10 ways to change password in Remote Desktop session

As a regular user of Remote Desktop sessions, you may have been confronted with the case to change your password. Control-Alt-Delete (CTRL-ALT-DEL) doesn’t allow you to change the password in the remote session, but instead gives you a menu on your actual host

Change password in Remote Desktop

There are many ways to change your password. Of course, when you’re working on your physical computer, you may just hit CTRL-ALT-DEL, but this won’t work in an RDP session



Sometimes (but not always), CTRL-ALT-END helps you “ctrl-alt-delete” the session to change your password in the remote session. CTRL-ALT-END is the equivalent to CTRL-ALT-DELETE in RDP. However it depends on the OS-version session settings whether this works or not.

change password rdp session


On screen keyboard

The On Screen Keyboard (OSK) is a virtual keyboard on your screen. This works in Windows Server 2012 / Windows 7 and higher. To reset your password with the OSK, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start
  2. Type osk and hit enter to open the on screen keyboard.
    If this doesn’t work, press Windows+R to open your Run Command window. Type osk and click OK
  3. Press and Hold CTRL-ALT keys on your physical keyboard and then click on the DEL key in the virtual keyboard (on screen)
  4. Minimize the OSK
  5. Click Change a password.
    on screen keyboard

Run the shell

You can directly launch the shell to get the Windows Security Options displayed. To do so, open the Run-box or open a command prompt and copy-paste:

C:\Windows\explorer.exe shell:::{2559a1f2-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}


Run a VBS-script

This one is nice too. Copy paste the lines below to a Notepad and save the file as securityoptions.vbs . Then open/run/execute the VBS. It will launch the Windows Security Options screen to change the password

Set objShell = CreateObject(“Shell.Application”)


In case you have a keyboard with the ALTGR-key, you may also use ALTGR+END to simulate CTRL-ALT-DELETE. I believe German keyboards in particuar have this key.


Reset your password in an RDP session

In contrast to changing a password, resetting a password does not require you to remember the current password. Instead you just overwrite the existing password (if any) and set a new password.

Active Directory Users and Computers

When logged on to a computer that has active directory tools installed, you may use Active Directory Users and Computers to reset the password . You need user account privileges to do so, however.

  1. Open Active Directory Users and Computers from your startmenu (or quicker: Start -> Run -> dsa.msc)
  2. Localize the account (tip: at top level, right-click and choose Find… )
  3. Right-click the account, and choose Reset Password…


Net user

Assuming it’s a local user (so NOT a domain user account), you can use net user to change a users’ password. To do so:

  1. Click Start -> Run (or press Win+R)
  2. Type something like “net user $username $password”. I.e. if the user account is named Peter, you could reset its password by typing: net user Peter P@55w0rd.


Powershell: Set-ADAccountPassword

In case of a domain user account, you may use the Set-ADAccountPassword cmdlet in Powershell. Note that the Active Directory module must be loaded.

Set-ADAccountPassword -Identity Peter -NewPassword (Read-Host -Prompt “Provide New Password” -AsSecureString) -Reset


Powershell: Set-LocalUser

In case of a local user, you may use the Set-LocalUser cmdlet in Powershell to reset a local users’ password

Get-LocalUser ‘Peter’ | Set-LocalUser -Password (Read-Host -Prompt “Provide New Password” -AsSecureString)

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Jean-Paul Pennings

explorer shell:::{2559a1f2-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}


Why are they so many typos?
> Localize the account (tip: at top level, right-click and choose Find… )

How do you “localize” an account????


How is that a typo? Isn’t that US Englishing spelling?


+100 to carma


Thanks for this blog. The OSK option did the trick for me.


Thank you so much


Thank you, it really helpful


Thankyou, first option worked straight away! 🙂


Thanks a lot. CTRL-ALT-END option worked straight away for me.

Nick Carr

This is good advice but I was in an RDP within another RDP as we do support from home. This worked for me:



this VBS does not work on my win8:
Set objShell = CreateObject(“Shell.Application”)
error message-invalid character.


Don’t copy quotation marks from a website, type them manually.

Raj Harkare

Nice Post, thanks for sharing




Thanks!!! Ctrl-Del-End worked for me..


thanks you

Richard Harmon

CTR-ALT-END, such an easy solution to changing a password on a workstation that I had to RDP to. Those dummies at MS can not document such a short and easy solution. Thank you people at at itexperience. I’m holding onto your web page for the remaining year I have at working and will share it with coworkers and customers.


Thank you all for suggesting CTRL-ALT-END solution. I never heard or read this anywhere else. It worked. Thank you thank you and Thank you.

John Coleman

OSK did the trick, thank you

Claudiu C

I tried OSK but pressing with the mouse Ctrl, Alt and Del. Not OK. Only when you press physically Ctrl&Alt and use OSK for Del is OK.


Ctrl + Alt + end works . Many Thanks !

p k

thank you so much for this trick


Thank you


Thank you so much.


This worked for me,


If you are getting this error, you are probably trying to reset the password and this should help:

This procedure is the only one which worked for me on a Windows 2012 R2 RDP session:
Click Start.
Type osk (to bring up the on screen keyboard)
Hit enter.
Once the on screen keyboard is open, hold ctrl+Alt on your physical keyboard, then click on the del key in the on screen keyboard.
Minimize the on screen Keyboard.


Wow! That was the only option that worked for me!
My “beloved” IT disabled everything else! Such paranoia for a so lame security we have… I’m in a very distant remote work, it’s impossible to do it personally.




thank u so much, it really helpful for me


Thank you for posting all these alternatives !


Fantastic! osk keyboard worked for me. Thanks!


Thanks for posting this! It really helped a lot.


Thanks! I’m now able to change the password without waiting for it to expire. Also, another thing, how often does it ask for a password reset? Is there any way find out?


Thanks, The powershell AD password should be one that always works..


Perfect! Ctrl-Alt-End worked for me


i don’t have End


help i have no del key i have shift and alt and ctrl


I’m running a VD inside a VD… the shell command totally worked. 😀


Worked for me, after my IT department had no idea what to do

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