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How to reset the PIN on Windows 10

Windows 10 allows users to lock their desktop with a password. A password can be set for both local accounts and for Microsoft Live accounts. Passwords aren’t the only way to lock a desktop though. Users have the option to set a PIN, use Windows Hello if they have a supported device, or set a picture password.

If you want to change your PIN or you’ve forgotten it, it can be reset easily enough.

Reset PIN Windows 10

You can reset the PIN on Windows 10 from the login screen and from the desktop. If you’ve forgotten the PIN, and are unable to get to your desktop, you can still reset it.

1. Reset forgotten PIN from lock screen

  1. On the login screen, click ‘I forgot my PIN’.
  2. In the window that opens, enter the password to your Microsoft Account.
  3. Set a new PIN for the device.

2. Reset forgotten PIN from desktop

  1. On your login screen, click ‘Sign in options’ to reveal other sign-in options that have been set up.
  2. Select the password option.
  3. Enter the password to your Microsoft Account to unlock your desktop.
  4. Open the Settings app.
  5. Go to Accounts.
  6. Select the Sign-in Options tab.
  7. Select Windows Hello PIN.
  8. Click Remove.
  9. Confirm that you want to remove the PIN.
  10. Enter the password to your Microsoft live account.
  11. Once the PIN has been removed, select Windows Hello PIN again.
  12. Click Add.
  13. In the window that opens, click Next.
  14. Enter the password to your Microsoft account.
  15. Enter your new PIN, and click OK.

3. Change PIN from desktop

If you remember your current PIN and simply want to change it, you can do so from the desktop.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Accounts.
  3. Select the Sign-in options tab.
  4. Click Windows Hello PIN.
  5. Click ‘Change’
  6. Enter the current PIN in the first field.
  7. Enter your new PIN in the other two fields. 
  8. Click OK and the PIN will be changed.

Conclusion

A PIN is considered more secure because it will only serve to unlock the desktop, if it is ever stolen. If you were to rely on your Microsoft Account password to sign in, and it was stolen, you stand to lose access to your entire account. Your Windows 10 key is likely linked to your Microsoft Account as are Microsoft 365 subscriptions and other purchases from the Microsoft Store. The PIN adds a decent layer of security and you don’t have to limit it to four numbers. A Windows 10 PIN can be longe and it can be alphanumeric.

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