Reset account lockout counter after

Updated: May 2, 2012

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Vista

This security policy reference topic for the IT professional describes the best practices, location, values, and security considerations for this policy setting.


The Reset account lockout counter after policy setting determines the number of minutes that must elapse from the time a user fails to log on before the failed logon attempt counter is reset to 0. If Account lockout threshold is set to a number greater than zero, this reset time must be less than or equal to the value of Account lockout duration.

A disadvantage to setting this too high is that users lock themselves out for an inconveniently long period if they exceed the account lockout threshold through logon errors. Users may make excessive Help Desk calls.

Possible values

  • A user-defined number of minutes from 1 through 99,999

  • Not defined

Best practices

  • You need to determine the threat level for your organization and balance that against the cost of your Help Desk support for password resets. Each organization will have specific requirements.


GPO_name**\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Account Policies\Account Lockout Policy**

Default values

Server type or Group Policy Object (GPO) Default value

Default domain policy

Not defined

Default domain controller policy

Not defined

Stand-alone server default settings

Not applicable

Domain controller effective default settings

Not defined

Member server effective default settings

Not defined

Client computer effective default settings

Not applicable

Operating system version differences

This policy setting has not changed since Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.

Security considerations

This section describes how an attacker might exploit a feature or its configuration, how to implement the countermeasure, and the possible negative consequences of countermeasure implementation.


Users can accidentally lock themselves out of their accounts if they mistype their password multiple times.


Configure the Reset account lockout counter after policy setting to 30.

Potential impact

If you do not configure this policy setting or if the value is configured to an interval that is too long, an attacker could attempt to log on to each user's account numerous times and lock out their accounts, a denial-of-service (DoS) attack might succeed, or administrators might have to manually unlock all locked-out accounts. If you configure this policy setting to a reasonable value, users can perform new attempts to log on after a failed logon within a reasonable time, without making brute force attacks feasible at high speeds. Be sure that you notify users of the values that are used for this policy setting so that they wait for the lockout timer to expire before they call the Help Desk.