Setting a password on your Surface tablet is great for security, but forgetting what the password is can be a headache. If you can’t remember your Windows log-in password, you might have to perform a factory reset but that will lead to permanent data loss. This tutorial will walk you through how to reset forgotten Surface Pro password using a bootable tool called PCUnlocker.
Create a Bootable USB Drive with PCUnlocker
Unlike most modern systems with UEFI firmware, Surface Pro tablet can boot in UEFI mode and it doesn’t support Legacy BIOS mode. We’ll need to create a UEFI bootable USB drive. Here’s how:
To get started, use a working PC to download the PCUnlocker self-extracting .zip file, and extract it to get the ISO file. Note: You have to get the Enterprise edition of PCUnlocker as it supports UEFI Secure Boot.
After extracting, you need to burn the ISO file to a USB flash drive as Surface Pro doesn’t have CD drive at all. This can be done using the bootable USB creator tool like Rufus or ISO2Disc. Make sure you choose GPT partition style because UEFI only supports booting from GPT disk.
Boot Surface Pro with USB Drive
Shut down your Surface Pro if it’s running, insert the USB drive you just created. Press and hold the Volume-Down button on your Surface, then press and release the Power button.
When you see the Surface logo screen appear, release the Volume-Down button. The Surface tablet will boot from USB drive.
Reset Forgotten Windows Password
After you’ve booted into the PCUnlocker program, it will show you the user accounts that were found in the SAM registry hive of your Windows installation.
In Windows 10, your user profile can either be a local account or a Microsoft online account. PCUnlocker can help you get back in to your PC no matter if you’ve locked out of a local user or a Microsoft account:
Option 1: If you’re using a local account, just select the desired user and click on Reset Password. It will unlock / reset your forgotten local password instantly.
Option 2: If you’re using a Microsoft account, just select the linked local account and click on Reset Password. The program will convert your PC login to local user and remove its password. In my example, Tom is a local account that was linked to my Microsoft account, and I can see my email address under the “Description” column.
Booting Back into Windows
After you’ve reset Surface Pro password with PCUnlocker, reboot the system and unplug the USB drive. Upon booting into Windows sign-in screen this time, you can log in without typing a password. It’s that easy! Now you have full control over the Surface Pro tablet and you can retrieve the files within the locked account.