The method to recover a lost laptop password depends on the operating system of the laptop. In order to recover a lost password on a Windows system, you need a password reset disk or the password to an administrator account. Recovering a lost Mac password requires an Apple ID or an installation disk, recovery partition or boot drive.
For a Windows laptop on a domain, you can contact a system administrator to reset the account password. If you are using an account other than the administrator account, you can log into the administrator account and reset the password. If the administrator account password is lost, then a password reset disk is necessary. If none of these methods are available, then Windows must be reinstalled on the laptop, according to Microsoft.
For a Mac, the easiest way is to use the Apple ID to restore the lost password if the ID is connected to a user account and if the laptop has Internet access. Enter a wrong password three times to summon the message to reset using Apple ID. Follow the prompts to reset and add a new password. If this option is not available, then you can use an installer disk, boot drive or recovery partition to reset the password through the Utilities menu.