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Change Active Directory Strong Password Policies

Posted by Steve Pietrek on May 8, 2007

Recently I have been creating numerous VM’s for my SharePoint development. Typically the first thing I do is create a base Windows Server 2003 VM with Active Directory. Inevitably, during the process of creating users I receive the error (see below) that the password has not met the password policy requirements. Since I want all users to have the same simple password, I needed a way to change the strong password policies.

Windows cannot set the password for <user> because: The password does not meet the password policy requirements. Check the minimum password length, password complexity and password history requirements.

Below are the steps to do so:

  1. In Windows Server 2003, select Domain Security Policy from Administrative Tools. In Windows Server 2008, select Local Security Policy from Administrative Tools.
  2. In Windows Server 2003, expand Security Settings-Account Policies-Password Policy. In Windows Server 2008, expand Account Policies-Password Policy.
  3. Right-click on “Minimum password length” in the right pane and select Properties. Do not remove the check for the “Define this policy setting” check box (only available in Windows Server 2003). Enter a new setting – I set mine to 0 (no password required) and click OK.
  4. Right-click on “Password must meet complexity requirements” in the right pane and select Properties. Do no remove the check for the “Define this policy setting” check box (only available in Windows Server 2003). Select the Disabled option and click OK.
  5. Close the “Default Domain Security Settings” dialog.
  6. Select Start-Run and type in cmd.
  7. Type “gpupdate /force” (without the quotes) and click Enter.
  8. Type “exit” (without the quotes) to exit Cmd.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND REMOVING STRONG PASSWORD POLICIES IN A PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENT.

UPDATE (1/14/2009): UPDATED FOR WINDOWS SERVER 2008.

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10 Responses to “Change Active Directory Strong Password Policies”

  1. avital said

    I cannot change any property in Account Policies – Password Policy: Minimum PW length,PW complexity,etc.

  2. Thomas B said

    Awesome, just the answer I was looking for, thank you very much 🙂

  3. keyvan abaei said

    hello,
    Thank you for your help

  4. Lenin said

    The saqme problem here, I can’t change any property in Account Policies – Password Policy: Minimum PW length,PW complexity,etc.

  5. Adis said

    I changed password policy and run gpupdate /force
    But that resulted in all default configured policies to get value “Not defined”.
    That is not what I wanted. Is there a way to revert it / set default policies, as they were after clean installation of AD.

  6. shart81 said

    This is one of the best and most popular posts.

  7. The same problem here, I can’t change any property in Account Policies – Password Policy: Minimum PW length,PW complexity,etc.
    All properties are inactive.

  8. Nilesh Aeer said

    Hi,

    I have windows server 2008 R2 server and on that server install Active directory , DNS, DHCP, WDS, File server. now I want change minimum password length, password complexity but now I am not able to change there . minimum password length, password complexity option is disabled.

    I want to ask you after the Active directory installation can I change minimum password length, password complexity
    ? and How?

    please help me .

  9. Rigel Networks Pvt. Ltd. said

    I can’t able to change property in Account Policies

  10. girish16 said

    Hey can we change the notification messages anyhow?

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