No matter where you are using your Windows 10 computer it is always a good idea to secure your account with a strong password. If you are using a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows 10, you already have a password.
However, you cannot expect to have all the users sharing your computer to use a Microsoft account to sign in. In such a scenario, you may want to force users to secure their local account with a password.
When you make passwords mandatory for user accounts, as an administrator, whenever you create a new account, you are prompted to provide a password during the account creation process. If a user tries to change their password, they can’t simply leave the field blank.
When making a password mandatory for Windows 10 user accounts, you can also define the minimum number of characters a password must have. All these settings can be configured from the Local Group Policy Editor snap-in. Here is how:
- Log on to Windows 10 using an administrator account.
- Right-click the Start button when on the desktop window.
- Click Run from the context menu.
- In the Run command box, type GPEDIT.MSC and click OK.
- When the Local Group Policy Editor snap-in opens up, from the left pane, expand Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings >Account Policies.
- From the expanded list, click to select the Password Policy container.
- From the right pane, double-click the Minimum password length policy.
- When the Minimum password length Properties box opens, increase the numeric value in the Password must be at least box.
Note: The numeric value specified here would define the minimum number of characters the passwords must have. By default, the value is set to 0 which means the password can be left blank.
- Click OK when done and close the Local Group Policy Editor snap-in.
- Restart the PC.
- After aforementioned policy is applied, Windows will ask administrators to specify a password while creating new user accounts. In case of the existing users, you can follow the below steps to enforce users to define a password for their account:
- On the desktop screen, right-click the Start button again.
- Click Computer Management this time.
- From the left pane of the Computer Management snap-in, expand Local Users and Groups.
- Click to select the Users container from the displayed tree.
- From the right pane, right-click the user account that you want to have a password.
- Click Properties from the context menu.
- When the user’s properties box opens, ensure that you are on the General tab.
- On the displayed interface, check the User must change password at next logon checkbox.
- Click OK and repeat the above steps for all the existing user accounts.
- Note: As users log on to Windows 10 for the first time after you have configured this setting, they will be prompted to change their password.