This page will offer some tips for making the password changing process as easy as possible.  Before changing your password, we suggest enrolling in the Password Management Tool. This online tool will allow you to unlock your account or reset a forgotten or lost password without IT intervention.  If your account becomes locked out, it will automatically unlock after 30 minutes.  Whenever possible, plan ahead to change your password before leaving campus.


Before changing your password

  • Determine where your password may be stored
    • Email app on mobile device(s)
    • Mapped network drives such as the H: drive
    • Network printers
    • These are three common possibilities, but this is not an exhaustive list
  • Register in the Password Management Tool if you have not already done so

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Changing your password

  • On campus users may press CTRL + ALT + DELETE on any College-owned Windows devices and choose Change a password
  • If any of these apply, use the Password Management Tool to change your password
    • You are changing your password from off campus
    • You are on a College-owned Mac computer
    • You are using a personal computer
  • Cornell's password requirements will be displayed to help you make a decision about a new password

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After changing your password

  • College-owned / office computers
    • Windows systems
      • In most cases, further action is not required
      • Remote employees will need to log in with their old password until their laptop connects with the campus network again through being on campus or connected through the VPN
        • When connecting through the VPN, account lockout issues are likely until the screen is locked and subsequently unlocked with the new password
    • Mac systems
      • After changing your password, restart the computer
      • The next time you log in, you should be prompted to Update Keychain
      • If you're not prompted to Update Keychain, you'll need to manually update it
        • Open Keychain Access located in Applications > Utilities
        • From the Edit menu, choose  Change Password for Keychain "login"
        • Type your old password, then click OK
        • If the correct password is entered, a new window appears.  Enter your old password in the Current Password field
        • In the New Password and Verify password fields, type your new password, then click OK
  • Personal computers
    • Windows systems
      • Remove stored Cornell passwords, as these will be your old password
        • Search for and open Credential Manager from your Start Menu
          • If you're using Windows 7, select Remove From Vault beside any password entries referencing a Cornell service (filesrv1 and print1 are two common entries)
          • If you're using Windows 8/8.1/10, you'll also need to click the Windows Credentials box after opening Credential Manager
          • The next time you use these services, you'll be prompted for current credentials
    • Mac systems
      • Remove stored Cornell passwords from Keychain Access
        • Open Keychain Access located in Applications Utilities
        • Look through the list of stored passwords and remove any that are Cornell related.
        • The next time you use these services, you'll be prompted for current credentials
  • Mobile devices
    • Most mobile devices (Android / iPad / iPhone) should prompt you to update your stored email passwords automatically.  If not, you may need to remove the account and recreate it.  Instructions for that process may be found here

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Frequently asked questions

  • Why are password changes necessary?
    • Password changes are necessary to promote security and reduce the chance of unauthorized account access due to a compromised password.
  • What causes an account to become locked out?
    • Accounts are locked out after 5 incorrect password attempts.  After a period of 30 minutes has elapsed, accounts will automatically unlock.  Lockouts are a security measure against "brute force" password attacks.  The Password Management Tool can be used to unlock an account
  • Do I need to reconnect my devices to the CornellSecure wireless network after a password change?
    • No action is needed.  CornellSecure authenticates personal devices via certificates and does not rely on a password for access

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