It happens to most people sooner or later. For one reason or another you get locked out of Windows. If you’ve got a Microsoft account (one that you set up with an email address) you can go here to reset it.
What if you no longer have access to that email address? That makes things a little trickier. First you’ll need Windows 10 installation or recovery media. You can find out how to make a Windows 10 Recovery USB drive here.
After you’ve made the drive, you’ll need to put it in your computer and boot from it. You may have to change your boot options in your computer to do this. Common boot option keys are F12, F11, F10, and ESC but they can also be others. Consult with your manufacturer if you aren’t sure. Boot from the Windows 10 installation USB.
Once you have booted into the USB you can press Shift + F10 to access a command prompt. Then do the following. (Note: if your Windows folder is on another drive letter than d: you will need to use that drive letter.)
- Type ren d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe utilman.exe.bak and press the ENTER key
- Type copy d:\windows\system32\cmd.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe and press the ENTER key
- Exit the Windows 10 setup by hitting your power button
- Boot your PC by powering up again
- At the Login Screen click the EASE OF ACCESS icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen beside the power icon. This will launch a CMD prompt window.
- Type net user administrator /active:yes
- Press enter
Now you should have access to the built in administrator account. From this point you should be able to login to the computer with the new account. It’s not a quick process but it will allow you to get back into your computer without going through a complete reset of Windows and reinstalling everything again.