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Updated UCOP password requirements take effect March 26

Editor’s note: After the publication of this article, the implementation date for this project was updated to March 26 (from April 2). The article below has been updated accordingly.

As part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen UCOP’s security protocols and to improve compliance with PCI Data Security Standard 4.0, ITS will be updating the policy governing user passwords for Active Directory (AD) logins. The changes will align our practices with industry standards and help to protect sensitive institutional and employee information.

The new password policy will take effect March 26, 2023.

Existing and updated password elements

The next time you update your AD password, the changes below will apply.

Current New What’s Changing
Password length Min. 8 characters Min. 12 characters Add 4 more characters
Complexity Must contain upper case, lower case and special character Must contain upper case, lower case and number Remove requirement for use of special character; add requirement for use of number
Expiration Expires every 180 days Expires every 180 days No change


Password filter We don’t use this Implement password filter to screen for commonly used words or phrases Implement a password filter



Password history – reuse Cannot reuse any of the past 24
passwords used
Cannot reuse any of the past 24
passwords used
No change



Password history – time between changes Cannot change password more than once in 24 hours Remove this restriction Allow unlimited changes in 24 hours


Account locking Account locked after 5 unsuccessful attempts
in 5 minutes
Account locked after 10 unsuccessful attempts
in 5 minutes
Allow 5 more attempts before account locks


Automatically unlock accounts after 60 minutes Disable automatic unlocking


Accounts do not automatically unlock


How to change your password

If you use a UCOP-owned PC laptop, please log in to VPN prior to changing your password. Simultaneously select the CTRL+ALT+DEL keys, then select “Change a password.”

If you are a Mac user, go to to change your password. There is a one-time registration for this self-service. Get Mac instructions here.

Need help?

If you have problems changing your password or are locked out of your computer, contact the Service Desk at or (510) 987-0457.


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