How can I disable the local user account password complexity settings on Windows 2008 R2 "Server Core"?

I am trying to migrate our windows 2003 web server to windows 2008 R2. I am trying to see if I can use the "Server Core" install, and it has been a very internet search intensive experience.

What I can't find out how to do is to find out how to disable password complexity for local user accounts. While our user account generator currently creates nice strong passwords, there was a time when this was not the case and unfortunately forcing the users to change their password is not an option at this time.

Any help greatly appreciated. Dennis

1 Answer 1


From http://thebackroomtech.com/2008/03/10/windows-server-2008-password-complexity-requirements/

To lift the password complexity:

secedit /export /cfg C:\new.cfg

Then you edit new.cfg (it is ini format) and change line “PasswordComplexity = 1″ to “PasswordComplexity = 0″.

Apply it with:

secedit /configure /db %windir%\security\new.sdb /cfg C:\new.cfg /areas SECURITYPOLICY

  • Don't forget to also check the "MinimumPasswordLength" line. I disabled the password complexity requirement using the above steps, but didn't realize for a while that I need to change the minimum password length requirement because my password was also shorter than the minimum length.
    – voon
    Apr 4, 2017 at 22:42

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