Thursday, June 23, 2011

I cannot enforce password restrictions

The default XP behavior allows users to create and modify their own passwords. As an administrator, you can access the User Accounts tool in Control Panel to create a password for a user. However, the user can change the password with the User Accounts tool after he or she logs on. If you are using Windows XP Home Edition, I’m afraid you are stuck. Users can always create a different password with the User Accounts tool, and there are no direct rules you can enforce. However, if you are using Windows XP Professional, you have an additional tool that you can use to enforce password restrictions.

To configure additional password restrictions in Windows XP Professional, follow these steps:

1. Log on with an administrator account.

2. Click Start--> Control Panel--> Administrative Tools--> Computer Management.

3. In the left pane of the Computer Management console--> expand Local Users and Groups and select the Users container. You can see a listing of user accounts on your computer in the right pane.

4. Right-click the desired user account and click Properties.

5. On the General tab--> you see a list of restriction options. You can make sure that the user has to change his or her password at the next logon, that the user cannot change his or her password, or that the password never expires--> Click the desired check box and click OK.

Note: If you like using the Local Users and Groups console, you can also create and delete user accounts here without using User Accounts in Control Panel. Just right-click the Users container and click New User. You can delete an account or manage its properties by right-clicking the account icon in the right window pane.

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