How to change your admin password in Windows

What is an Administrator password?

Each Windows  computer has a built-in Administrator account. Anyone who can log in to this account has unlimited control over the system and its settings.

When you set up your Windows  computer, you may be prompted to select an Administrator password. Some people choose a simple password, or even leave it blank.

Why shouldn’t I use a simple password?

When you connect your computer to the network, it is subject to a constant barrage of attacks. People use simple but very effective programs to scan every computer on the network for vulnerabilities and attempt to gain control of them.

A common and frequently successful technique is to check for a blank Administrator password or to try to guess it. Guessing may take the form of checking a few hundred commonly used passwords or running a full dictionary attack. If the attack succeeds, your computer may then be used to send out tens of thousands of spam messages, to store and make available stolen or pornographic material, or to attack other computers and networks.

Unfortunately, we have seen many successful attacks of this type here at Boston University. When they are discovered, the compromised computers must be reformatted and everything reinstalled from scratch, a process that takes many hours.

How can I make my password secure?

All computers on the Campus Network must be secured with a strong Administrator password. All other accounts on the computer, especially any with administrator privileges, should also have strong passwords.

Secure password guidelines:

  • Use at least 8 characters, and include a mix of all of the following: lower and upper case letters, numbers, and punctuation characters.
  • Do not use a password that will be easily guessed, such as a name or any word in the dictionary.

To reset your administrator password, please do the following:

Windows 7, Windows 2000 or Windows XP Pro users:

  1. Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete
  2. In the dialog window, click the Change Password… button
  3. For the User name, enter Administrator
  4. Next to Log on to, select your local system (“this computer”)
  5. Enter the old password (if known). Then, enter a new, secure password and confirm it.
  6. Click OK

* XP Home users:

  1. Go to Start-Control Panels-User Accounts
  2. Double click on the account with Administrator rights
  3. Click on Create a password. (Yes, even though what you really want to do is change the password!)
  4. Type in your new password and confirm it. You can enter a password hint if you wish.
  5. Click on the Create password button.