Net accounts

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Net accounts

Updates the user accounts database and modifies password and logon requirements for all accounts.


net accounts[/forcelogoff:{Minutes | no}] [/minpwlen:Length] [/maxpwage:{Days | unlimited}] [/minpwage:Days] [/uniquepw:Number] [/domain]

/forcelogoff: {Minutes | no}
Sets the number of minutes to wait before ending a user's session with a server when the user account or valid logon time expires. The default value, no, prevents users from being forced to log off.

/minpwlen: Length
Sets the minimum number of characters for a user account password. The range is from 0 through 14 characters and the default is zero characters.

/maxpwage: {Days | unlimited}
Sets the maximum number of days that a user account's password is valid. The unlimited value sets no maximum time. The /maxpwage command-line option must be greater than /minpwage. The range is from 0 through 999 days (that is, unlimited equals 999 days), and the default value is 42 days.

/minpwage: Days
Sets the minimum number of days before a user can change a new password. The default value is zero days, which sets no minimum time. The range is from 0 through 999 days.

/uniquepw: Number
Requires a user to not repeat the same password for the specified Number of password changes. The range is from 0 through 24 password changes, and the default is zero password changes.

Performs the operation on the primary domain controller of the current domain. Otherwise, the operation is performed on the local computer.

net help Command
Displays help for the specified net command.

  • The Net Logon service must be running on the computer where you want to change account parameters. Used without parameters, net accounts displays the current settings for password, logon limitations, and domain information.

  • You must do the following before you can use net accounts:

    • Create user accounts. Use User Manager or net user to set up user accounts.

    • Run the Net Logon service on all servers that verify logon in the domain. Net Logon starts automatically at startup.

  • When you use /forcelogoff:Minutes, a warning is sent minutes before users are forced to log off from the network. Users are also notified if any files are open. If Minutes is less than two, users are warned to log off from the network immediately.


To display the current settings, the password requirements, and the server role for a server, type:

net accounts

To set a minimum of seven characters for user account passwords, type:

net accounts /minpwlen:7

To specify that users can reuse a password only after the fifth time they change passwords, type:

net accounts /uniquepw:5

To prevent users from changing passwords more often than every seven days, force users to change passwords every 30 days, and force users to log off after the logon time expires with a five-minute warning, type:

net accounts /minpwage:7 /maxpwage:30 /forcelogoff:5

To ensure that the preceding settings take effect for the domain that the computer is logged on to, type:

net accounts /minpwage:7 /maxpwage:30 /domain

Formatting legend


Format Meaning


Information that the user must supply


Elements that the user must type exactly as shown

Ellipsis (...)

Parameter that can be repeated several times in a command line

Between brackets ([])

Optional items

Between braces ({}); choices separated by pipe (|). Example: {even|odd}

Set of choices from which the user must choose only one

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Code or program output

See Also

Community Additions