Guide to resetting Windows laptops and tablets


  1. Before you start
  2. Get local admin and BIOS passwords
  3. Reset the BIOS password
  4. Unlock recovery mode
  5. Reset the device
  6. Apply your own settings
  7. Additional support

2. Get local admin and BIOS passwords

Why do I need this information?

  • Local admin password – this allows you to sign into the admin user accounts for laptops and tablets where you can access options to reset the device. This cannot be done from the ‘localuser’ account on the device.
  • BIOS password – every laptop and tablet has a system that controls the device, called the BIOS. To protect devices, this system has been password protected. You need the BIOS password so you can complete the reset process.

You should only share your passwords with trusted users who are resetting laptops and tablets or applying device management and content filtering settings.

Get passwords

To see passwords for the devices you ordered, log in to the Get help with technology service, and select ‘View your device details’.

To find passwords for devices you own that you did not order personally, log in to the Get help with technology service, and select ‘View your device details’. In the search bar on the page, input the serial number of each device to see this information.

If you cannot see this option or are unable to access the page, ask another person in your organisation if they have this information or contact us.

To get local admin and BIOS password information for your devices you can either:

  • export a spreadsheet (in .CSV format) containing information for all devices by using the ‘Export CSV’ button
  • use the search filters to find information for specific devices by serial or model number. Use the ‘show’ link next to each to reveal BIOS and Admin details and hardware hashes where applicable.


Reset the BIOS password


Before you start