Password for the Exchange or POP/IMAP Mailbox must meet complexity requirements. These conditions are also applied to passwords for FTP and MSSQL login for Web Hosting and Custom Email accounts.

Complexity rules:

  1. A password must not contain:
    • all or a part of SamAccountName;
    • all or a part of the email address;
    • the entire Display Name.
    Note: The checks are made against user property called SamAccountName which is visible on a user settings page. SamAccountName is constructed at the time of user creation and consists of the part of their UPN (primary email address) before the @ sign, plus "_" (underscore symbol) + Account name. Maximum size of SamAccountName is 20 characters. Account name may get truncated due to this limitation. You can look up SamAccountName by navigating to Users > click on user's name > click on Display name > See Domain \ User Name. SamAccountName and Full Name are parsed for delimiters: commas, periods, dashes or hyphens, underscores, spaces, pound signs, and tabs. If any of these delimiters are found, the SamAccountName or Full Name is split and each section is verified as not included in the password. There is no check for any individual character or any three characters in succession. 
  2. Minimum password length is eight (8) characters.
  3. The password must contain characters from three (3) of the following five (5) categories:
    • English uppercase letters (A-Z) 
    • English lowercase letters (a-z) 
    • Numbers (0-9)
    • Special characters (e.g. ! $ # %) 
    • Unicode characters that do not fall into one of the above categories (e.g., a Japanese character or Russian letter)
      Note: password complexity is enabled. Read the Microsoft TechNet article for more information.
  4. Password history is enabled and users are not be able to re-use their last 4 passwords.

Password can be either entered manually or generated automatically. A password meter pop-up checks if the password meets complexity requirements and determines if the password can be considered strong with the colored bars.