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6.5 Configuring Account Policies 
6.5.1 Configuring Password Policy 
Password Policy allows you to improve system security by controlling how passwords are created and 
managed. You can for example specify the maximum length of time a password can be used before the user 
has to change it. Requiring users to change their passwords regularly decreases the chances of an 
unauthorized person breaking into your computer. You can also specify a minimum password length and 
maintain a history of the passwords that a user has used. The latter prevents a user from having two 
passwords and alternating between them. Table 6.6 lists the password policy options that you can configure. 
TABLE 6.6: Password Policy Options
Enforce Password History 
Prevent the user for specifying a password 
that they had used previously. Windows 
Server 2003 can track up to 24 previously 
used passwords for each user. By default, 
this option is not enabled. 
Maximum Password Age 
Specifies the number of days a user can log 
on with a particular password before he or 
she is required to change the password. The 
default value is 42 days and can be set to 
999 days. 
Minimum Password Age 
Specifies the number of days a user must 
keep a password before he or she can change 
it. The default is 0, which indicates that the 
password can be changed immediately. 
However, the minimum password age must 
be less than the maximum password age. 
Minimum Password Length 
Specifies the minimum number of characters 
required in a password. This value can range 
from 0 up to 14 characters inclusive. A 
value of 0 indicates that no password is 
required and is the default value. 
Passwords Must Meet Complexity 
Specifies that all passwords must meet the 
specified minimum password length; 
comply with the password history settings; 
contain capitals, numerals or punctuation; 
and cannot contain the user's account or full 
Store Password Using Reversible 
Encryption For All Users In The Domain 
This option enables Windows Server 2003 
to store a reversibly encrypted password for 
You can configure Password Policy on a computer running Windows Server 2003 by using Group Policy or 
Local Security Policy. 
 Click on the 
 Point to 
 Point to 
 Right-click the Password Policy Option that you want to configure 
 Set the Password Policy Option 

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