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How to Crack the Account Password on Any Operating System

Posted in Computers,Software by Joe Colburn on the January 29th, 2009

Learn How To Hack

This guest post was written by Blair Mathis from – your premier source for the latest laptop software news and best laptop accessories.

Computer passwords are like locks on doors – they keep honest people honest. If someone wishes to gain access to your laptop or computer, a simple login password will not stop them. Most computer users do not realize how simple it is to access the login password for a computer, and end up leaving vulnerable data on their computer, unencrypted and easy to access.

Password image

Are you curious how easy it is for someone to gain access to your computer? If so, read on to see the technique one might use to figure out your computer password.


Windows is still the most popular operating system, and the method used to discover the login password is the easiest. The program used is called Ophcrack, and it is free. Ophcrack is based on Slackware, and uses rainbow tables to solve passwords up to 14 characters in length. The time required to solve a password? Generally 10 seconds. The expertise needed? None.

Simply download the Ophcrack ISO and burn it to a CD (or load it onto a USB drive via UNetbootin). Insert the CD into a machine you would like to gain access to, then press and hold the power button until the computer shuts down. Turn the computer back on and enter BIOS at startup. Change the boot sequence to CD before HDD, then save and exit.

The computer will restart and Ophcrack will be loaded. Sit back and watch as it does all the work for your. Write down the password it gives you, remove the disc, restart the computer, and log in as if it were you own machine.

The second most popular operating system, OS X is no safer when it comes to password cracking then Windows.

The easiest method would be to use Ophcrack on this, also, as it works with Mac and Linux in addition to Windows. However, there are other methods that can be used, as demonstrated below.

If the Mac runs OS X 10.4, then you only need the installation CD. Insert it into the computer, reboot. When it starts up, select UTILITIES > RESET PASSWORD. Choose a new password and then use that to log in.

If the Mac runs OS X 10.5, restart the computer and press COMMAND + S. When at the prompt, type:

fsck -fy

mount -uw /

launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

dscl . -passwd /Users/UserName newpassword

That’s it. Now that the password is reset, you can login.

Finally, there is Linux, an operating system quickly gaining popularity in mainstream, but not so common you’re likely to come across it. Though Mac and Linux are both based on Unix, it is easier to change the password in Linux than it is OS X.

To change the password, turn on the computer and press the ESC key when GRUB appears. Scroll down and highlight ‘Recovery Mode’ and press the ‘B’ key; this will cause you to enter ‘Single User Mode’.

You’re now at the prompt, and logged in as ‘root’ by default. Type ‘passwd’ and then choose a new password. This will change the root password to whatever you enter. If you’re interested in only gaining access to a single account on the system, however, then type ‘passwd username’ replacing ‘username’ with the login name for the account you would like to alter the password for.

There you have it – that is how simple it is for someone to hack your password. It requires no technical skills, no laborious tasks, only simple words or programs. The moral of the story? Encrypt your data to keep it safe. Don’t use only a password, but actually encryption, such as Blowfish or AES-128. There are a number of programs that can do this – TrueCrypt for Windows, or the native encryption found on Ubuntu, creating a disk image in Mac, etc.

About the author

Joe Colburn Joe Colburn is a software engineer specializing in PHP and a technology enthusiast. Always eager to dive into new and exciting things, Joe writes about anything technology related news and products that he thinks you will also be excited about. Find Joe Colburn on Google+ or by any of the links below.

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191 Responses to 'How to Crack the Account Password on Any Operating System'

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  1. Niwahereza Dan said,

    on February 21st, 2012 at 4:53 am

    how do u change boot squence

  2. joetech said,

    on February 21st, 2012 at 10:17 am

    @Niwahereza Dan This is done in the BIOS. Often, you’ll hit F2 (although it may vary from machine to machine) to enter the BIOS. Just be careful about what you change in there.

  3. on February 21st, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    After reading your article, I was quite shocked to read how easy it is to reset passwords for Linux accounts and tried it.

    I do have Grub as a boot loader but pressing ESC only made it run in text mode and there wasn’t an option called ‘Recovery Mode’. I’m actually glad that It didn’t work for me but I’m quite curious which distro you are referring to in the article as I think it’s quite disturbing to be able to just boot in super user mode without having to supply a password.

  4. on March 11th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    […] How to Crack the Account Password on Any Operating System – Joe Tech […]

  5. softhd2 said,

    on March 15th, 2012 at 5:56 am

  6. nishnit said,

    on March 19th, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    hey joe icant crack the password of windows 7. it was my sisters she dont allow me to take her laptop. so help me please . i already installed oph crack but it is showing not found.

  7. on March 26th, 2012 at 10:33 am

    How can you stop this on Windows 7?

  8. John8347 said,

    on April 15th, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Except with the methods listed with for the Mac operating systems, reseting the password will delete all of the data in the home folders.  Essentially deleting all the personal files in the documents, music, photo’s will be gone.  So most likely whatever data you want to access will be gone.  A better option is to add/access an admin account and use the admin access to reset the password of the other account.

  9. EricChan said,

    on April 16th, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    There is two methods to reset windows login password:
    Methods 1: Use the password reset disk to recover the Windows password, by this methods, you need create a Windows password reset disk before you have lost or forgotten your Windows admin password.
    Method 2: Using Windows Password Recovery software to recover Windows password As an easy method to recover the forgot Windows password, there are only four steps as follow: Step1: Download Anmosoft Windows Password Reset V8.0 and install it. Step2: Burn the ISO image file onto a blank CD/DVD or USB. Step3: Boot up your Windows PC by the bootable burned CD/DVD or USB in minutes. Step4: Remove the forgotten Windows password on the operation interface and logon PC without password.

  10. Wolskie said,

    on April 20th, 2012 at 4:41 am

     @Windows 7 Password Reset This is why putting a password on grub to prevent, changing the boot options can be helpful, also removing entries which are old and unnecessary is a good idea too, however I believe even in recovery mode you still need to supply a password.

  11. flow said,

    on April 21st, 2012 at 1:29 am

     @joetech its easy to crack…down windows password ex:-winxp or 7 with out using the third party help…….i have done it so if you think you can ..just do it den

  12. salernoclaude said,

    on April 28th, 2012 at 2:55 am

    I just couldn’t  leave your website before saying that I really enjoyed the quality information you offer to your visitors…

  13. on May 2nd, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I usually use Password Recovery Bundle to remove the Windows password I forgot.

  14. nathans596 said,

    on May 26th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Just wondering is this detectable?

  15. on May 28th, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    account password of an operating system is necessary for system security if operating system in not secure than any one can do any thing in system so for our security we should creat his system account. i like your post because topic of your post is very nice.

  16. Kalay said,

    on June 12th, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    The experience forgot admin windows password happened to me few days ago.
    And I searched in the Internet to find the solution. Then I found a windows password reset tool called Windows Password Reset have a good evaluation. I tried it as the steps:
    Step1:Download  Windows Password Reset from  and install it .
    Step2:Burn Windows Password Reset ISO file to CD/DVD,or USB.
    Step3:Put in my newly created CD and remove my Windows Password.
    It really great help to me reset windows admin password.

  17. ross0mcdonald said,

    on July 6th, 2012 at 10:57 am

     He is probably talking about Ubuntu. If there is no “recovery mode” option you can append “init=/bin/bash” to the kernel command line. The way to prevent this from happening is to setup a GRUB password.

  18. techblazes said,

    on August 4th, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Hi Blair,
    Sorry if I am questioning on your article but does this software really works? I mean, hackers would fly with this and the data for many companies would be leaked. Is there any protection available for this kind of softwares?

  19. JaneDough said,

    on August 13th, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    You know… if you use a Ubuntu boot CD you can opt for the “try out this OS” option and then have access to all the user files on the computer without ever even messing with a password. This works on Windows and Mac OS. All you do is start the system with the CD inserted. The only thing you may have to do is change the preferred boot sequence in BIOS.

  20. sandratatum6 said,

    on August 14th, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

  21. ScottMunro said,

    on September 17th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    wot dou do if like mine the bios is password protected?

  22. ScottMunro said,

    on September 17th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    wot do you do if like mine the bios is password protected?

  23. Jomaz said,

    on October 2nd, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Computer passwords are like locks on doors – they keep honest people honest. If someone wishes to gain access to your laptop or computer.

  24. Jomaz said,

    on October 16th, 2012 at 12:22 am

    @EricChan Thanks for sharing the wonderful information with step by step.

  25. on October 18th, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Thanks for the article. I will apply all this in school. You see how school computer labs have passwords that people create for themselves in order to “own” the computer or when you cannot download a program and activate it because you are not the administrator. 

  26. Scribble said,

    on November 16th, 2012 at 12:38 am

    I could not get Ophcrack to work on a Mac running Windows 7 using Parallels 8. It did not recognise an operating system on the disc that I created. Any suggestions?

  27. Scribble said,

    on November 16th, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Problem of resetting lost password on a Mac using Windows 7 with Parallels SOLVED. The solution is at
    Nothing to download, just follow the instructions. Worked brilliantly.

  28. locumtenum16 said,

    on December 3rd, 2012 at 3:55 am

    This did not work on my brothers mac. The command s thing didn’t work. My brother set something so he is admin and used something else so i can never do what i want. Any help?

  29. locumtenum16 said,

    on December 3rd, 2012 at 3:56 am

    @Jomaz  @EricChan  Mine didn’t work

  30. vstudents said,

    on December 13th, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    @Scribble Thanks Scribble, its worked for me i was trying to reset password from 2 week i was trying to look at articles. thanks for your help.

  31. vstudents said,

    on December 13th, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    @Scribble Thanks Scribble, its worked for me i was trying to reset password from 2 week i was trying to look at <a href=”” target=”_blank”></a> articles. thanks for your help.

  32. vstudents said,

    on December 13th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    thanks scribble i have fixed the problem now. i forgot and was trying to restored password but unable to do from last 2 weeks. thanks for your help i was search at article. thanks again

  33. bcseismail said,

    on February 21st, 2013 at 5:37 am

    Good tricks. But I have a software like yours. All you can check it now.
    <a href=””>Break the password of any computer easy.</a>

  34. bcseismail said,

    on February 21st, 2013 at 5:37 am

    Good tricks. But I have a software like yours. All you can check it now.

  35. on February 23rd, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    […] See this tutorial for info on how to bypass the password on the three major operating systems: Windows, Mac, and Linux. […]

  36. ondeeone said,

    on March 1st, 2013 at 3:40 am


  37. on March 3rd, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    We can help reset your Windows password. Visit our website

  38. on April 3rd, 2013 at 11:45 am

    These are good tips. I will have to bookmark this for future use. Cheers.

  39. Peally said,

    on August 2nd, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Make sure there’s only one local account and don’t set a password for it if you want windows to just boot to desktop. If there is a password set, just delete the password in the users setting.
    You don’t have to have windows 10 log in using a Microsoft account.


  40. on October 11th, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    I would be curious to know if you think most of those tools are still working.
    Victor Boulanger´s last blog post ..Protect your Privacy with Adblock Plus

  41. Steve said,

    on January 1st, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    You can reset the bios password on the motherboard, there are two wires we called jumpers that will reset the bios password, just google it.

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