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Best password recovery tool for 2021

password recovery tool - man sat typing at laptop
(Image credit: Unsplash)

In the modern digital world, it’s common to have hundreds of passwords and different login combinations that you use regularly. It can be quite difficult to keep track of these, but the best password managers are designed to streamline this process. 

However, it’s still possible to lose or forget important credentials from time to time, which is where password recovery tools come in extremely handy. Put simply, these are designed to help you recover lost passwords and login details with a minimum amount of fuss, and many of the leading options have a great success rate. 

In this guide, we take a close look at some of the best password recovery tools available today. By outlining important information about each option, we aim to help you decide which solutions are best suited to your needs. 

Note that you should never use these programs to attempt to steal someone else’s passwords. Only use them to recover lost passwords for your own accounts.

The best password recovery tools available today

password recovery tool - Passware Kit's homepage

Passware Kit offers excellent password recovery solutions (Image credit: Passware Kit)

Best overall password recovery tool

Reasons to buy
+Excellent success rate with most file types+Very easy to use+Offers rapid decryption and near-instant password recovery
Reasons to avoid
-Mac recovery isn’t supported with cheap licenses-High-end solutions are a little expensive 

Passware Kit offers excellent password recovery solutions with a focus on ease of use and efficiency. The company claims that its software has a success rate of up to 70%, which is up there with the best we’ve seen. 

On top of this, Passware offers solutions for everyone, from home users to large businesses. It’s available on Mac, Linux, and Windows operating systems, and it’s designed to be straightforward and easy to use. 

The Passware Kit Basic package includes a range of features to help you recover lost login details on your personal or small business device. It enables you to reset passwords for numerous programs, including your Windows admin account. You will be guided through the entire process, and over 50 file types are supported. Prices start from just $49 for a lifetime license, making this an affordable solution. 

More advanced Business solutions are significantly more expensive, with prices starting from $875 for Passware Kit Business. However, this comes with a great selection of tools to help security and management personnel access employees’ computers and files. 

Another standout package is the Passware Kit Forensic option, which is designed for law enforcement and forensic teams. It’s intended to uncover and decrypt password-protected files on a device, providing access to potentially important information. It supports over 300 file types, and is even available for Apple and Android mobile devices. 

All things considered, it’s hard to overlook Passware Kit as the leading password recovery tool available today. It’s competitively priced, highly advanced, and offers great versatility. 

password recovery tool - John the Ripper's homepage

John the Ripper offers advanced password recovery solutions (Image credit: OpenWall)

Extremely versatile password recovery solutions

Reasons to buy
+Open source and free forever+Extremely versatile+Supports numerous OS and file types
Reasons to avoid
-Takes some technical knowledge to use-Some advanced tools require payment

John the Ripper is one of the most versatile password recovery tools we’ve used. It’s available in many flavors, with support for Windows, Linux, Mac, and various other operating systems. 

It can also be used with mobile devices, and it’s designed to help you recover virtually any type of password for any program or file type. Now, the program is open source and available for free, which makes it appear like a leading option at first glance. 

However, things aren’t quite this simple. The free version is basically a source code download, which means that you will need significant technical knowledge to use it. There is a premium version, but it requires command-line experience and isn’t a great option for novice users. 

Similarly, you will likely need to pay for a full Wordlist, even if you do use the free version. It is possible to generate your own, but this will take a lot of time and probably isn’t worth doing. Fortunately, there is a seven-day money-back guarantee available for all online payments, which is nice to see. 

Find out more about this service in our John the Ripper password cracker review.

password recovery tool - Lazesoft's homepage

Lazesoft Recover My Password is designed to help you reset your Windows password (Image credit: Lazesoft)

Best for Windows password recovery

Reasons to buy
+Straightforward Windows password recovery +Completely free for personal users+100% success rate
Reasons to avoid
-Only supports Windows password recovery -Requires separate boot media for different operating systems

If you’ve lost or can’t remember your Windows admin password, Lazesoft’s Recover My Password software might just be your best option for a password recovery tool. It’s designed to help you reset or remove your admin password, enabling full access to your Windows device. 

To use the program, you will need to save it to a CD or USB flash drive. Use this to reboot your computer, and follow the prompts to clear your Windows admin password. This is extremely straightforward, and you shouldn’t have any problems whatsoever. 

In addition, Recover My Password is very competitively priced. Personal users can take advantage of a free download, which supports Windows 10, 8, 7.1, Vista, and XP. A Professional lifetime license will cost you $17.95, and enables you to use the program for commercial purposes. 

Upgrading to the Server Edition costs $79.49, and unlocks support for a wide range of Windows servers from 2003 to 2019. Or, upgrade to the Unlimited Edition ($159.69) to access a range of tools targeted at IT professionals and technical support staff. 

password recovery tool - Ophcrack's homepage

Ophcrack offers Windows password recovery solutions  (Image credit: Oph Crack)

An advanced free Windows password cracker

Reasons to buy
+Very beginner-friendly and easy to use+Requires no prior knowledge or experience
Reasons to avoid
-Limited usefulness with longer passwords-No Mac or mobile versions

Ophcrack is right up there with the best free password recovery tools we’ve used, and for good reason. It’s available across numerous Windows and Linux operating systems, is 100% free to download, and is straightforward and intuitive to use. 

On top of this, you only ever have to download Ophcrack once. Simply download the ISO image, save it to a CD or removable storage device, and then use this to boot the program on any device required. 

At the time of writing, Ophcrack was available across Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10 operating systems. The Linux version is available for all popular distributions, but you will need a little more technical knowledge to use it effectively.

One thing that stands out about Ophcrack’s service is its use of rainbow tables rather than standard brute force attacks to crack passwords. Basically, this method is significantly quicker, more effective, and very straightforward to implement. 

All things considered, Ophcrack is one of the most useful password recovery programs available today, and we’d highly recommend downloading and testing it. Read our full Ophcrack review to find out more. 

password recovery tool - Hash Suite's homepage

Hash Suite offers fast Windows password recovery solutions  (Image credit: Hash Suite)

5. Hash Suite

A great option for Windows users

Reasons to buy
+The free version is powerful and effective+Supports numerous password types
Reasons to avoid
-Requires advanced technical knowledge-Support options are expensive and a little limited

Although it’s primarily designed as a security tool to help IT professionals and security administrators test the strength of their passwords, Hash Suite also has great password recovery potential. It’s a free, open-source program, although there are also pro versions available

Now, one thing worth noting here is that Hash Suite is far from the most straightforward password recovery tool we’ve used. It requires a significant amount of technical knowledge, including familiarity with the Java runtime environment. 

The free version is available for both Windows and Android, and it’s one of the best Android password crackers we’ve used. Customer service isn’t available, though, and you won’t be able to access advanced reports, free upgrades, and various other high-end features. 

The Hash Suite Standard version is designed for more knowledgeable individual users. It supports all LM hash passwords, md5crypt passwords up to 15 characters long, and most other types of passwords up to 27 characters in length. A single Standard license will cost you $39.95 for lifetime access.  

The Pro version is even more advanced, with support for enhanced reports, remote account importation, multiple GPUs, and automated weak password remediation. It is a little pricey, with a single license coming in at $89.95. 

Premium support options are also available. You can purchase Basic support ($79.95) for up to two hours of support over one year, or go for the Advanced option ($879.95) for up to 10 hours of support over two years. 

password recovery tool - Trinity Rescue Kit's homepage

Trinity Rescue Kit offers advanced password recovery solutions (Image credit: Trinity)

A technical option for more experienced users

Reasons to buy
+100% free forever+Designed to help you delete unknown passwords+Excellent documentation and help resources
Reasons to avoid
-Hasn't been updated in years-Requires advanced command-line knowledge

Trinity Rescue Kit is an interesting password recovery tool, in that it’s a free Linux distribution that’s designed to help you recover Windows passwords. It requires advanced command-line experience and a decent level of technical experience, which means that it’s not a great option for novice users. 

However, Trinity Rescue Kit is one of the most powerful password recovery tools we’ve used. Virtually any Windows passwords can be reset or recovered using the advanced features, and the recovery rate is excellent. Sadly however, the programme appears to have not been updated in years, and it lacks support for several USB drives and network setups.

Backed by a suite of additional computer repair and maintenance tools, including a range of virus scanning integrations, a file cleaner to remove unnecessary temporary files, and an undeletion tool to recover lost documents, one noteworthy feature is its extensive documentation.

This is among the best we’ve ever seen, and makes it very straightforward to use the program. Although it’s a little technical in places, it contains everything you will need to use Trinity Rescue Kit, even if your command-line experience is fairly limited.

Daniel Blechynden

Daniel is a freelance copywriter with over six years experience writing for publications such as TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, and Hosting Review. He specializes in tech and finance, with a particular focus on website building, web hosting, and related fields.