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How to Specify a Maximum and Minimum PIN Length in Windows 10

information   Information
Windows Hello in Windows 10 enables users to sign in to their device using a PIN (Personal Identification Number). You can use this PIN to sign in to Windows, apps, and services.

One important difference between a password and a Hello PIN is that the PIN is tied to the specific device on which it was set up. That PIN is useless to anyone without that specific hardware. Someone who steals your password can sign in to your account from anywhere, but if they steal your PIN, they'd have to steal your physical device too!

Even you can't use that PIN anywhere except on that specific device. If you want to sign in on multiple devices, you have to set up Hello on each device.

Maximum PIN length configures the maximum number of characters allowed for the PIN.

Minimum PIN length configures the minimum number of characters required for the PIN.

This tutorial will show you how to specify a maximum and minimum PIN length requirement for users in Windows 10.

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.

Note   Note
If you set the Maximum PIN length policy to enabled, users are required to have their PIN length less than or equal to the number of characters you specified.

If you set this Maximum PIN length policy to disabled or not configured (default), users are required to have their PIN length less than or equal to 127 characters.

If you set the Minimum PIN length policy to enabled, users are required to have their PIN length greater than or equal to the number of characters you specified.

If you set this Minimum PIN length policy to disabled or not configured (default), users are required to have their PIN length greater than or equal to 4 characters.



After you apply this policy, users will be required to change their PIN to meet the new PIN complexity requirements.


Contents:
  • Option One: To Specify a Maximum and Minimum PIN Length using Group Policy
  • Option Two: To Specify a Maximum and Minimum PIN Length using Registry Editor


EXAMPLE: PIN complexity requirements
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Specify Maximum and Minimum PIN Length in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Specify Maximum and Minimum PIN Length in Windows 10
To Specify a Maximum and Minimum PIN Length using Group Policy

Note   Note
Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

All editions can use Option Two below.


1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor.

2. In the left pane of local group policy editor, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\PIN Complexity

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3. Do step 4 (max PIN length) and/or step 5 (min PIN length) below.


 4. To Specify a Maximum PIN Length

A) In the right pane of PIN Complexity in Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the Maximum PIN length policy to edit it. (see screenshot below step 2)

B) Select (dot) Enabled, enter a number between 4 to 127 in the Maximum PIN length field under Options, click/tap on OK, and go to step 5 (min PIN length) or step 6 (if finished) below. (see screenshot below)
Note   Note
Be sure to not enter a number lower than or equal to what you specified for the minimum PIN length. If you do, default values will be used for both the maximum and minimum PIN lengths.



Not Configured is the default setting.


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 5. To Specify a Minimum PIN Length

A) In the right pane of PIN Complexity in Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the Minimum PIN length policy to edit it. (see screenshot below step 2)

B) Select (dot) Enabled, enter a number between 4 to 127 in the Minimum PIN length field under Options, click/tap on OK, and go to step 4 (max PIN length) or step 6 (if finished) below. (see screenshot below)
Note   Note
Be sure to not enter a number higher than or equal to what you specified for the maximum PIN length. If you do, default values will be used for both the maximum and minimum PIN lengths.



Not Configured is the default setting.


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6. Close the local group policy editor.

7. Restart the computer to apply.






Specify Maximum and Minimum PIN Length in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Specify Maximum and Minimum PIN Length in Windows 10
To Specify a Maximum and Minimum PIN Length using Registry Editor

1. Press the Win+R keys to open Run, type regedit into Run, and click/tap on OK to open Registry Editor.

2. Navigate to the key below in the left pane of Registry Editor. (see screenshots below step 4A and step 5A)
Note   Note
If you do not have the PassportForWork key, then right click or press and hold on the Microsoft key, click/tap on New, click/tap on Key, type PassportForWork, and press Enter.

If you do not have the PINComplexity key, then right click or press and hold on the PassportForWork key, click/tap on New, click/tap on Key, type PINComplexity, and press Enter.


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\PassportForWork\PINComplexity


3. Do step 4 (max PIN length) and/or step 5 (min PIN length) below.


 4. To Specify a Maximum PIN Length

A) In the right pane of the PINComplexity key, double click/tap on the MaximumPINLength DWORD to modify it. (see screenshot below)
Note   Note
If you do not have a MaximumPINLength DWORD, then right click or press and hold on an empty area in the right pane of the PINComplexity key, click/tap on New, click/tap on DWORD (32-bit) Value, type MaximumPINLength, and press Enter.


Click image for larger version. 

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B) Select (dot) Decimal, enter a number between 4 to 127, click/tap on OK, and go to step 5 (min PIN length) or step 6 (if finished) below. (see screenshot below)
Note   Note
Be sure to not enter a number lower than or equal to what you specified for the minimum PIN length. If you do, default values will be used for both the maximum and minimum PIN lengths.



Deleting the MaximumPINLength DWORD will use its default setting.


Name:  Max_PIN_length-2.png
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 5. To Specify a Minimum PIN Length

A) In the right pane of the PINComplexity key, double click/tap on the MinimumPINLength DWORD to modify it. (see screenshot below)
Note   Note
If you do not have a MinimumPINLength DWORD, then right click or press and hold on an empty area in the right pane of the PINComplexity key, click/tap on New, click/tap on DWORD (32-bit) Value, type MinimumPINLength, and press Enter.


Click image for larger version. 

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B) Select (dot) Decimal, enter a number between 4 to 127, click/tap on OK, and go to step 4 (max PIN length) or step 6 (if finished) below. (see screenshot below)
Note   Note
Be sure to not enter a number higher than or equal to what you specified for the maximum PIN length. If you do, default values will be used for both the maximum and minimum PIN lengths.



Deleting the MinimumPINLength DWORD will use its default setting.


Name:  Min_PIN_length-2.png
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6. Close the local group policy editor.

7. Restart the computer to apply.



That's it,
Shawn