Reset the Farm Passphrase in SharePoint 2010



So, you are adding a new server to the farm and you can’t locate that very important password that was on a sticky note attached to your monitor for all to see? No problem! You can use PowerShell to reset / change that forgotten farm passphrase. Note that I said reset and not retrieve. There is currently no option to retrieve the existing farm passphrase.

  • Open the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell (Start > All Programs > Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products > SharePoint 2010 Management Shell)
  • Enter this at the PowerShell prompt:
    • $passphrase = ConvertTo-SecureString -asPlainText -Force
  • Input the new passphrase and hit Enter
  • Enter this at the PowerShell prompt:
    • Set-SPPassPhrase -PassPhrase $passphrase -Confirm
  • You will be asked to confirm the passphrase by re-entering it
  • Re-enter the passphrase and hit Enter
  • You will be asked if you are sure that you want to perform this action, type Y (for Yes) and hit Enter
  • Your farm passphrase has now been reset!


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12 Comments on “Reset the Farm Passphrase in SharePoint 2010”

  1. Brian Jones Says:

    I am trying to change the password with the instruction above. I get the error message “You need to have Machine Administrator priv to run this cmdlet.” The account I am logged into the server with is a machine admin. Are there any other permissions I need to run this process. Thanks


    • sptwentyten Says:

      Make sure you are running the PowerShell session as Admin….meaning, right click no the PowerShell icon and do “Run as Administrator”


  2. Michael T Says:

    We used the steps above and get the following error:
    Set-SPPassPhrase : Error deploying administration application pool credentials.
    Another deployment may be active. An object of the type Microsoft.SharePoint.A
    dministration.SPMasterPassphraseDeploymentJobDefinition named “job-admin-passph
    rase-change” already exists under the parent Microsoft.SharePoint.Administratio
    n.SPTimerService named “SPTimerV4”. Rename your object or delete the existing
    At line:1 char:17
    + Set-SPPassPhrase <<<< -PassPhrase $passphrase -Confirm
    + CategoryInfo : InvalidData: (Microsoft.Share…etSetPassPhrase:
    SPCmdletSetPassPhrase) [Set-SPPassPhrase], InvalidOperationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell.SPCmdletSetPassP
    However, no such job exists.


  3. sarsinarah Says:

    Hi Adam, very useful document, Thank you.

    I have the same issue as Michael mentioned above, however I found that I should try to clean configuration cache in SharePoint and try again.
    I followed the steps from here for SP2010:
    but after all, the folder stays empty and Cache.ini is still 1, and no new .xml files are created. the PassPhrase reset still gives me the same error as above Michael mentioned.
    I appreciate if you can advice me anything, I am really in trouble as my manager wants me to instal project server today and without PassPhrase, I’m doomed.

    Many Thanks,


  4. Swetha Says:

    Thanks. This was really helpful.


  5. ashwini Says:

    This is helpfull!Thanks



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