There might be many instances when you have just forgot Windows password. This could put you in big trouble especially if you do not have any other OS configured for dual boot and this will prevent you from accessing your files as well. But there are many password recovery tools which can be used even if you do not have access to Windows. So here is a list of top 5 Windows password recovery software.
The Ophcrack Windows password cracker is by far the best free Windows password recovery tool available. It’s fast and easy enough for a first time Windows password cracker with a basic knowledge of Windows.
With Ophcrack, you don’t need any access to Windows to be able to recover your lost passwords. From another computer, visit the site, download the free ISO image, burn it to a CD or flash drive, and then boot from it.
The Ophcrack program starts, locate the Windows user accounts, and proceeds to recover (crack) the passwords – all automatically.
In a test on a Windows 8 PC, Ophcrack recovered the 8-character password (mixed letters and numbers) to my administrator account in 3 minutes and 29 seconds.
Ophcrack v3.6.0 Review and Free Download
Ophcrack supports Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.
Offline NT Password & Registry Editor (ONTP&RE) works differently than most password recovery programs in that it erases your Windows password instead of recovering it. You can think of it as more of a Windows password reset tool.
Like Ophcrack, you boot from a burned disc or flash drive created with the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor ISO file. After running the program, you can log in to your Windows account without entering a password at all.
If you like this “password deleting” strategy then I highly recommend this program. It requires some seemingly difficult command line work but I have a full walkthrough available. In other words: you can do this!
Offline NT Password & Registry Editor Review and Free Download
I’ve tested Offline NT Password & Registry Editor on 64-bit & 32-bit versions of Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP PCs, and it reset the passwords immediately without a problem.
Kon-Boot is yet another free password reset program, much like ONTP&RE. Just burn the program to a disc or USB drive, boot from it, and you’re off.
Kon-Boot works differently than the two password reset tools above, so if you have problems using them, give Kon-Boot a try. It’s very, very easy to use and probably the fastest password reset, and certainly password recovery tool, available.
Unfortunately, Kon-Boot 1.0 does not work with 64-bit versions of Windows, nor any version of Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10.
Kon-Boot v1.0 Review & Free Download
Cain & Abel is a free, fast and effective Windows password recovery tool.
Unlike Ophcrack and other popular Windows password hacking programs, Cain & Abel requires access to Windows under an administrator account. Due to this fact, Cain & Abel is a valuable resource to recover passwords to accounts other than the one you’re using.
Add that to the fact that Cain & Abel is a bit more complicated to use than other password recovery apps and you have what is, in my book, a pretty advanced tool. Check it out if you think it might be useful to you.
Cain & Abel was able to recover the 10-character password to the Windows XP “Administrator” account in 10 seconds. While it only officially supports Windows XP, 2000, and NT, some users have had luck getting it to work in Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Cain & Abel v4.9.56 Review and Free Download
John the Ripper is a popular free password recovery tool that can be used to find Windows account passwords.
While the password recovery application itself is free, the wordlists used by John the Ripper to discover passwords, do cost and are required for the software to work.
I’m told there are free word list alternatives that work with John the Ripper, which is why this Windows password recovery tool is still listed as free. However, I have not tested any of them.
John the Ripper is operated at the command line, which makes it a password cracking tool reserved for the very advanced user.
John the Ripper v1.7.9 Free Download
In theory, John the Ripper should support all popular versions of Windows like Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.