There’s an issue in Windows 10 which causes Microsoft Account passwords to become out of sync when using Remote Desktop (RDP). For example, I have a few computer systems running Windows 10 which I only access via Remote Desktop using my Microsoft Account (for example, firstname.lastname@example.org). If I were to change my Microsoft Account password from another computer system or Outlook.com, the new password will not work when connecting over RDP. However, the old password will continue to authenticate successfully. This is both annoying and a security issue. Below is a method to force a password sync.
How to fix Microsoft Account password sync issue in Windows 10
The easiest way to resolve this issue is to create a local administrator account (not a Microsoft account) and then use the local account to runas an application using your Microsoft account. If that sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is.
The instructions below assume a local (non-Microsoft) account is not currently accessible on the affected machine. A local account is required to resolve the issue.
- From the affected system, click Start or Cortana and type “Command Prompt“. From the list of results, right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
- Run the following commands replacing “[username]” and “[password]” with any username and password of your choice. The first command creates the user account while the second command adds the account to the local administrators group.
net user /add [username] [password] net localgroup administrators [username] /add
- Log off and log back into the system using the local account you just created.
- Click Start or Cortana and type “Command Prompt” and hit Enter. Run the following command (update email@example.com with your Microsoft Account email address). This will launch another command prompt as the user account and force an update to what I assume is some sort of password cache. Close both Command Prompt windows and sign out.
runas /u:MicrosoftAccount\firstname.lastname@example.org cmd.exe
- You can remotely access the computer using your Microsoft account with the correct password. The old password will no longer work with RDP.