Windows 7 Home Premium: turn off password expiration

I use Windows 7 Home Premium as the OS in the various virtual machines I run. This is a space saving thing more than anything: I've limited the boot drive space to 20GB on my base VM so that I can have as many cloned VMs as I want on my external drive, and I'm assuming that Ultimate takes up a lot more room. Anyway...

The base install of Win7 Home Premium sets passwords to expire after 42 days. For a VM this is somewhat overkill (after all, I have to log in to my real machine in order to run the VM), so, today when I tried to log in and the OS came up with "your password has expired, change it" I decided to fix it instead.

Unfortunately the standard way of fixing this (running lusrmgr.msc -- just enter that in the Start search box) doesn't work in the Home Premium version because the snap-in it runs isn't present. Bah. Instead you have open up a Command Prompt as administrator (type "Command Prompt" in the Start search box and instead of just pressing Enter as normal, you right-click the menu item for it and select "Run as administrator") and type the following command at the prompt:

net accounts /maxpwage:unlimited

and press Enter. That should do it. (If you get access error 5, you didn't run Command Prompt as administrator.)

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12 Responses

#1 Bob E said...
29-Jan-10 12:43 PM

Thank you! Thank you!

I used to love Windows, but now I feel like an idiot. They’ve hidden everything, it’s absolutely ridiculous. I never had a virus I couldn’t fix, but I’ve found tons of new Microsoft “improvements” that logic does just not follow. I can’t wait for Google to make an open source operating systems!!!

julian m bucknall avatar
#2 julian m bucknall said...
29-Jan-10 7:07 PM

Bob: Glad I could help! The "net" command is a handy command line program -- it has other uses for different parameters, type "net /help" to find others.

Cheers, Julian

#3 Gustavo said...
09-Aug-10 8:16 PM

Tank Julian, this tip works like a charm

#4 Geert-Jan said...
20-Sep-10 11:27 AM

Good tip!! thanks! Why this is hidden / disabled in Win7 is beyond me, I understand that the average home user needs some protection from messing with 'advanced' settings but this should at least be available 'somewhere' :(

#5 Kevin said...
12-Aug-11 11:49 AM

Great tip thanks. It's been driving my wife mad having to change her password all the time, this has solved it.

Why doesn't the Bill Gates mob tell us things like this?

#6 dunc said...
11-May-12 2:28 PM

how do you run command prompt as an administrator - half finished answer

julian m bucknall avatar
#7 julian m bucknall said...
11-May-12 6:03 PM

@dunc: Are you kidding me? Did you read the post? Let's see, right after I say "you have [to] open up a Command Prompt as administrator", I wrote something in parentheses:

(type "Command Prompt" in the Start search box and instead of just pressing Enter as normal, you right-click the menu item for it and select "Run as administrator")

That's pretty much it.

Cheers, Julian

#8 Andrew said...
17-Jan-13 9:53 AM

Saved me, thank you.

#9 hdune said...
11-Mar-13 4:07 PM

THANK YOU! I was in China and about to do a presentation when I got the warning about my password expiring, but was too jetlagged and thought I had 24 hours. And I DID! 24 hours EST time, so I woke up and couldn't log into my computer. Didn't have the bloody disc with me! And had another week on the road. Thank God I had saved everything on Cloud and could get through the firewall to download it to someone else's computer! But I NEVER want to go through that again. You have SAVED me hours of future frustration.

#10 Allen Hatfield said...
16-Oct-13 1:07 PM

Thanks, man. This was about the tenth page with similar instructions and YOURS was the first that said to CMD as Admin. Finally, someone with common sense. Thanks again!!!

#11 Dude said...
20-Mar-14 6:06 AM


#12 George Melendez said...
05-Nov-14 4:54 AM

Hi Julian

WOW.... I've been trying to solve this issue for so long and after I checked on Google with so many options that don't resolve the issue I found you. There are quite a few fixes but they are for WINS Pro or Ultimate and won't work for Home Premium. I wonder why would Microsoft hide this feature? It's such a headache to have to change your password every few months for really no reason. Sure, I understand that it's Microsoft way of securing my PC but shouldn't that be decided by the PC owner? I think that all administrative duties should be in the owners hands. What do you think? Thank you very much for the great tip and hope to hear from you soon,

George Melendez

Puerto Rico

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