How to Fix: Win10 Home Disable Password Complexity, Expiration

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Ginny S. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I am running Windows 10 Home and all the sudden it is telling me that I need to change my password and that my Windows password must meet complexity requirements. I have never had this issue before. To make matters worse it tells me that the password needs to be minimum of 8 characters and contain both upper and lower case, plus digits. This has happened twice already and I have a hard enough time remembering my passwords. How can I disable the Windows 10 Home password complexity and expiration? All the posts I've come across all mention using 'secpol.msc' (Local Security Policy Editor), but that program doesn't exist in Windows 10 Home - it is only available in Windows 10 Pro. I am going nuts! PLEASE HELP! "

My response:

You are correct - the Local Security Policy Editor is only available in Windows 10 Pro, so many of the so-called solutions online to disable Windows 10 Home password complexity and expiration won't work. That said, the solution I've provided below will work on both Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro - in fact, it should work on all versions of Windows (7, 8, and 10).

That said: please note that this will ONLY work if the system you're using isn't connecting to a Windows Server, which is often the case if you're using the machine to connect to a work environment. In this case, Windows Server will control the password policies and it cannot be overridden using the method below.

How to Fix: Win10 Home Disable Password Complexity, Expiration

As I mentioned, my method to disable password expiration and complexity works for ALL versions of Windows (Home or Pro).

Please pay attention to the "rem" statements below ("rem" stands for remark, or comment) if you want to understand what the script does and/or make changes to it in order to reverse it, should you wish to.

If you want to share this solution on another site, I kindly as you link back to this page as it took quite some time to figure out. Much thanks.

To begin:

  1. Click Start, then type in "cmd.exe" (no quotes); wait for "CMD.EXE" or "Command Prompt" to appear in the list, then right click it and select "Run as Administrator".
     
  2. Highlight the text below using your mouse:

    rem script taken from https://www.infopackets.com/node/10729
    rem maxpwage sets the maximum number of days that a password is valid
    net accounts /maxpwage:unlimited

    rem minpwage sets the minimum number of days that must pass before a user can change a password
    net accounts /minpwage:unlimited

    rem minpwlen sets the minimum password length (this is not 'password complexity'):
    net accounts /minpwlen:0

    rem this part changes the password complexity
    rem export current security policies into c:\secpol.cfg
    secedit /export /cfg c:\secpol.cfg

    echo. >c:\out.txt
    echo The password complexity was: >>c:\out.txt
    type secpol.cfg | findstr -i complex >>c:\out.txt

    rem to enable password complexity: swap the 0 and 1 below
    powershell -command "(GC C:\secpol.cfg) -Replace \"PasswordComplexity = 1\",\"PasswordComplexity = 0\" | Out-File C:\secpol.cfg"

    echo. >>c:\out.txt
    echo The password complexity is now: >>c:\out.txt
    type secpol.cfg | findstr -i complex >>c:\out.txt

    rem the command below loads the new changes into the machine
    secedit /configure /db c:\windows\security\local.sdb /cfg c:\secpol.cfg /areas SECURITYPOLICY
    del /q c:\secpol.cfg

    type c:\out.txt
    echo this is a dummy line
     
  3. Right click over the highlighted text above, then select "Copy" from the dialogue menu.
     
  4. Right click in the middle of the command prompt window you opened in Step #1, then select "Paste" from the dialogue menu. The text you copied in Step #2 should be output to the command line.

Your Windows 10 password complexity should be disabled - whether you're running Windows 10 Home or Pro.

If you want to re-enable the password complexity, swap the "0" and "1" in the script, noting the 'rem' statements above.

I hope that helps.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If all of this is over your head, or if you need help to disable your windows 10 home password expiration or complexity, I can help using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me, briefly describing the issue and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

About the author: Dennis Faas

Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form. 

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