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Changing your passphrase for Microsoft Windows 10

This step-by-step guide shows you how to set and change your passphrase for Windows 10.

Table of contents

What is a passphrase?

A passphrase is a more secure version of a password.

Passphrases use four or more random words as your password. For example, ‘crystal onion clay pretzel’.

Create passphrases that are:

  • Long: The longer your passphrase, the better. Make it at least 14 characters in length.
  • Unpredictable: use a random mix of unrelated words. No famous phrases, quotes or lyrics.
  • Unique: Do not reuse passphrases on multiple accounts. 

Why it is important to use a passphrase?

Passphrases are hard for cybercriminals to crack, but easy for you to remember.

For accounts or devices that don’t have multi-factor authentication enabled, it is important to use a unique strong passphrase to stay secure. In these situations, a secure passphrase may be the only barrier between adversaries and your valuable information.

Where do I change it?

Changing your Windows 10 passphrase is simple. It can be done via your account settings on your computer.

Changing your passphrase

1. Click on the Windows icon in the bottom left corner and click on Settings.

2. Click on Accounts.

3. Click on Sign-in options under the Accounts tab menu to the left.

4. Click on Password and then click on Change (if this is the first time creating a passphrase it will say Add). Here you can select other sign-in options for your computer.

Note: If your computer is linked to a Microsoft account, you can only change your password while you are connected to the Internet.

5. Enter your new passphrase (if you’re changing an existing password/passphrase you will need to enter your current password/ passphrase first). Then click Next.

6. Click Finish.


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