Changing Windows Passwords

When logging onto a network on a Windows System, there are several possible passwords that may be set. These include:

  • Windows NT/2000 Domain - Controls all permissions for users to access information on the domain which normally includes files, printers, and mail. It may also include access to the internet in some cases.

  • Windows local password - This is the password which is used for a user to use local resources on their computer such as storing files on their desktop or "My Documents".

    On Windows 98 systems, not entering this password will not prevent access to local resources, but it is more convenient if it is the same as the network password. If it is not the same as the network password, a second logon screen will appear when the user is booting the system or logging on.

    On Windows 2000 systems, each user has their own set permissions (user profile) for the local system and must log in in order to use the system (Unless the system is configured for a single user).

  • Other network password - Some networks may have additional servers which require their own separate logins. For instance a Novell file and print sharing server may be in place which may require a separate login. If this is true and the software is installed on the local user's computer to access this system it should be possible using this procedure to set the Novell password with the other passwords.

In all cases it is easiest for the user when all the password types mentioned above match each other along with the user name. This way the user will only need to enter one user name and password to gain acces to all the resources needed.

Windows 95/98

  1. Open the Control Panel by selecting "Start", "Settings", "Control Panel". The Windows Control Panel as shown below will be displayed.

    Control Panel

  2. Double click on the Passwords Applet which will open as shown below.

Passwords Applet


  • Click on the button that says "Change Windows Password". The Change Windows Password dialog box will appear as shown below. In Windows 95, the checkboxes will not appear. Select all possible selections which are normally "Microsoft Networking", and "Windows Screen Saver" (The windows screen saver selection does not appear with Windows 95). If Novell is installed on your system the selection "Novell Netware" will be available.
    Change Windows Password Dialog Box

    Once you have made your selections, click "OK". A "Change Windows Password" dialog box will appear with 3 fields:

    Enter your Windows 2000 network password in the "Old Password" box (This assumes that your windows 2000 network password and local Windows password are the same). Select "OK" and a dialog box should appear indicating that "The Windows password has been successfully changed".

    If there is an error, either the old password was entered incorrectly or all the passwords were not the same at the start of this procedure. In this case it is best to try to change each password individually or call your IT support staff.

    Windows 2000 and NT

    1. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL on your keyboard.
    2. On the Windows Security dialog box the following selections will be available:
      • Lock Computer
      • Log Off
      • Shut Down
      • Change Password
      • Task Manager
      • Cancel
    3. Select "Change Password" and a Change Password dialog box will appear.
    4. Be sure your username is correct, and the "Log on to:" box contains the correct Windows Domain name.
    5. Enter your old password in the "Old Password" field.
    6. Enter your new password in the "New Password" field.
    7. Retype your new password in the "Confirm New Password" field.
    8. Click OK.
    9. The system will change all passwords for all logons possible to the one you just set. The system should present a small dialog box stating that your password has been changed.
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