How to reset users’ passwords in Active Directory

Maciej Bartłomiej Sikora
Content Writer
active directory password reset

Active Directory (AD) is a cornerstone of most enterprise networks. It offers a range of tools for managing and securing users' credentials. Yet navigating its complexities can be challenging. Active Directory issues include the need for a self-service password reset or a change in an AD password.

When Active Directory users forget their passwords or let them expire, resetting them often falls to admins. It's a burdensome duty, considering password-related issues still dominate help desk tickets. Ensuring these passwords are reset quickly and securely is paramount.

There are multiple methods that admins can use to reset a user's password. These include the Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) console, the DSMOD command-line tool, PowerShell scripts, and third-party Active Directory password management tools.

In this guide, we will simplify these processes and provide practical solutions for AD password management. We will delve into the different methods to reset Active Directory passwords.

Regardless of the method you use, you must have sufficient permissions in Active Directory to reset users’ passwords. You must either be part of the Domain Admins group or at the very least, a member of the Account Operations security group in Active Directory. If the task of resetting passwords is being delegated to help desk technicians, the OU delegation feature in AD can be used to assign reset password permissions.

Active Directory password reset best practices

Regardless of how you reset a password in Active Directory, it is a task that administrators carry out regularly. However, it’s essential to keep a few best practices in mind:

  1. Use strong and unique passwords. Encourage users to create robust and unique passwords. They must be hard to guess. A good-quality password can significantly enhance the security of user accounts.

  2. Regular password updates. Encourage users to update their passwords regularly. However, avoid changing them too frequently because that can lead to poor password practices like writing them down in order to remember them.

  3. Password complexity rules. Implement password complexity rules, such as a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

  4. Enable account lockouts. Enable account lockouts after a specific number of failed login attempts. This can prevent brute force attacks.

  5. Use a password reset tool. Use a tool specifically designed to handle Active Directory password reset tasks.

How to reset an Active Directory user password using PowerShell

PowerShell is a powerful tool that can be used to reset an Active Directory password. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Open PowerShell with administrative privileges.

  2. Type the following command:

    Set-ADAccountPassword -Identity [username] -Reset -NewPassword (ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText "[newpassword]" -Force)
  3. Replace username with the username of the account and replace [newpassword] with the new password.

Remember, PowerShell commands can have a significant impact, so use them with care. It's recommended to use PowerShell in test environments before deploying scripts in production environments.

Reset a Microsoft user's password in Active Directory

When it comes to Microsoft Active Directory, the Self-Service Password Reset feature is an excellent tool. It allows end users to reset their passwords, reducing the burden on the IT department. To use this feature, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Microsoft 365 admin center.

  2. Select “Users,” then “Active users.”

  3. Choose the user, then select “Reset password.”

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset process.

Keep your passwords safe

Using Active Directory to reset your password is straightforward. The platform offers a range of tools and features for password management. However, you can elevate your organization's password security to a new level with NordPass.

NordPass is a password manager designed with simplicity and security at its core. Its encrypted password vault uses the highly secure XChaCha20 algorithm. NordPass offers a single secure place for all your passwords, credit cards, and sensitive information.

NordPass generates strong and unique passwords with its Password Generator. It also helps you to assess your passwords' health and identify weak, old, and reused passwords. Its Data Breach Scanner can alert you if any company-related domains or emails have been compromised. You can also set a password policy at the administrative level.

With features like the Activity Log and multi-factor authentication, NordPass provides a transparent and secure environment for password management.

Elevate your password security with NordPass, and simplify your Active Directory password management.

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