How to Set the Alert for Pending Password Expiration Warning

Did you know that passwords that are changed periodically are more secure? Passwords can be set so that they expire within a certain period. When passwords are about to expire, a warning is sent to the user.

This registry tweak for Windows XP will determine how early or how late the warning notice will be sent. Since this procedure involves making changes to the registry, you should create a backup prior to making any edits.

To set the alert you need to:

  1. Click Start and go to Run. Enter regedit.
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and expand.
  3. Look for the SOFTWARE folder. Expand the folder until you see the Microsoft folder.
  4. Expand the Microsoft folder. Proceed to the Windows NT folder.
  5. Go to the CurrentVersion folder and expand.
  6. This will take you to the Winlogon folder.
  7. Look at the right side of the registry editor. If you see PasswordExpiryWarning as one of the value names listed, go to step eight. If you do not, create the value. Instructions for creating PasswordExpiryWarning are listed below.
    • Right click on the right side of the box.
    • Select New and then select DWORD.
    • Rename the new DWORD value PasswordExpiryWarning. Or, right click on the new DWORD value and select Rename.
  8. Double click on PasswordExpiryWarning. A new box will appear.
  9. In the value data field, type in the number of days before the password expires that a warning will be sent. Example, if you put in 5, a warning will appear five days before your password is set to expire.
  10. Exit the registry and reboot.

You may increase your security by periodic changes in your password. However, remember that changing the password will not be of much help if your password is inherently weak. A strong password plus periodic changes will help increase your security.