Best password recovery tools 2024

post-it notes on a laptop with password information

Password recovery tools are incredibly useful, and the chances are that you will need to use one at some point in your life.

Most people have at least a handful of password-protected accounts for everyday life, and many of us have a whole lot of them. These can range from everyday tools like social media and email to extremely sensitive accounts such as online banking and investment portfolios. You might also use passwords to protect important documents, to lock your password manager, and even to log into your computer.

Password recovery tools are generally incredibly complex software and often require knowledge of command-line interfaces. They can also vary significantly when it comes to success rate, as no tool will work 100% of the time.

In this guide, we take a closer look at the best password recovery tools on the market today. We’ve listed a variety of free and premium options, with programs for tech-fluent professionals and computer newbies alike.

Best password recovery tools compared

Features and prices

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Price rangeFree versionDesktop SupportCustomer Service
Passware Kit£42.15 to £941.84, one-time paymentNoWindows, macOS (with upgrade)Online ticketing
John the RipperFree to £150.78, one-time paymentYesWindows, macOS, Linux, plus othersEmail (with upgrade)
Lazesoft Recover My PasswordFree to £130.15, one-time paymentYesWindowsEmail
OphcrackFreeYesWindowsLimited self-help resources
Trinity Rescue KitFreeYesWindows, LinuxLimited self-help resources

The best password recovery tools available today

Passware Kit

Passware Kit's homepage

(Image credit: Passware Kit)

Best overall password recovery tool


  • Free version: No
  • Desktop support: Windows, macOS (with upgrade)
  • Customer service: Online ticketing
Swipe to scroll horizontally
ProsConsHeader Cell - Column 2
+ Very easy to use- Cheaper versions are limitedRow 0 - Cell 2
+ Provides rapid results- Mac support is expensiveRow 1 - Cell 2
+ Excellent success rateRow 2 - Cell 1 Row 2 - Cell 2

Passware offers some of the world’s best password recovery solutions. Its main product, Passware Kit, is used throughout the world by business and personal customers alike. It’s extremely useful for recovering lost passwords, and it’s an affordable option as well.

For starters, the Passware Kit user interface is stunningly designed. It’s very easy to navigate, and you can perform virtually any action with just a couple of clicks. The cheapest Basic license (£42.15) supports over 50 encrypted password file types, and this number increases to over 300 with the most expensive Forensic license (£941.84).

All licenses come with support for Windows computers and can be used to recover Microsoft and OpenOffice document passwords, among other things. The Standard license ($195) and above comes with tools to unlock password managers, and macOS support is available with the Forensic edition.

On the downside, customer service is quite limited. It will be a little overwhelming for many personal users, but this is largely due to the sheer number of tools on offer.

Overall, though, Passware Kit performs admirably. It’s one of the best password recovery tools we’ve used, it’s affordable, and it has an excellent success rate. If you’re looking for a great all-around password recovery tool for general use, Passware Kit should be among your top choices.

Read our full Passware Kit review.

John The Ripper

John the Ripper's homepage

(Image credit: John the Ripper)

Best for cross-platform compatibility


  • Free version: Yes
  • Desktop support: Windows, Linux, macOS, plus others
  • Customer service: Email (with the premium package)
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ProsConsHeader Cell - Column 2
+ Supports loads of password types- Requires command-line knowledgeRow 0 - Cell 2
+ Compatible with a selection of operating systems- The setup process can be quite difficultRow 1 - Cell 2
+ Open source and freeRow 2 - Cell 1 Row 2 - Cell 2

John the Ripper is an advanced password recovery tool that’s designed for system administrators and other IT professionals. It’s quite complicated to set up, and you will require command-line knowledge to use it, which means that it’s not a viable option for your average user.

But for the right people, John the Ripper is excellent. The base version of the program is free and open-source, enabling you to download it on Windows, Linux, macOS, and other devices. It can be used to crack more than 400 types of passwords across these operating systems.

Those looking for a slightly less technical solution – albeit one that still needs command-line knowledge – might like to purchase one of the premium versions of John the Ripper. These are available for Linux and macOS, and prices start from £32.56 for a lifetime license. You can add free future upgrades with an £73.31 license and email support with a £150.78 license.

John the Ripper might not be a great password recovery tool for the average user, but it still has a lot to bring to the party. Its sheer power and the number of files it supports are excellent, and we believe that it’s a tool that every IT professional should be familiar with.

Read our John the Ripper review.

Lazesoft Recover My Password

Lazesoft Recover My Password's homepage

(Image credit: Lazesoft)

Best for Windows password recovery


  • Free version: Yes
  • Desktop support: Windows
  • Customer service: Email
Swipe to scroll horizontally
ProsConsHeader Cell - Column 2
+ Easy to use- Security practices are a little suspectRow 0 - Cell 2
+ Beginner-friendly installation process- Functionality is limited to Windows password recoveryRow 1 - Cell 2
+ Neat free-forever versionRow 2 - Cell 1 Row 2 - Cell 2

Lazesoft Recover My Password is a program with quite limited functionality, but it’s an excellent option for specific uses. It's designed to help you recover admin passwords so that you can access locked accounts, and it has an excellent success rate.

If you’re planning to use it to recover a personal account, you can download Lazesoft Recover My Password for free. This supports full password and account recovery. However, a premium license is required for business use, and prices vary according to their main features.

A basic Professional lifetime license costs just £14.63. The Server edition, which enables account recovery on locked servers, comes in at £64.79, while the enterprise-level Unlimited edition costs £130.15.

One thing that stands out about Lazesoft Recover My Password is its claimed 100% success rate. If this is indeed true, it’s excellent. If not, we can be confident that it’s at least close to this, which remains excellent.

On the downside, only email support is available. There is a decent selection of self-help resources, which are useful. Another thing we noticed is that Lazesoft offers next to no information about its security procedures, which is a slight concern since it’s dealing with your sensitive passwords and other information.

Overall, though, Lazesoft Recover My Password remains an excellent choice for those who are locked out of their Windows account.

Read our Lazesoft Recover My Password review.


Ophcrack's homepage

(Image credit: Ophcrack)

Best advanced free Windows password cracker


  • Free version: Yes
  • Desktop support: Windows
  • Customer service: Limited self-help resources
Swipe to scroll horizontally
ProsConsHeader Cell - Column 2
+ Very beginner-friendly and easy to use- Limited usefulness with longer passwordsRow 0 - Cell 2
+ Requires no prior knowledge or experience- No Mac or mobile versionsRow 1 - Cell 2

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.

Trinity Rescue Kit

Trinity Rescue Kit's homepage

(Image credit: Trinity Rescue Kit)

Best for more experienced users


  • Free version: Yes
  • Desktop support: Windows, Linux
  • Customer service: Limited self-help resources
Swipe to scroll horizontally
ProsConsHeader Cell - Column 2
+ 100% free forever- Hasn't been updated in yearsRow 0 - Cell 2
+ Designed to help you delete unknown passwords- Requires advanced command-line knowledgeRow 1 - Cell 2
+ Excellent documentation and help resourcesRow 2 - Cell 1 Row 2 - Cell 2

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.

Read our full Trinity Rescue Kit review.

Further reading on password managers

Take a look at our other guides to the best free password managers and the best password managers for business. It's also worth looking at our top five things to consider before buying a password manager. We also look at whether open-source password managers are safe to use, whether password managers are safe, and how you can test password strength via a series of free tools.

Daniel Blechynden

Daniel is a freelance technology and finance writer, whose scientific background in the natural sciences lends rigour and nuance to his informative, accessible articles. His reviews on website builders, web hosting and business web development grace the virtual pages of TechRadar Pro,, and, as well as IT Pro Portal. Well-versed in blockchain, cloud computing and cybersecurity, Daniel takes a keen interest in all aspects of B2B and B2C tech.