Community Knowledge Base

Password Requirements

To ensure the security of the mail server and its mailboxes, system administrators can specify minimum requirements for user passwords. This includes things like setting requirements for how a password is generated (character count, upper/lowercase, etc.) as well as whether passwords expire, whether previous passwords can be used, and more. When accessing Password Requirements, the following settings are available:


  • Minimum Password Length - Enter the minimum number of characters the password must have.
  • At least one number - Select this option to force users to include a number in the password.
  • At least one capital letter - Select this option to force users to include a capital letter in the password.
  • At least one lowercase letter - Select this option to force users to include a lowercase letter in the password.
  • At least one symbol - Select this option to force users to include a symbol in the password.
  • May not match username - Select this option to ensure that the username and password do not match.


  • Prevent common passwords - Select this option to prevent users from configuring passwords that are included in the list of commonly used, insecure passwords. Note: The default location of the list of commonly used passwords is: C:\Program Files (x86)\SmarterTools\SmarterMail\Service\Settings\Common_Passwords.json.
  • Prevent previous passwords reuse - Select this option to prevent users from using any previously used passwords. Note: This setting prohibits old passwords from being used indefinitely. It is not based on a time interval.
    • Previous Passwords to Block - Some administrators will allow re-use of passwords after a certain amount of time, or after some number of rotations. This number reflects the number of times a new password needs to be used befor a password can be re-used. By default, this is set to 0, meaning passwords can never be re-used.
  • Skip enforcement for existing passwords - Select this option to skip existing users when making changes to password requirements -- meaning the changes will only affect new users or new passwords.
  • Enable password retrieval - Select this option to allow users to reset their password if they forget it. Note: In order for users to utilize password retrieval, they must have a Recovery Address configured in their account settings.


Password expriration settings are conditional based on whether items are enabled or disabled on the card. Initially, no settings are available as "Passwords expire automatically" is disabled. Enabling this lists the following:

  • Passwords expire automatically - Enable this setting to activate password expiration, forcing users to update their passwords at your specified time.
  • Password Expiration (Months) - The number of months that a password is valid. After the specified time, a user’s outgoing SMTP will be disabled and a password change will be forced upon Web interface login. Move the slider to the right to enable this setting. Note: If a user's 'Disable password changes' setting is enabled, their password will not expire.
  • User Notification Timing (Days separated by commas) - The interval(s) used to notify users of when their password will expire or when their auto-block grace period will end and, subsequently, their outgoing SMTP will be disabled. The default values are 28, 14, 7, 3, 2, 1 days. This means SmarterMail will send out warning messages to the user to change their password 28 days, 14 days, 7 days, 3 days, 2 days and 1 day before their password officially expires or the grace period ends if their password violates the requirements. Note: SmarterMail will send one, single notification for all missed intervals. For example, imagine "Auto-block Grace Period" is set for 30 days and the "User Notification Timing" is set at 60, 45, 25, 10, 2, 1. When a user is in violation, SmarterMail will send a single notification for the 60 and 45 day intervals then continue as normal at the 25 day interval.
  • Disable outbound mail after grace period ends - Select this option to disable outgoing SMTP after the auto-block grace period ends when a user’s password does not meet the password requirements.
  • Auto-block Grace Period (Days) - The number of days a user can wait to update their password before outgoing SMTP is disabled due to password policy violation. Note: This setting only applies if the "Disable outgoing SMTP when auto-block grace period ends" setting is enabled.

Password Compliance

The Password Compliance tab offers system administrators a way to find users that aren't following the password requirements that have been set up. For any Users who appear on this list, the system administrator is able to either email the users individually, or force their non-compliant password to expire. This latter action means that the user will be forced to change their password the next time they log in to their email account. In addition, it's possible to export a list of the non-compliant users in CSV format.

When Users appear on this page, the following information will be available:

  • Username - The username of the non-compliant account
  • Authentication - The Authentication Mode used by the account: SmarterMail or Active Directory.
  • Domain - The domain name that's associated to the Username.
  • Password Changes Disabled - If a specific user has the ability to change their password disabled, their user is marked accordingly in this column.
  • Violations - The number of password requirment violations encountered for the User.