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I'm being pestered by our lab security guy to disable 'password never expires' on my home laptop that I use to connect to work with remotely. Unfortunately he can't tell me how to do it. We found the following on a Windows 7 professional machine:

Start -> All Programs -> Admin tools -> Users and Groups

This gets us to a diaglog where one can set/unset 'password never expires'.

My administrator account on my home computer, running Windows 7 home edition does not have this 'Administrative tools' folder under 'All programs', and Administrative tools under the Control Panel -> Security also doesn't have the 'users and groups' option.

Is there another way to do this? I'd guess it's just a registry setting, but I don't find it with a registry search.

Note that Windows appears to have two controls for password expiry. One is the 'net accounts /maxpwage' which I've set to 90 per our lab security rules. My system doesn't pass the security audit since this 'password never expires' is also selected despite having set /maxpwage (and Windows 7 home edition doesn't externalize a way to change this one that I can find).

I've been guided to a direct method of opening the diaglog that controls this 'password never expires' option. That can be done with 'lusrmgr.msc'. However, this also produces a 'Unsupported in this version of windows'.

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Your work network should require authentication to connect regardless of what computer the connection is coming from. If someone has physical access to your home computer it is trivial (like <5 minutes trivial) to get access no matter how frequently you change your password. Worse, make sure you don't use the same password at home; it takes less than a day to crack the NTLM password stored on it (a timeframe where someone could easily steal the laptop, crack the password, and try to use it against every website in your history or anything else store on it, before you really notice). –  Chris S Jun 30 '11 at 1:19
    
I'm not debating a requirement for authentication, so am unsure of the relevance of this comment? –  Peeter Joot Jun 30 '11 at 2:05
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@Peeter, my apologies for being obscure. You Lab Security Guy is engaging in Security Theater. It's fake security requirements meant to make people think the system is more secure than it actually is (generally managers or other non-technical people). It wastes time and add extremely little or no benefit. In addition, when people are forced to change their passwords frequently the quality of the passwords they pick is reduced in general, and they typically reuse passwords more heavily. Using the same passwords at home & work is asking for trouble, so I threw that freebie in there. –  Chris S Jun 30 '11 at 12:19
    
Yes, I know that ; you are preaching to the choir. That said, if this isn't resolved, they will block my system from connecting to the network. I'm not in a position to refute the insane security procedures of our company. –  Peeter Joot Jun 30 '11 at 13:28
    
How can they verify that, if they don't know where the setting is, or how to change it? Are they going to come knocking at your house to check this? –  Nixphoe Jun 30 '11 at 13:56
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2 Answers

The secret mantra turns out to be:

wmic path Win32_UserAccount WHERE Name='MyUserName' set PasswordExpires=true
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Run command prompt as administrator

In order to enable account expiration, enter this:

net accounts /maxpwage:90

Once that's done, set the account to expire like this:

net user [username] /expires:06/30/11

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I want to disable 'password never expires'. In response to the security rules I've had to set a password age of 90 days, and that shows in the net accounts output: Maximum password age (days): 90 –  Peeter Joot Jun 30 '11 at 1:12
    
@Peeter - See edit. –  Jason Berg Jun 30 '11 at 1:23
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according to 'net help user' that is to expire the user account, not to clear 'password never expires' that the security checking program is complaining about. –  Peeter Joot Jun 30 '11 at 2:09
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