1. Join Date : Nov 2016
    Posts : 4
    WIndows 10
       6 Days Ago #1

    microsoft account, lost password, locked PC, etc. etc. etc.


    I have Windows 7 so had no idea how screwed up this could get. I've googled this for 3 hours and the simplest of answers will never be provided. No one seems to be able to think thoroughly on this.

    My 90 yr old dad has a hosed PC. It now has his login screen associated with an email address. He can't remember the password and trying to reset it with live.com also doesn't work.

    Here's what we have:

    email-address-user (Microsoft account) with admin privileges
    locked out

    If one resets email-address-user's password via live.com, does THIS AFFECT POP3 access? Meaning, is this password reset only for logging into one's PC or is this reset password synched with the actual email server one uses to download their emails? This WOULD be a very valuable piece of information but no website deems it useful. My reason for asking is I don't want to reset his password and then have it such that he can't read his emails. And I'm not about to try to communicate over the phone what he would need to do to update his client email (or internet access) password.


    To get to the desktop, I tried a ton of things but the only thing that worked was net user administrator /active:yes.

    What I would like to do is "revert" the email-address-user from a Microsoft account to a local account. I'm 100% game to edit the registry 100 ways to Sunday. I've poked around googling and no one will provide the simple registry layout for a Microsoft account and a user account. It seems if I try to use netplwiz to allow automatic login, it STILL won't work. Also, if I try this I new get TWO accounts shown in the lower left of the login screen.


    I don't think it's safe to DELETE email-address-user as it will take C:\USERS\email-address-user with it.

    If I try to do anything with my newly created administrator account like open Internet Explorer, it says that the built-in admin account can't use that app.

    I can access the C:\USERS\email-address-user documents and pictures from the admin account ONLY. My newly created "Jim" account that HAS admin rights, can NOT access the aforementioned USERS\ folder (I can browse the directory but can't view jpgs, etc.).

    Ultimately, I'd like to have email-address-user be a local user with NO password.
    Last edited by JimLewandowski; 6 Days Ago at 22:42.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,062
    Windows 10 Pro
       6 Days Ago #2

    Hi Jim, welcome to Ten Forums.

    JimLewandowski said: View Post
    He can't remember the password and trying to reset it with live.com also doesn't work.
    When your dad has set up the Microsoft email account, he must have given a phone number and an alternative email address. These both are required in order to set up an Outlook.com or Hotmail.com email address, screenshot from sign up form:

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    If he can no longer remember the password, simply try to sign in at https://account.live.com and select Forgotten my password:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You will then be asked where would you like the security code to be sent, either the alternative email or phone. If you select Phone you will also be asked if you want the code as text message or voice call:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now you can set a new password.


    JimLewandowski said: View Post
    If one resets email-address-user's password via live.com, does THIS AFFECT POP3 access? Meaning, is this password reset only for logging into one's PC or is this reset password synched with the actual email server one uses to download their emails?
    The Microsoft account password is same for email and Windows sign-in. If the account password is changed, it must also be changed in email clients regardless if account is setup as POP3, IMAP, MAPI or Exchange ActiveSync.


    JimLewandowski said: View Post
    To get to the desktop, I tried a ton of things but the only thing that worked was net user administrator /active:yes.

    What I would like to do is "revert" the email-address-user from a Microsoft account to a local account.

    I can access the C:\USERS\email-address-user documents and pictures from the admin account ONLY. My newly created "Jim" account that HAS admin rights, can NOT access the aforementioned USERS\ folder (I can browse the directory but can't view jpgs, etc.).


    Ultimately, I'd like to have email-address-user be a local user with NO password.
    As you can use the built-in admin account, the easiest way out would be simply to copy your father's personal files (documents, pictures, and so on) to an external disk, delete his user account, create a new local admin account, and finally copy the backed up personal files to respective folders in his new local account.

    See these tutorials:


    Also, if you managed to reset the password of his Microsoft account you can simply switch Windows user account to a local account:



    JimLewandowski said: View Post
    If I try to do anything with my newly created administrator account like open Internet Explorer, it says that the built-in admin account can't use that app
    So called UWP apps (Edge browser, Mail, Weather and so on) do not work when signed in with built-in administrator account. However, Internet Explorer is not an UWP app, it works just fine. To open it when signed in with built-in administrator account simply press WIN + R to open Run dialog, type iexplore and hit Enter.

    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 6 Days Ago at 05:29. Reason: Lots of typos :)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Join Date : Nov 2016
    Posts : 4
    WIndows 10
       6 Days Ago #3

    He is using att.net email address for his Microsoft account. If I reset his password using live.com, do the same "synch" rules apply as you state above?

    I am utterly amazed no nuance (full explanation) is involved in this whole scenario in any webpage I read yesterday..........

    Can we review my options?

    - Dad original email-address-user (Microsoft account)
    - built-in admin account (created by me via "net user")
    - Jim account (created by me, added admin rights). However, Jim can't open Dad's documents even with admin rights?

    When I try to reset his password, is that secondary email and phone number supplied at REGISTRATION time etched in granite or can I choose to have the text sent to MY phone number?

    I'm baffled how one can just go to live.com to reset any old account they want. Am I missing something?

    Does the built-in admin delete the old account (I have copied his DOCUMENTS and PICTURES to a thumb drive) or can Jim also do it? Are there any restrictions to deleting an account that is a Microsoft (non-local) account?

    Whatever I do, att.net needs to remain valid with the password UNCHANGED......
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,062
    Windows 10 Pro
       6 Days Ago #4

    OK, a small misunderstanding from my side. I apologize for that. I understood the following sentence in your original post to mean he has a Microsoft email account (hotmail.com, outlook.com, live.com):

    My 90 yr old dad has a hosed PC. It now has his login screen associated with an email address.

    As I now understand it your dad has used his third party (non-Microsoft) email address to create a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows 10 and other Microsoft services. If this is the case then resetting the Microsoft account password does nothing to his email account password.

    An example: Let's say Mr. Larry Laffer has an email address (not from Microsoft!) larry.laffer@AnyThirPartyProvider.com, which is used as existing email account when creating a Microsoft account. Mr. Laffer would still check his email at AnyThirdPartyProvider.com using the password set for that email account, and use the same email as a Microsoft account username to sign in to Windows 10. However, the passwords of these two accounts (original email account and Microsoft account based on it) are separate, individual entities. Passwords may be but don't have to be the same. In this case resetting the Microsoft account password has none whatsoever effect in the real email account.

    If the above is the case, you can reset the Microsoft account password without worries; your dad's email password will not be changed, and the same old POP3 settings in any email client would still give him access to his email.

    The additional email address and phone number are asked and required when a new Microsoft account is created, regardless if the user selects to get a new outlook.com or hotmail.com email address or if the user chooses to use his / her existing third party email address as Microsoft account. You can see the sign up form here: Microsoft account

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Join Date : Nov 2016
    Posts : 4
    WIndows 10
       6 Days Ago #5

    The question remains: can I, a 3rd-party individual, reset his Microsoft account (att.net) password but have the code/security sent to MY email or MY cell phone or must it only go to the 2 places that were specified when he originally registered?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,062
    Windows 10 Pro
       6 Days Ago #6

    The security code to reset the password can only be sent to an additional email (#1 in screenshot) or phone (#2) listed in your dad's Microsoft account, given when Microsoft account was created (https://account.live.com > Security & privacy > More security settings > Security settings), or to any other additional email or phone number added later.

    To add your email or phone number there (#3), to be able to receive the security code for your dad, you must first sign in, which requires you to either know the password or use his originally given phone number or email to get the security code to reset the password.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Join Date : Nov 2016
    Posts : 4
    WIndows 10
       6 Days Ago #7

    I went to live.com and it says his att.net email address does not exist. I CAN email that address with no bounce-back. So, this would imply my only way out is to use the admin account and delete the att.net user/MS account on his PC? Or add the att.net to live.com as a Microsoft account? I was also not above hacking the registry to manually change the Dad MS acct. to a local account.

    Can you explain the security rules for deleting an account (as mentioned above), an admin account seems to have different admin rights than a user w/ admin rights???
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  8. Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish ex-pat in Germany
    Posts : 9,062
    Windows 10 Pro
       6 Days Ago #8

    Yes, my recommendation is to do as I told in my first post in this thread:

    • Backup your father's personal data to an external drive
    • Remove his current user account
    • Create a new local user account to him
    • Change the type of new account from Standard to Administrator


    The built-in administrator account has no access restrictions, it can access any data on the PC. The normal admin accounts are powerful but not to extent of the built-in admin. Sometimes even a normal admin has to run something as built-in admin, or as it is called run a program elevated (right click a program icon or shortcut when signed in as local normal admin, select Run as administrator).

    The main difference is that the built-in admin should only be used to resolve issues like you have correctly done now, but for all daily admin stuff you should use the normal admin account, elevating it when necessary.

    The built-in admin should be disabled when it's no longer needed for problem solving (net user Administrator /active:no).

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 


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