How to unlock a laptop

Laptops can be locked in a variety of ways. There are BIOS passwords, system passwords and user passwords. Some laptops require a specific key combination to be pressed before you can even enter a password. There are also physical laptop locks to further prevent unauthorised access. Unlocking a laptop is a fairly straightforward process, but it will require you to remember passwords and combinations. You'll need these in order to successfully unlock your laptop.

Enter the combination for your laptop lock. Most laptop locks have either three- or four-digit combinations. Either twist each individual number to the correct position or enter a digital combination. For key locks, unlock with the correct key.

If you forget your combination or lose your key, contact the manufacturer. Their customer support may be able to help you. Combination locks can often be reset with a model specific combination.

Start your laptop. Enter your BIOS password when prompted. If you don't have a BIOS password, continue to Step 3.

Enter the system password when prompted. If you don't have a system password, your computer should boot to the main operating system screen without the desktop.

Enter the key combination required to log in. This is typically found on a message box telling you the computer is locked. For instance, Windows users must press "Ctrl" plus "Alt" plus "Tab" to enter the login screen.

Enter your user name and password. This will allow you to start using your computer.

If you forget passwords, try downloading and using Ultimate Boot CD's password tools. The CD allows you to boot your laptop to the CD and reset your password. Formatting your computer will also erase any system or user passwords. This won't work for BIOS passwords, however.


If you forget your BIOS password, contact your computer manufacturer. They will be able to help you reset the password. Also, check the Support or Help section for "BIOS passwords." Some laptop models can have the BIOS password reset by removing the internal battery. This may also be found in your computer manual. All passwords are case sensitive. If you receive an error message, try entering your password again and pay close attention to password case.

Things You'll Need

  • Password(s)
  • Lock combination or key
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About the Author

C.D. Crowder has been a freelance writer on a variety of topics including but not limited to technology, education, music, relationships and pets since 2008. Crowder holds an A.A.S degree in networking and one in software development and continues to develop programs and websites in addition to writing.