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Domain controller: Refuse machine account password changes

Published: November 15, 2012

Updated: November 15, 2012

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows XP

This security policy reference topic for the IT professional describes the best practices, location, values, and security considerations for this policy setting.

This policy setting enables or disables blocking a domain controller from accepting password change requests for computer accounts. By default, member computers change their computer account passwords every 30 days. If enabled, the domain controller will refuse computer account password change requests.

  • Enabled

    When enabled, this setting does not allow a domain controller to accept any changes to a computer account's password.

  • Disabled

    When disabled, this setting allows a domain controller to accept any changes to a computer account's password.

  • Not defined

    Same as Disabled.

  1. Enabling this policy setting on all domain controllers in a domain prevents domain members from changing their computer account passwords. This, in turn, leaves those passwords susceptible to attack. Make sure that this conforms to your overall security policy for the domain.

GPO_name\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options

The following table lists the actual and effective default values for this policy. Default values are also listed on the policy’s property page.


Server type or GPO Default value

Default Domain Policy

Not defined

Default Domain Controller Policy

Not defined

Stand-Alone Server Default Settings

Not defined

DC Effective Default Settings


Member Server Effective Default Settings


Client Computer Effective Default Settings

Not applicable

There are no differences in this policy between operating systems beginning with Windows Server 2003.

This section describes features and tools that are available to help you manage this policy.

None. Changes to this policy become effective without a computer restart when they are saved locally or distributed through Group Policy.

This section describes how an attacker might exploit a feature or its configuration, how to implement the countermeasure, and the possible negative consequences of countermeasure implementation.

If you enable this policy setting on all domain controllers in a domain, domain members cannot change their computer account passwords, and those passwords are more susceptible to attack.

Disable the Domain controller: Refuse machine account password changes setting.

None. This is the default configuration.

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