Error: "Windows cannot complete the password change for ACCOUNT because: Access is denied" in Active Directory


You receive the following error message when attempting to change the password on a user account in Active Directory:

Windows cannot complete the password change for account_name because:
Access is denied.

example screenshot


Cause #1

You may not have permissions to change the password. By default, only NSCs have the ability to change functional user account passwords in the Active Directory, and they may only change accounts to which they have rights (such as accounts in their own departmental OU).

Cause #2

After you were given permissions to change the password, you may not have signed out of Windows and signed back in to refresh the permissions on your session.


Resolution for Cause #1

Locate someone with the appropriate access.

Resolution for Cause #2

Sign out of Windows and sign back in. Then, try resetting the password again.

TIP: Instead of signing out of Windows and signing back in, you can lock your computer. Then, unlock it using your current password. This will have the same effect of resetting your permissions as signing out and signing back in, but with the added advantages of speed and not having to exit any running programs.


If you have rights to change the password, you will be able to change it after signing out and signing back in.