern, you can assign a new password directly in the command line using the syntax:

net user [username] [new_password] /domain

Replace [username] with the account name and [new_password] with the desired password. This method is faster but less secure as the password is visible during entry.
Executing Remote Password Changes
For remote password changes within a domain, the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) can be utilized. Execute the command

wmic /node:"IP_address_of_any_machine_in_target_domain" /user:"the_other_domain\any_domain_admin_account" process call create "cmd /c "net user [username] [new_password] /domain""

. This will prompt for the password of the domain admin account. Note that the new password for the user must be typed directly into the command line as the asterisk method for hidden input will not work remotely. Be aware that you will only receive the output of the WMI query, not the success of the password change, so you must verify if the new credentials are set.
Verifying the Password Change
Once the password has been changed, it’s good practice to verify that the user can log in with the new credentials. Ensure that the user is aware of the password change and understands the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of their new password.
Additional “net user” Parameters for Domain Accounts
When managing domain accounts, the net user command offers additional parameters to fine-tune account settings. For instance, /passwordchg:{yes | no} specifies whether users can change their own password, and /passwordreq:{yes | no} determines whether a user account must have a password. Other parameters like /expires:[date]/fullname:"[name]", and /usercomment:"[comment]" allow setting expiration dates, full names, and user comments for accounts, respectively. These options provide further control over the user accounts in a domain environment.

Addressing Access Denied errors when changing passwords with net user

Understanding the “Access Denied” Error
When employing the net user command to alter passwords on Windows 10 or 11, encountering an “Access Denied” error indicates a permissions issue. The command prompt must be launched with administrative rights to modify user credentials—lacking admin access results in this error.
net user access denied error
Elevating Command Prompt on Different Windows Versions
To overcome the “Access Denied” error, the Command Prompt must be opened with elevated privileges. On Windows 10 and 11, search for CMD in the Start menu, right-click the Command Prompt, and choose “Run as administrator“. For Windows 8, access the “Search” bar by hovering your mouse in the top-right corner and clicking the magnifying glass. On Windows XP, rather than right-clicking, you would open the “Run” application from the Start menu and type cmd.
Windows, cmd, run as administrator
To prevent “Access Denied” errors when using net user for password changes, confirm that you are operating within an administrator account, that you have opened Command Prompt with the necessary privileges, and that you are using the correct syntax. If these methods are unhelpful, carefully consider third-party solutions to regain access to your account.

Tips for Preventing Forgotten Passwords and Securing Your Windows Account

Create a Robust Password
Ensuring a strong password is pivotal for account security. A technique to create a memorable, complex password is to use a passphrase with personal significance; such as “Paris4$pringVacation” instead of “password“. This combines multiple elements, making it difficult for attackers to crack while easy for you to recall.
Utilizing Password Managers
Remembering a plethora of passwords can be daunting. Password managers serve as a vault, storing your credentials securely. For in-browser ease, consider the Microsoft Edge password manager for auto-filling login forms and syncing passwords across devices, ensuring you needn’t remember every password manually.
Enabling Multi-Factor Authentication
Adding multi-factor authentication (MFA) fortifies security by requesting a second verification method. This could be a code from a text message or authenticator app. MFA is a robust layer of defense, preventing unauthorized access even if your password has been compromised.


Mastering the net user command is crucial for Windows users to easily change passwords for local and domain accounts. Knowing how to access the Command Prompt and using tools like Renee PassNow simplifies resetting forgotten passwords. This guide covered the command syntax, access methods, error troubleshooting, and tips to avoid future password forgetfulness. With this knowledge, you can adeptly change your Windows 10 and 11 passwords, ensuring account security. Happy password changing!