Protecting your computer with a password


Using a strong password is among the most important steps you can take to protect your computer from hackers and other unwelcome users. For more information about strong passwords, see Tips for creating strong passwords and passphrases.

If you are logged on as an administrator, you can create a password for any user account.

The steps that you should follow will vary, depending on whether your computer is on a domain or a workgroup. To find out, see "To check if your computer is on a workgroup or domain" in What is the difference between a domain, a workgroup, and a homegroup?

Show all

My computer is on a domain

  1. Open User Accounts by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking User Accounts, and then clicking User Accounts.
  2. Click Manage User Accounts. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. On the Users tab, click the account you want to create a password for, and then click Reset Password.

  4. Type the password in the New password box, type the password again in the Confirm new password box, click OK, and then click OK again.

My computer is in a workgroup

  1. Open User Accounts by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking User Accounts and Family Safety, and then clicking User Accounts.
  2. Click Create a password.

    If there's already a password for this user account, you can change it by clicking Change your password.

  3. Type the password in the New password box, and then type the password again in the Confirm new password box.

  4. If you would like to use a password hint, type the hint in the Password hint box.

  5. Click Create password.

    We strongly recommend that you create a password reset disk so you don't lose access to your files if you forget your password. For more information, see Create a password reset disk.