1.2.3 Ensure 'Reset account lockout counter after' is set to '15 or more minute(s)'

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This policy setting determines the length of time before the Account lockout threshold resets to zero. The default value for this policy setting is Not Defined. If the Account lockout threshold is defined, this reset time must be less than or equal to the value for the Account lockout duration setting.

If you leave this policy setting at its default value or configure the value to an interval that is too long, your environment could be vulnerable to a DoS attack. An attacker could maliciously perform a number of failed logon attempts on all users in the organization, which will lock out their accounts. If no policy were determined to reset the account lockout, it would be a manual task for administrators. Conversely, if a reasonable time value is configured for this policy setting, users would be locked out for a set period until all of the accounts are unlocked automatically.

The recommended state for this setting is: 15 or more minute(s).

Note: Password Policy settings (section 1.1) and Account Lockout Policy settings (section 1.2) must be applied via the Default Domain Policy GPO in order to be globally in effect on domain user accounts as their default behavior. If these settings are configured in another GPO, they will only affect local user accounts on the computers that receive the GPO. However, custom exceptions to the default password policy and account lockout policy rules for specific domain users and/or groups can be defined using Password Settings Objects (PSOs), which are completely separate from Group Policy and most easily configured using Active Directory Administrative Center.


Users can accidentally lock themselves out of their accounts if they mistype their password multiple times. To reduce the chance of such accidental lockouts, the Reset account lockout counter after setting determines the number of minutes that must elapse before the counter that tracks failed logon attempts and triggers lockouts is reset to 0.


If you do not configure this policy setting or if the value is configured to an interval that is too long, a DoS attack could occur. An attacker could maliciously attempt to log on to each user's account numerous times and lock out their accounts as described in the preceding paragraphs. If you do not configure the Reset account lockout counter after setting, administrators would have to manually unlock all accounts. If you configure this policy setting to a reasonable value the users would be locked out for some period, after which their accounts would unlock automatically. Be sure that you notify users of the values used for this policy setting so that they will wait for the lockout timer to expire before they call the help desk about their inability to log on.


To establish the recommended configuration via GP, set the following UI path to 15 or more minute(s):

Computer Configuration\Policies\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Account Policies\Account Lockout Policy\Reset account lockout counter after

Default Value:

None, because this policy setting only has meaning when an Account lockout threshold is specified. When an Account lockout threshold is configured, Windows automatically suggests a value of 30 minutes.

See Also