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Enforcing password policy

Posted on 2007-11-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I am trying to enforce a GPO password policy for all our domain users, and would prefer to implement this on individual user OU's. I changed the Default Domain Policy by going to Computer Configuration -> Workstation Settings -> Security Settings -> Account Policies -> Password Policy. My changes including password complexity worked, however, only at the computer level i.e. local accounts. How do I enforce a password policy at the domain level so it applies to specific domain users?
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Question by:qwert5905
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KCTS earned 250 total points
ID: 20385822
You cant - the password policy (and account policy) can only be applied at the domain level - not at the OU.
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by:Engineer_JO
ID: 20385864
yes you can't implement the password policy on user or OU level. you can implement it on domain level.

Best Luck
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by:KCTS
ID: 20385896
... to expand on my first commenr -  in windows 2000 and 2003 the same password and account policies must be applied at the domain and applies throughout the domain - you cannot have a different polict for different users, groups or OUs.

In Windows 2008 (due soon), the ability to have different policies on OUs has been added.
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Author Comment

by:qwert5905
ID: 20386201
Thanks for everyone's comments. So, why is the password policy updating the local computer policy and not affecting the network user accounts? I understand that the I've made changes to the Computer Configuration, which affects computers, however, why is this password policy modifed on the Default Domain Policy not enforced when I force password changes on network accounts?
Chris
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by:KCTS
ID: 20386217
In a domain the domain policy takes presidence over the local policy, the domain policy will apply to domain accounts.

To force the policy to update after immediately you need to run GPUPDATE /force from the run option
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by:Netman66
Netman66 earned 250 total points
ID: 20386653
To clarify what's been said so far:

1)  Password Policies affect Network (Domain) logons when set in the Default Domain Policy.
2)  You can only have one Password Policy per domain in Server 2003 (and 2000).
3)  Setting Password Policies at the OU level affect ONLY local accounts on the workstations.
4)  Once the Domain Policy has been modified, the password policy only takes effect for new accounts, password resets when passwords expires.  It does not take effect until such time.

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