Once upon a time you almost always had to resort to starting over. Reloading Windows and creating new accounts and you learned to write down the passwords or saving them somehow so you can remember them.
Today we have the option to use a tool called Windows Password Recovery Tool. This small piece of software allows you to change a local windows password for any account on the local machine.
This tool allows a user to burn its software to a USB stick or CD/DVD then boot from that media in order to then change the password of any account on the local machine. It really isn’t any more difficult than that. The creation of the bootable media is straight forward and easy. Pick the OS you wish to change the account password on, burn/write the software to your USB stick or CD/DVD and then be sure you can boot to that media and bam, you are in an easy to use GUI allowing you to choose the account you wish to change the password for, enter your new password or allow the software to choose for you and click ok. Within in a few minutes you are logged back into the machine you were just locked out of.
I attempted this on a Windows 7 Professional 64 bit machines, a Windows 8.1 pro 64 bit and a Windows Server 2008 R2 64 bit machine (Ultimate Version required for server OS). All had local accounts with administrative rights and on all I successfully changed the password and then logged in as if I had never needed to change the password.
I did also try the option to not specify the OS being worked on but I did not have much luck getting it to work with the OS I have access to, so choose the appropriate OS and you are good to go for that specific OS. Or else it may not work if you don’t specify the right OS and version.
So for an easy to use password recovery tool for any Windows OS I say at least try Windows Password Recovery Tool, it worked well and saved time. Now because it writes over the stored password, it can replace the password for even an online Microsoft account, but you login with it offline after you change the password so it authenticates locally instead of going to Microsoft online to validate the authentication. It even already supports Windows 10!