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How to Limit the Number of Failed Login Attempts on Windows 10

If someone has access to your PC, they might attempt to log in on your device by guessing your password. This could pose a serious security threat—especially if they end up cracking your password. To protect yourself from this, you can limit the number of failed login attempts on your PC.

You can configure these settings either through the Local Group Policy Editor or the Control Panel. Read on to find out how to limit the number of failed login attempts on Windows 10.

Why You Should Limit the Number of Failed Login Attempts

Limiting the number of failed login attempts on your PC is one of the best ways to secure your Windows 10 PC. Depending on the settings you choose, your locked account won’t be accessible until you reset it or the account lockout duration elapses.

Hackers can automate brute force password attacks to try thousands of password combinations to get through your account. Limiting the number of failed sign-ins can help you prevent security threats such as brute force attacks.

You can limit the number of failed login attempts on your PC by configuring the Account lockout threshold, the Reset account lockout counter, and the Account lockout duration settings.

1. Limit Failed Login Attempts Via the Local Group Policy Editor

If your PC runs Windows 10 Home Edition, you’ll first need to learn how to access the Group Policy Editor in Windows Home. Otherwise, for all other Windows 10 versions, here’s how you can limit the number of failed login attempts using the Local Group Policy Editor.

  1. Press the Windows Key + R, type gpedit.msc, and hit Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  2. In the navigation pane on the left-hand side, navigate to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Account Policies > Account Lockout Policy.
  3. Click the Account Lockout Policy key. You should see the following three settings in the right-hand side pane: Account lockout duration, Account lockout threshold, and the Reset account lockout counter after.
Account Lockout Policy window

The Account lockout threshold policy setting allows you to limit the number of login attempts on your PC. Users will not access your locked account until you reset it or the time you’ve specified on the Account lockout duration policy setting expires.

To configure the Account lockout threshold, you need to set a value from 1-999. This number will determine the allowed login attempts on your PC before your account locks. Setting the value to 0 will not lock your account—regardless of how many password attempts someone makes.

  1. To configure this setting, double-click the Account lockout threshold policy setting.
  2. Specify your desired lockout threshold value in the Account will lock out after box.
  3. Click Apply and then click OK.
Account lockout threshold policy setting window

The Reset account lockout counter after policy setting helps determine the number of minutes that must elapse before your account locks. This setting requires you first to determine the Account lockout threshold policy setting.

As an example, you can set the Account lockout threshold to five attempts and the Reset account lockout counter after policy to five minutes. This will give the user five password attempts within five minutes before your account locks. You can specify a number between one and 99,999 minutes when configuring the Reset account lockout counter after policy setting.

  1. To configure this setting, double-click the Reset account lockout counter after policy setting.
  2. Specify your desired account lockout counter value in the Reset account lockout counter after box.
  3. Click Apply and then click OK.
Reset account lockout counter after policy setting window

The Account lockout duration policy setting determines how long your account will remain locked before it automatically unlocks. Like the Reset account lockout counter setting, this setting requires you to determine the Account lockout threshold policy setting value.

As an example, you can set the Account lockout threshold to five attempts and the Account lockout duration policy setting to five minutes.

If a user enters an incorrect password for all five attempts, your account will lock for five minutes before it automatically unlocks. Depending on how long you want your account to lock, you can choose a value between one and 99,999 minutes. Alternatively, you can choose zero if you want your account to lock until you manually unlock it.

  1. To configure this setting, double-click the Account lockout duration policy setting.
  2. Specify your desired lockout duration value in the Account is locked out for box.
  3. Click Apply and then click OK.
Account lockout duration policy setting window

When you finish, close the Local Group Policy Editor and reboot your PC to save these changes.

2. Limit Failed Login Attempts Via the Command Prompt

Open the Command Prompt by following these steps:

  1. Press the Windows Key + R and type CMD.
  2. Click Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open an elevated Command Prompt.

To configure the Account lockout threshold, type the following command in the Command Prompt:

net accounts /lockoutthreshold:5
Configuring the Account lockout threshold setting in the Command Prompt

You can replace the value in the Command Prompt with any value from one to 999. This will determine how many failed login attempts your PC will allow.

Your account will automatically lock if a user enters incorrect passwords and ends up exceeding the lockout threshold value. Alternatively, you can choose zero if you don’t want your account to lock regardless of the number of failed login attempts. Click Enter after choosing a value.

To configure the Reset account lockout counter, type the following command in the Command Prompt:

net accounts /lockoutwindow:5
Configuring the Reset account lockout counter setting in the Command

You can replace the value in the Command Prompt with a number between one and 99,999. This will determine the number of minutes that must elapse before your account locks. Click Enter after choosing a value.

To configure the Account lockout duration, type the following command into the Command Prompt:

net accounts /lockoutduration:5
Configuring the Account lockout duration setting in the Command Prompt

You can replace the value in the Command Prompt with a number between one and 99,999. This will determine how long your account will remain locked before it automatically unlocks. If you set the value to zero, your account will lock until you manually unlock it. Click Enter after choosing a value.

When you finish, close the Command Prompt and reboot your PC to save the changes.

Easily Secure Your PC

You can easily secure your PC by applying the methods we’ve provided in this article. The process of limiting repeated login attempts is fairly simple and reduces the chance of someone accessing your PC. In addition to doing this, you can set up a strong password so that hackers won’t be able to hack your PC through brute force attacks.

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