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How maximum password age is implemented

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User Manager allows you to set a maximum password age. A common misconception is that the current age for each user's password is reset when this value is changed. Each individual user's password age is not stored or reset.

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More information

The Windows operating system does not actually store the age of the user's password, but rather the last time it was set.

To view when the password was last set, type the following at an MS-DOS command prompt:
net user administrator
Information similar to the following is then displayed:
User name                    Administrator
Password last set            4/7/99 4:11 PM
(There is a variety of information displayed, but the Password last set value is the information of interest.)

For example, you have a domain that has been set up for one year and users do not change their passwords on a regular basis. If you were to set a maximum password age of 60 days, almost all users' passwords would expire and they would be required to change their password at next logon.

A better alternative in this example would be to set the maximum password age to 365 days and then slowly (over days or weeks) lower the maximum password age to 60. This would help to prevent the help desk from being inundated with calls.

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Keywords: kbinfo, KB236373

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Article Info
Article ID : 236373
Revision : 8
Created on : 10/11/2007
Published on : 10/11/2007
Exists online : False
Views : 557