How to set a longer password on Office 365

This is a belated #TipTuesday, posted a day later than usual! Recently, support for longer passwords in Office 365 was announced but oddly enough, in some places the password change dialog boxes still limit you to 16 characters. Here’s how I worked around this.

Standard “password reset” feature - 16 char limit

Here’s a screenshot of a password reset window in my Office 365 tenant, and it clearly states my password must be between 8 and 16 characters. Hmm. My assumption is this will be noticed and rectified fairly quickly as it’s inconsistent with the next part I’m going to show you.

O365 error password can’t exceed 16 characters.

Workaround: “Forgot my password”

The current workaround is use the Forgot My Password link when you log into Office 365. If you use MFA/2FA like I do, simply cancel out of the dialog box that prompts to send a notification code and then click on Forgot my password.

Next, there may be one or two steps requiring you to verify with either an authenticator app code or text message or both depending on your organization’s MFA/2FA setup. I had to do both. Once I was past that part, the standard “choose a new password” section came up. Now I can select a password up to 256 characters.

Select a password window

That’s it! As I mention above, it’s very likely this will be corrected soon… but until then, this may help if you want to secure your account with a longer-than-16-character password.

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