Have you ever forgotten your Windows password? Ever had a friend ask you if you know how to retrieve their password? Ever needed a password for other reasons? In this guide you’ll learn how to retrieve your Windows password using a tool named ophcrack.

Tip: Once you’ve got access to your account, set up a password reset disk so you no longer have to crack your password.

Ophcrack is a free Windows password cracker based on rainbow tables, which comes with a Graphical User Interface version that automates the process for you. ophcrack is

To crack your Windows password:

1. Download the ophcrack LiveCD

2. Burn the ISO to a disc (how to burn an ISO to disc)

3. Put the disc in the PC that has the locked account and boot the PC from the disc (how to boot from CD)

4. Press Enter to run ophcrack in Graphic Mode with automatic scan

5. Sit back while ophcrack looks for your password hash in the available tables

I recommend you archive your burned disc for use in the future. Also, consider using a more difficult password to crack and then creating a password reset disk.

I tried and an 8 character password (letters, numbers–mixed case) and ophcrack got it in 15 seconds.

Password Not Found?

If the password is not found, you have a few options:

  1. Access the files using a Linux distribution without cracking the password
  2. Reset the Windows account password to gain access to the account (but lose access to any encrypted files)
  3. If it’s really important that you crack the password, you can purchase larger rainbow tables (link) although there are no guarantees you’ll find a match for your password

Last Updated: June 19th 2012

2012/06/19 — Updated screenshots to match latest version of ophcrack. Listed alternate options if cracking fails.

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix them.

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Comments

111 thoughts on “Crack Windows Password [How To] [Updated]”

  1. Joel says:

    I need help with this. ophcrack didn’t run automatically. I can get it to run by using the F12 to change the boot sequence. However when I run the program two partitions containing hashes appear:

    0. /mnt/sda2/Windows/System32/config

    1. /mnt/sda3/Windows/System32/config

    The program asks me to select which one I would like to crack passwords from. There is no mouse icon that appears on the screen. The question I have is how do I select a partition? I assume that I select the partition by typing it in a pressing ENTER.

    I’ve tried several things and end up nowhere. Can someone walk me through it VERY specifically from the “choose your partition” step?

    Please email me if you can help(usrseattle@aol.com). Please reference Ophcrack in the subject line. My daughter would be very grateful to have access to her computer again, and I’d appreciate the help

  2. Joel says:

    I need help with this. ophcrack didn’t run automatically. I can get it to run by using the F12 to change the boot sequence. However when I run the program two partitions containing hashes appear:

    0. /mnt/sda2/Windows/System32/config

    1. /mnt/sda3/Windows/System32/config

    The program asks me to select which one I would like to crack passwords from. There is no mouse icon that appears on the screen. The question I have is how do I select a partition? I assume that I select the partition by typing it in a pressing ENTER.

    I’ve tried several things and end up nowhere. Can someone walk me through it VERY specifically from the “choose your partition” step?

    Please email me if you can help(usrseattle@aol.com). Please reference Ophcrack in the subject line. My daughter would be very grateful to have access to her computer again, and I’d appreciate the help

  3. administartor of xp/vista says:

    You dont need a cd or program tp crack a password !! use the inbuilt administration account to reset your own password !

    WIndows xp and vista have an inbuilt administrator account that is used as a back door to your system !

  4. administartor of xp/vista says:

    You dont need a cd or program tp crack a password !! use the inbuilt administration account to reset your own password !

    WIndows xp and vista have an inbuilt administrator account that is used as a back door to your system !

  5. administartor of xp/vista says:

    You dont need a cd or program tp crack a password !! use the inbuilt administration account to reset your own password !

    WIndows xp and vista have an inbuilt administrator account that is used as a back door to your system !

  6. Remy says:

    Does this show what you the password is, or just reset it to what you want it to be?

  7. Remy says:

    Does this show what you the password is, or just reset it to what you want it to be?

    1. Rich says:

      The program shows the password.

  8. Remy says:

    Does this show what you the password is, or just reset it to what you want it to be?

    1. Rich says:

      The program shows the password.

  9. Rich says:

    The program shows the password.

  10. William says:

    i have downloaded the live CD for vista and when i use it on the computer, I can’t change the hashes on it. it tells me to do a restart and it is not showing the vista table on it either. how can i burn the ISO to cd with everything I need already set up

  11. William says:

    i have downloaded the live CD for vista and when i use it on the computer, I can’t change the hashes on it. it tells me to do a restart and it is not showing the vista table on it either. how can i burn the ISO to cd with everything I need already set up

  12. William says:

    i have downloaded the live CD for vista and when i use it on the computer, I can’t change the hashes on it. it tells me to do a restart and it is not showing the vista table on it either. how can i burn the ISO to cd with everything I need already set up

  13. ruben says:

    man this thing kicked butt!! i brought a new computer off craigslist but being as dumb as i am i didnt ask the guy for the password…i though i was totaly “SCREWED”…But then i found you!!…YOU ROCK!!

  14. ruben says:

    man this thing kicked butt!! i brought a new computer off craigslist but being as dumb as i am i didnt ask the guy for the password…i though i was totaly “SCREWED”…But then i found you!!…YOU ROCK!!

  15. ruben says:

    man this thing kicked butt!! i brought a new computer off craigslist but being as dumb as i am i didnt ask the guy for the password…i though i was totaly “SCREWED”…But then i found you!!…YOU ROCK!!

  16. ruben says:

    man this thing kicked butt!! i brought a new computer off craigslist but being as dumb as i am i didnt ask the guy for the password…i though i was totaly “SCREWED”…But then i found you!!…YOU ROCK!!

  17. hursty says:

    just done a reboot with this cd ,but as stopped at the end of the file writing what could have gone wrong ?please help as this is driving me mad:(

  18. hursty says:

    just done a reboot with this cd ,but as stopped at the end of the file writing what could have gone wrong ?please help as this is driving me mad:(

  19. hursty says:

    just done a reboot with this cd ,but as stopped at the end of the file writing what could have gone wrong ?please help as this is driving me mad:(

  20. Jo says:

    when finish using liveCd sw, it stated NT pwd ‘NOT FOUND’. What is that mean? I also choose to run this Sw in text mode, at the end, it shows, NT password “…….” and stated that ‘the password have been save in/tmp/ophcrack.txt’. What da heck is that and how to get the pssword?

  21. Jo says:

    when finish using liveCd sw, it stated NT pwd ‘NOT FOUND’. What is that mean? I also choose to run this Sw in text mode, at the end, it shows, NT password “…….” and stated that ‘the password have been save in/tmp/ophcrack.txt’. What da heck is that and how to get the pssword?

  22. Jo says:

    when finish using liveCd sw, it stated NT pwd ‘NOT FOUND’. What is that mean? I also choose to run this Sw in text mode, at the end, it shows, NT password “…….” and stated that ‘the password have been save in/tmp/ophcrack.txt’. What da heck is that and how to get the pssword?

  23. Natic says:

    ophcrack didn’t work for me. It gave me “not found” answer. What do I do?

  24. Natic says:

    ophcrack didn’t work for me. It gave me “not found” answer. What do I do?

  25. Natic says:

    ophcrack didn’t work for me. It gave me “not found” answer. What do I do?

  26. Billy says:

    When I run Vista ophcrack, it gets to the point below and I can’t get past this..
    Choose a partition:

    0. /mnt/sda2/Windows/System32/config

    1. /mnt/sda3/Windows/System32/config

    I’ve typed in many options like the 0. and 1. and the paths and nothing works after. I used the suggestion below of typing in c:Users and that didn’t work either. Therefore I can’t get the password. Any ideas?
    Thanks!
    Billy

  27. Billy says:

    When I run Vista ophcrack, it gets to the point below and I can’t get past this..
    Choose a partition:

    0. /mnt/sda2/Windows/System32/config

    1. /mnt/sda3/Windows/System32/config

    I’ve typed in many options like the 0. and 1. and the paths and nothing works after. I used the suggestion below of typing in c:Users and that didn’t work either. Therefore I can’t get the password. Any ideas?
    Thanks!
    Billy

  28. Billy says:

    When I run Vista ophcrack, it gets to the point below and I can’t get past this..
    Choose a partition:

    0. /mnt/sda2/Windows/System32/config

    1. /mnt/sda3/Windows/System32/config

    I’ve typed in many options like the 0. and 1. and the paths and nothing works after. I used the suggestion below of typing in c:\Users and that didn’t work either. Therefore I can’t get the password. Any ideas?
    Thanks!
    Billy

  29. azrael says:

    Can we get a suggestion for a tool that actually works? Tested on one of my other machines & it managed to miss 3 passwords completely & only gave the last two characters of the only on it managed to get even a piece of.

  30. azrael says:

    Can we get a suggestion for a tool that actually works? Tested on one of my other machines & it managed to miss 3 passwords completely & only gave the last two characters of the only on it managed to get even a piece of.

  31. azrael says:

    Can we get a suggestion for a tool that actually works? Tested on one of my other machines & it managed to miss 3 passwords completely & only gave the last two characters of the only on it managed to get even a piece of.

  32. multimedia says:

    hi, blogger nice to meet u. thanks for your info

  33. multimedia says:

    hi, blogger nice to meet u. thanks for your info

  34. multimedia says:

    hi, blogger nice to meet u. thanks for your info

  35. kay says:

    When I run Vista ophcrack, it gets to the point below and I can’t get past this..
    Choose a partition:

    0. /mnt/sda2/Windows/System32/config

    1. /mnt/sda3/Windows/System32/config

    I’ve typed in many options like the 0. and 1. and the paths and nothing works after. Therefore I can’t get the password. Any ideas?
    Thanks

  36. kay says:

    When I run Vista ophcrack, it gets to the point below and I can’t get past this..
    Choose a partition:

    0. /mnt/sda2/Windows/System32/config

    1. /mnt/sda3/Windows/System32/config

    I’ve typed in many options like the 0. and 1. and the paths and nothing works after. Therefore I can’t get the password. Any ideas?
    Thanks

  37. kay says:

    When I run Vista ophcrack, it gets to the point below and I can’t get past this..
    Choose a partition:

    0. /mnt/sda2/Windows/System32/config

    1. /mnt/sda3/Windows/System32/config

    I’ve typed in many options like the 0. and 1. and the paths and nothing works after. Therefore I can’t get the password. Any ideas?
    Thanks

  38. Crack Windows XP or Vista Pass says:

    […] Complete ophcrack tutorial see here […]

  39. Pcfreak*** says:

    If anyone knows about “Hiren’s boot disk”, It has the ability to change your password to blank. I tried it and it worked!!!

  40. Pcfreak*** says:

    If anyone knows about “Hiren’s boot disk”, It has the ability to change your password to blank. I tried it and it worked!!!

  41. Pcfreak*** says:

    If anyone knows about “Hiren’s boot disk”, It has the ability to change your password to blank. I tried it and it worked!!!

  42. Mel says:

    Sounds like everyone is having trouble getting this to work. Any success stories here?

  43. Mel says:

    Sounds like everyone is having trouble getting this to work. Any success stories here?

  44. Mel says:

    Sounds like everyone is having trouble getting this to work. Any success stories here?

  45. Joey Alvarez says:

    This sounds interesting. I’ll give it a try later in case I ever need it.

  46. Joey Alvarez says:

    This sounds interesting. I’ll give it a try later in case I ever need it.

  47. Joey Alvarez says:

    This sounds interesting. I’ll give it a try later in case I ever need it.

  48. animesh christie says:

    hey
    its nice
    its realy great
    if u knw anything more plz let me know

  49. animesh christie says:

    hey
    its nice
    its realy great
    if u knw anything more plz let me know

Comments are closed.