If I fail when entering my password a couple times Windows (it used to do this on 7, but I've since upgraded to 10 and the same thing occurs) it will show the loading wheel for a while before telling me that the password was wrong. It does this every time I fail afterwords until I enter it in correctly and it logs in normally. It "resets" after logging in successfully.

I don't usually fail several times in a row, but when I do it's really annoying. What could be causing this?

  • What you describe is normal.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 30 '15 at 11:45

This is intentional behavior on the part of Windows - it serves as a deterrent for a brute force attack.

Per an old MSDN article:

Another reason why invalid passwords take longer to reject is to reduce the effectiveness of dictionary attacks. If invalid passwords were rejected just as quickly as valid passwords were accepted, then a bad guy could just churn through a dictionary trying out invalid passwords at high speed. Adding a delay of a few seconds before rejecting invalid passwords introduces a minor inconvenience to users who mistyped their passwords, but makes a huge dent in stopping dictionary attacks.

  • Is there a way to shorten it? I timed it and it's almost 30 seconds. That's an annoying amount of time to wait around to re-enter a password (especially since sometimes it already starts on the first failed attempt). Jul 23 '20 at 14:00
  • 1
    @TakingItCasual As far as I'm aware, this behavior is hard-coded and cannot be changed by an end user. The closest thing my research turned up related to Group Policy options for account lockout policies (official documentation linked here). If this is a problem you frequently run into, I'd recommend looking into alternatives for authentication.
    – Brian
    Jul 26 '20 at 3:56

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