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101. Stop My Password From Expiring

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Important

How you prevent your password expiring will depend upon the version of Windows Vista you are currently running. For example Windows Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate all use the local security settings to make changes to the password expiry time.

Windows Vista Basic and Vista Home Premium do not contain local security settings and, therefore, require a different approach to this problem.

Please be sure to read the correct set of instructions that relate to your version of Windows Vista.

Windows Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate

Password protecting Windows Vista is an integral part of security. However, when you create a password in Vista it does, by default, have a limited shelf life - 42 days to be precise. Before the 42 days has expired you will usually receive a reminder that your password is about to expire. This is fine, so long as you do something about it at the time. If you don't, and your password finally expires, you are, unless you have created a password reset disk, (see 102. Create An Administrator Password Reset) left with a machine you cannot log in to.

Of course you can easily stop the password expiring altogether simply by following the instructions below.

1/ Click the Start button.

2/ On the Start Menu click Control Panel.

3/ When the Control Panel Window opens Click the Administrative Tools Icon.

4/ In Administrative tools window click Local Security Settings.

5/ The User Account Control (UAC) will prompt you for permission to open the Local Security Settings. If you are the administrator then press Continue to give your permission. If you are not the administrator, you will require the administrator user name and password before you can continue.

6/ The Local Security settings window will now open.

7/ In the Left hand pane of the window click on the > chevron next to Account Policies to expand the menu.

8/ Next Click Password Policy.

9/ If you look in the Right hand pane you will see a list of options.

10/ Right click on the Maximum Password Age option.

1/ From the drop down menu select Properties.

2/ The maximum password age properties window will open.

3/ By default it is set to 42 days.

4/ Change this figure to 0 (zero).

5/ Click Apply.

6/ Next click OK to close the window.

7/ Your password will now never expire.

8/ Finally Close the Local Security Settings window and any other windows that are open.

Windows Vista Home Basic and Home Premium.

With Windows Vista Home Basic and Home premium an alternative command line option has to be selected in order to prevent the password from expiring.

To prevent the password from expiring in Vista Home Basic and Home premium proceed as follows:

1/ Click the Start Button.

2/ Click All Programs followed by Accessories.

3/ From the Accessories menu Right Click on the Command Prompt option.

4/ From the Drop Down menu that appears, select the Run As Administrator option.

5/ The User Account Control (UAC) will prompt you for permission to open the Local Security Settings. If you are the administrator then press Continue to give your permission. If you are not the administrator, you will require the administrator user name and password before you can continue.

6/ A Command Prompt window will now appear.

7/ In the Command Prompt window, type: net accounts /maxpwage:unlimited and then Press the Enter key on your keyboard.

8/ The Maximum Password Age will now be set to Zero and your password will no longer expire.

9/ Finally Close the Command Prompt window.