Making your Microsoft Exchange password different from your Windows logon password

Another reason Microsoft Exchange sucks:

I asked my company’s IT guy…
>> Do you know how I can allow my Windows and Exchange passwords can be different?
(backstory: when I set the differently, I would get my email only like once a week… the stars would have to align or something. Maybe the data had to flow just right over the VPN or something)

He found an email from a Microsoft Tech saying, in essence that no, your Exchange password can’t be different from your Windows login password.

From: Eriq Neale [MSFT] – view profile
Date: Sat, May 15 2004 10:46 am
Email: a-er… (Eriq Neale [MSFT])
Not yet ratedRating:
show options

Reply | Reply to Author | Forward | Print | Individual Message | Show original | Report Abuse | Find messages by this author

| Hi,
| We just created several new users and want to have the users change their
email – not Windows logon – password from either OWA or from Outlook.
| Can someone explain how that can be done.
| Thanks!
| alex

Hey Alex.

Unfortunately, you cannot have a separate e-mail password that is different
from the Windows password. Exchange 2000/2003 relies on Active Directory
for user authentication for e-mail clients. This is the same place where
Windows logon authentication is performed as well. This is different than
the behavior in Exchange 5.5, when Exchange maintained its own
username/password database.

Eriq Neale
Microsoft Corporation

Get Secure! –

I find his .sig to be particularly funny. Now, my work Exchange password (which is difficult for me to change) is tied to my Windows logon password on my laptop. My laptop logon password is loosely tied to my home computer because it is a nice convenience when the passwords are the same, then I don’t have to type my username/login when I want to view shared files. Arg!

And what if I wanted to be on 2 Exchange servers at once? I would have to tell one of them, “Could you please change my Exchange password to xxxxx? I want it to be the same as the password on the other system. Thanks.”


  1. Brian says:

    If I’m reading this right, your laptop’s only connection to the network where the Exchange server lives is the mail connection. You are remote, you don’t access printers or network drives.

    There has to be a way around your problem.

  2. Lee says:

    That’s correct. I don’t know my Exchange too well but here are some tidbits…
    I use a VPN to connect to file sharing resources. The VPN doesn’t have to be running to get my email. Exchange uses the “Exchange Proxy Settings” and an https:// proxy server to fetch email. Also, it uses the “mutually authenticate the session when connecting with SSL Principal name for proxy server”. Getting info from our IT guy is like pulling teeth from an elephant. It took -2- additional “Hey, what’s the deal” emails to go from this to this state.

  3. […] OpenGroupWare is an open source groupware package intended as an alternative to proprietary applications such as Exchange and PostPath. It is fairly robust in its feature set, and even integrates well with MS Outlook. […]

  4. Microsoft Hosted Exchange says:

    Why would you want your exchange and windows passwords to be different? I’ve never had this request from any user. They get all bent out of shape if they have to remember another password.

  5. lee says:

    >Why would you want your exchange and windows passwords to be different?

    Read the post.

Leave a Comment

Do not write "http://" or "https://" in your comment, it will be blocked. It may take a few days for me to manually approve your first comment.