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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Windows Instances

Resetting a Lost or Expired Windows Administrator Password

If you've lost the Windows administrator password for your Amazon EC2 instance, or if the password has expired, and you are no longer able to access your Windows Amazon EC2 instance you can reset it.

There is an Amazon EC2 Systems Manager Automation document that will automatically apply the manual steps necessary to reset the local Administrator password. For more information, see Reset the Local Administator Password on Amazon EC2 Windows Instances.

The manual methods to reset the Administrator password use either EC2Config or EC2Launch. For Windows AMIs before Windows Server 2016, you can use the EC2Config service. For Windows Server 2016 AMIs, use the EC2Launch service.

These procedures also describe how to connect to an instance if you've lost the key pair that was used to create the instance. Amazon EC2 uses a public key to encrypt a piece of data, such as a password, and a private key to decrypt the data. The public and private keys are known as a key pair. With Windows instances, you use a key pair to obtain the administrator password and then log in using RDP.

Note

You can't reset the password if you've disabled the local administrator account on the instance.