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I've activated the "password complexity" setting on my Windows XP environment. I want users to come up with a decent password be default.

Sadly, I just now realised that I don't know the details of what is considered "complex" by XP. I've tried looking it up with Google and Bing, but I'm not getting any results.

Does anybody here know the rules for "complex passwords" on XP?

Like, minimum characters, capital, small, numbers, odd characters, etc...

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

From Microsoft - Enforcing Strong Password Usage Throughout Your Organization:

Passwords must meet complexity requirements determines whether password complexity is enforced. If this setting is enabled, user passwords meet the following requirements:

  • The password is at least six characters long.

The password contains characters from at least three of the following five categories:

  • English uppercase characters (A — Z)

  • English lowercase characters (a — z)

  • Base 10 digits (0 — 9)

  • Non-alphanumeric (For example: !, $, #, or %)

  • Unicode characters

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