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Andy Li: Tech Tip of the Month- Resetting Passwords in Office 365


by Andy Li
Expert Educator Columnist, Hong Kong

Hello, teachers!

Office 365 is an extraordinary and powerful e-Learning platform for teaching and learning. This platform has a very high standard on security, such as password combinations. Office 365 requires password combinations comprising of small and capital letters together with numerical values. However, it is very difficult for primary school students to memorize the complex password combinations. Every time the students forget their passwords, teachers will have to log onto the systems and reset it for them. After that, teachers have to teach them how to change the default password, which can take away from precious instructional time.

Today, I am introducing an excellent method to overcome this problem.

First, we need to open and set up PowerShell 4.0. Please refer here for a guide on setting up PowerShell 4.0.

After PowerShell 4.0 is set up, we will use the command “Set-MsolUserPassword” to instruct the password change action.

The format of “Set-MsolUserPassword” is as follows:

Set-MsolUserPassword -UserPrincipalName <email> –NewPassword <new_password> -ForceChangePassword <variable>

  • -UserPrincipalName: the Office 365 email address of the students
  • -NewPassword:           new password of the students. Leaving this blank will force the system to generate a random password.     (Note: the new password still requires at least one capital letter, one small letter and one numerical value, between 8 and 16 digits without space and direct copy of the user name.)
  • -ForceChangePassword Variable($True/$False),if you set as $True,the students will have to change their passwords the next time they log onto Office 365.

For example, if student A forgets his password and his Office 365 email address was, we will need to reset his password to sS654321 without forcing him to change his password again when he logs onto Office 365 next time. The command is as follows:

Set-MsolUserPassword -UserPrincipalName –NewPassword sS654321 -ForceChangePassword $False

Hope this helps teachers everywhere spend less time on technical troubleshooting and more time on valuable teaching!

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