1.1.6 Ensure 'Relax minimum password length limits' is set to 'Enabled'

Information

This policy setting determines whether the minimum password length setting can be increased beyond the legacy limit of 14 characters. For more information please see the following Microsoft Security Blog.

The recommended state for this setting is: Enabled.

Note: This setting only affects local accounts on the computer. Domain accounts are only affected by settings on the Domain Controllers, because that is where domain accounts are stored.

Rationale:

This setting will enable the enforcement of longer and generally stronger passwords or passphrases where MFA is not in use.

Impact:

The Minimum password length setting may be configured higher than 14 characters.

If very long passwords are required, mistyped passwords could cause account lockouts and increase the volume of help desk calls. If your organization has issues with forgotten passwords due to password length requirements, consider teaching your users about passphrases, which are often easier to remember and, due to the larger number of character combinations, much harder to discover.

Solution

To establish the recommended configuration via GP, set the following UI path to Enabled:

Computer Configuration\Policies\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Account Policies\Password Policy\Relax minimum password length limits

Note: This setting is only available within the built-in OS security template of Windows 10 Release 2004 and Server 2022 (or newer), and is not available via older versions of the OS, or via downloadable Administrative Templates (ADMX/ADML). Therefore, you must use a Windows 10 Release 2004 or Server 2022 system (or newer) to view or edit this setting with the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) or Group Policy Management Editor (GPME).

Default Value:

Disabled. (The Minimum password length may be configured to a maximum of 14 characters.)

See Also

https://workbench.cisecurity.org/files/3719

Item Details

Category: IDENTIFICATION AND AUTHENTICATION

References: 800-53|IA-5(1), CSCv7|16.4

Plugin: Windows

Control ID: c70eb20136b966bc65f1da927e118b049e7e8b362c35c04b115e5abf41999deb