Change the timing of the password-expires message in Windows

By default, Windows pops up with a message that a user's password is going to expire 14 days before the expiration date. Some administrators would like to change that default. Here are two options for changing it.


TechRepublic member SALLY41 posed the following question in the Technical Q&A: "How and where does one modify the 'password is about to expire in X days' alert in Windows? The alert comes up on the workstations 14 days before the password expires. I would like to change the number of days before alerts are broadcast to users."


A pair of TechRepublic members responded with two different options for changing the default Windows behavior.

BFilmFan posted, "In a Windows 2000 or 2003 domain, this is contained in the GPO setting: Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options\Interactive Logon: Prompt user to change password before expiration. The setting should be the number of days before the password expires in which you want the user to be warned. In the event the policy is not set by a GPO in the domain, it may be found on the local system's GPO."

Then, added, "Another option is to change the password expiry warning registry key. Here is a link for information on this process." The following steps are based on the instructions provided in that link:

  1. Open the Windows registry.
  2. Create or modify the key: PasswordExpiryWarning" in "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon.
  3. Enter the value (number of days before password expires that you want to notify users) and click the appropriate decimal or hexadecimal radio button (for example, e in hexadecimal equals 14 days).


The text of discussion posts from TechRepublic members has been slightly edited for spelling, punctuation, and clarity.

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