I've read about the command net user <username> <password> /domain to "change" my domain account password. But this isn't asking for my current password, and I have the impression (although nobody warned me explicitly) that it really doesn't normally change/update my password, but instead reset it. This would mean that I lose access to all encrypted things bound to my credentials, e. g. EFS.

How can I change my password for a domain account on the command line without losing crypto access? I'm looking for a full functional equivalent of the Ctrl+Alt+Delete/Change Password GUI for automation. It should also accept the current password as command line parameter if necessary.

This is for Windows 7 and a similar-aged or more current domain controller. I have local administrator privilege but not for the domain, but I imagine that it shouldn't be necessary to change my own user password.

  • @Ramhound Linux works entirely differently. It has a single text file with password hashes that are only used for logins. You can use alternative login methods like SSH keys or su and still have all your data. Windows links crypto data to your credentials and this is what gets lost when you don't properly update your password, i. e. reset it. The Powershell command mentioned below also requires the old password unless the -reset switch is specified.
    – ygoe
    Sep 8, 2016 at 8:03

2 Answers 2


It isn't asking for your current password because probably you run command/script as yourself, so it uses your credentials.

You can use PowerShell Set-ADAccountPassword for this, if you want more powerful feature to change your password. You can also get credentials from user with Get-Credential.

You can use them after installing RSAT (Remote Server Admin Tools) and importing module through command Import-Module ActiveDirectory.

  • The command "Set-ADAccountPassword" is not recognised. Where does it come from?
    – ygoe
    Sep 8, 2016 at 8:01
  • I updated answer, let me know if you get it work.
    – hagier
    Sep 8, 2016 at 8:44
  • 3
    Oh, I wasn't looking for installing large additional frameworks for this. So I can't use it. Still looking for a simple command line solution.
    – ygoe
    Sep 8, 2016 at 9:36
  • You're trying to script ActiveDirectory actions, so I assumed you're an IT administrator (RSAT is a must-have). I have no idea where you have access, so maybe take a look at this article.
    – hagier
    Sep 8, 2016 at 10:12
  • 2
    I mentioned Windows 7 in my question and that's the machine I'm sitting at. I am not the network administrator, I just want to automate changing regular domain users' passwords, and only when logged in interactively. I'm looking for an automation equivalent of the Ctrl+Alt+Delete GUI with CMD, PS or simple Win API calls. Since this is a standard GUI to me as a user, I don't perceive this as an administrative operation.
    – ygoe
    Sep 8, 2016 at 12:17

PowerShell.exe -command "Set-ADAccountPassword -Identity “” -OldPassword (ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText "" -Force) -NewPassword (ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText "" -Force) -server """


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