Applies to

Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3.

Applies to

Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3.

Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2.

Operating system:

I forgot my password

Forgot your password for signing in to Windows on your Surface? The solution depends on the kind of account you use.


Which kind of account are you using?

There are three types of accounts you can use to sign in on your Surface:

  • A Microsoft account. You sign in with an email address and password.
  • A local account. You sign in with a user name and password.
  • A domain account. You sign in with a domain user name and password. The domain is the network for your work or school, and the user name is assigned to you.

For more info, see All about accounts.

If you sign in with a Microsoft account

Reset your password online from any computer with Internet access. Here’s what to expect:

  • You’ll need to provide the email address for the account you use to sign in to your Surface.
  • If you previously set up security contacts, Microsoft will send you a verification code. You’ll get to choose which of your security contacts gets the code. Usually these contacts are a phone where you can get text messages and an alternate email address.

Be sure your Surface is connected to the Internet the first time you sign in with your new password. This way, your Surface can check the password you supply against the new password you set online. Otherwise, it can only compare the password you supply with the last password that worked to unlock your Surface.

For more info, see Microsoft account.

If you sign in with a local account

Your local account password exists only on your Surface, so that’s the only place you can change it.

  • If you previously set up a password hint, use it as a reminder.
  • Have someone who has an administrator account on your Surface sign in and change your password for you. If you have an administrator account and remember the administrator password, you can do this yourself. The account created during Windows setup is an administrator account.
Step 1: Select the search box in the taskbar, enter user accounts, and select User Accounts Control Panel.
Step 2: Select Manage User Accounts > the account name > Reset Password.
  • If you’ve forgotten your local and administrator account passwords, you'll need to reset your Surface to factory settings.
  • If you reset your Surface to factory settings, all the files on your Surface will be removed. You can restore files that have been synced to OneDrive after you reset your Surface.
  • To learn how to reset your Surface from the Windows sign-in screen, see Restore or reset your Surface Pro or Surface 3.

If you sign in with a domain account

If you sign in with a user name that was given to you by a system administrator at work or school, you’re using a domain account.

  • Contact your system administrator to reset your password. Your system administrator can’t see your password but can change it for you.

Be sure your Surface is connected to your work or school network the first time you sign in with your new domain account password. This way, your Surface can check the password you supply against the new password your system administrator set for you. Otherwise, it can only compare the password you supply with the last password that worked to unlock your Surface.

Password tips

Here are some things you can do to help make it easier to remember a password or to reset a password you’ve forgotten.

  • Use a Microsoft account, if possible. That way you can reset your password online if you need to.
  • Set up security info for your Microsoft account, like a hint and a phone number or alternate email where Microsoft can send a verification code. See Security info & security codes to learn how.
  • When you create a password for a local account, create a password hint to go with it. There’s a space for a hint when you change your password.
  • Create a PIN or other sign-in option that’s easier for you to remember. See Sign in and out of your Surface to learn how.

I forgot my password

Forgot your password for signing in to Windows on your Surface? The solution depends on the kind of account you use.


Which kind of account are you using?

There are three types of accounts you can use to sign in on your Surface:

  • A Microsoft account. You sign in with an email address and password.
  • A local account. You sign in with a user name and password.
  • A domain account. You sign in with a domain user name and password. The domain is the network for your work or school, and the user name is assigned to you.

For more info, see All about accounts.

If you sign in with a Microsoft account

Reset your password online from any computer with Internet access. Here’s what to expect:

  • You’ll need to provide the email address for the account you use to sign in to your Surface.
  • If you previously set up security contacts, Microsoft will send you a verification code. You’ll get to choose which of your security contacts gets the code. Usually these contacts are a phone where you can get text messages and an alternate email address.

Be sure your Surface is connected to the Internet the first time you sign in with your new password. This way, your Surface can check the password you supply against the new password you set online. Otherwise, it can only compare the password you supply with the last password that worked to unlock your Surface.

For more info, see Microsoft account.

If you sign in with a local account

Your local account password exists only on your Surface, so that’s the only place you can change it.

  • If you previously set up a password hint, use it as a reminder.
  • Have someone who has an administrator account on your Surface sign in and change your password for you. If you have an administrator account and remember the administrator password, you can do this yourself. The account created during Windows setup is an administrator account.
Step 1: Open Search Search button, enter User Accounts, and tap or click User Accounts.
Step 2: Tap or click Manage User Accounts and tap or click the account name.
Step 3: Tap or click Reset Password, then enter and confirm the new password.
  • If you’ve forgotten your local and administrator account passwords, you'll need to reset your Surface to factory settings.
  • If you reset your Surface to factory settings, all the files on your Surface will be removed. You can restore files that have been synced to OneDrive after you reset your Surface.
  • To learn how to reset your Surface from the Windows sign-in screen, see Restore, refresh, or reset your Surface Pro or Surface 3.

If you sign in with a domain account

If you sign in with a user name that was given to you by a system administrator at work or school, you’re using a domain account.

  • Contact your system administrator to reset your password. Your system administrator can’t see your password but can change the password for you.

Be sure your Surface is connected to your work or school network the first time you sign in with your new domain account password. This way, your Surface can check the password you supply against the new password your system administrator set for you. Otherwise, it can only compare the password you supply with the last password that worked to unlock your Surface.

Password tips

Here are some things you can do to help make it easier to remember a password or to reset a password you’ve forgotten.

  • Use a Microsoft account if possible. That way you can reset your password online if you need to.
  • Set up security info for your Microsoft account, like a hint and a phone number or alternative email address where Microsoft can send a verification code. See Security info & security codes to learn how.
  • When you create a password for a local account, create a password hint to go with it. There’s a space for a hint when you change your password.
  • Create a PIN or other sign-in option that’s easier for you to remember. See Sign in and out of your Surface to learn how.

I forgot my password

Forgot your password for signing in to Windows on your Surface? The solution depends on the kind of account you use.


Which kind of account are you using?

There are three types of accounts you can use to sign in on your Surface:

  • A Microsoft account. You sign in with an email address and password.
  • A local account. You sign in with a user name and password.
  • A domain account. You sign in with a domain user name and a password. The domain is the network for your work or school, and the user name is assigned to you.

For more info, see All about accounts.

If you sign in with a Microsoft account

Reset your password online from any computer with Internet access. Here’s what to expect:

  • You’ll need to provide the email address for the account you use to sign in to your Surface.
  • If you previously set up security contacts, Microsoft will send you a verification code. You’ll get to choose which of your security contacts gets the code. Usually these contacts are a phone where you can get text messages and an alternate email address.

Be sure your Surface is connected to the Internet the first time you sign in with your new password. This way, Surface can check the password you supply against the new password you set online. Otherwise, it can only compare the password you supply with the last password that worked to unlock your Surface.

For more info, see Microsoft account.

If you sign in with a local account

Your local account password exists only on your Surface, so that’s the only place you can change it.

  • If you set up a password hint, use it as a reminder.
  • Have someone who has an administrator account on your Surface sign in and change your password for you. If you have an administrator account and remember the administrator password, you can do this yourself. The account created during Windows setup is an administrator account.
Step 1: Open Search Search button, enter User Accounts, and tap or click User Accounts.
Step 2: Tap or click Manage User Accounts and tap or click the account name.
Step 3: Tap or click Reset Password, then enter and confirm the new password.
  • If you’ve forgotten your local and administrator account passwords, you'll need to reset your Surface to factory settings.
  • If you reset your Surface to factory settings, all the files on your Surface will be removed. You can restore files that have been synced to OneDrive after you reset your Surface.
  • To learn how to reset your Surface from the Windows sign-in screen, see Refresh or reset your Surface RT or Surface 2.

Password tips

Here are some things you can do to help make it easier to remember a password or to reset a password you’ve forgotten.

  • Use a Microsoft account if possible. That way you can reset your password online if you need to.
  • Set up security info for your Microsoft account, like a password hint and a phone number or alternative email address where Microsoft can send a verification code. See Security info & security codes to learn how.
  • When you create a password for a local account, create a hint to go with it. There’s a space for a hint when you change your password.
  • Create a PIN or other sign-in option that’s easier for you to remember. See Sign in and out of your Surface to learn how.