If you forget your Windows password, it can be a huge problem. Prior to the Windows 10 April update, if you forgot your password, you would lose access to your local user account. There was no way to retrieve the forgotten password. However, Microsoft introduced a new feature in this update called Security Questions for local accounts, which allows you to set up questions and answers that you can use to recover your account.
The feature is still available in Windows 11, so whether you’re using the latest version of Windows or still on Windows 10, you can use security questions to keep your local account secure.
Enable security questions in Windows 10
To add security questions to Windows 10 local account, follow the steps below.
- Go to Start menu.
- Click on Settings (the gear icon on the left).
- Select Accounts.
- From the left pane, select Sign-in options.
- Under Password, click on Update your security questions.
- You’ll be prompted to set up 3 questions and answers.
- Choose your preferred questions and provide answers that you will always remember.
Once you’ve set up your desired questions and answers, the next time you restart your computer, you should see a Reset password link below the password field. Clicking on this link will allow you to reset your password by answering the security questions you set up earlier.
Manage security questions in Windows 11
Unfortunately, Microsoft has removed the option to set up security questions through the Settings menu in Windows 11. However, you can still enable this feature on your local account using a workaround. Follow these steps to do so:
- Press and hold the Windows key and then press R to open the Run dialog box.
- Type the following command into the Open field:
ms-cxh://setsqsalocalonlyand press Enter.
- When prompted, enter your local account password.
- Follow the prompts to set up your security questions and answers.
Once you’ve set up your the questions answers, you can use them to reset your local account’s password if you ever forget it.
Disable security questions in Windows 11 or 10
To remove security questions from your Windows 11/10 local user account, go to the “Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options > Update your security questions” as described earlier. Simply remove all the questions and answers you have set up previously.
Update: It appears that we can no longer remove security questions in this way. The only way to remove them is by removing your password first. Then, press CTRL + ALT + DEL and select “Change a password.” When prompted to enter your old password, leave the field blank and enter your new password. However, this method is not guaranteed to work.
If you have just installed Windows 10 or 11, and it prompts you to set up your local account and password during the Out of Box Experience (OOBE) wizard, select to set it up later. Once in Windows, press CTRL + ALT + DEL and select “Change a password.” This way, you can set a password for your local account without going through the “add security questions” process.
Can’t find the option when using Microsoft account
To be able to see the security questions option, you have to sign in to Windows with a local account. Otherwise, if you’re logged in with a Microsoft account, the security questions feature will be hidden. That is because Microsoft account has its own way for forgotten password retrieval.
How to change the questions and answers
To change your security questions and answers on Windows 10 or 11, simply follow these steps:
- Log in to your local account.
- Go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options > Update your security questions.
- Select other questions as you like and provide a new answer for each of the questions.
- Click OK to save the changes.
With these simple steps, you can enable, disable, and manage your security questions in Windows 10 and 11, making it easier to keep your local account secure and recover your account if you ever forget your password.