When you install the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), you get the older Active Directory Users and Computers but also the newer Active Directory Administrative Center. The ADAC got a refreshed look on Windows 8 and I have been trying to use it over ADUC because of its better global search and faster access to attributes. However, I ran into a small bug with the Administrative Center.
You can reset passwords for user objects by finding them in your AD structure or pulling them up through a search. You then right-click the User and choose Reset Password… from the context menu. You then have a window to type in the new password, confirm it by typing again, select whether the user must change the password at the next logon, or unlock the account.
When I need to reset a password, I will type it out in Notepad and paste it into the form. That way, I can see the password to read it off to the person and confirm that I entered the password correctly, quickly. I think this has worked out fairly well. When I had somebody else try it, they told me that they would always get an error message:
“Failed to reset the password for [account]. The password does not meet the length, complexity, or history requirement of the domain.”
In Notepad, you can see the password and see that it meets all of the requirements. Making it more complex or substituting characters to ensure it is unique results in the same thing. If you manually type in the same password it will go through.
The trick? They were right-clicking in each password field and choosing Paste each time. I would always use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+V, to paste the password. Right after they receive the error, you can blank the password fields, press Ctrl+V, and submit the password change successfully.
Through some testing, I confirmed that right-click and paste will result in the complexity error each time. You get the same result with the RSAT Active Directory Administrative Center on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. It does not matter how you copy the password (Ctrl+C or right-click Copy) but only how you paste the password in. This seems to be a silly, minor bug that has persisted through versions for a while now.