SqlConnection.ChangePassword Method

Note: This method is new in the .NET Framework version 2.0.

Changes the SQL Server password for the user indicated in the connection string to the supplied new password.

Namespace: System.Data.SqlClient
Assembly: System.Data (in system.data.dll)

public static void ChangePassword (
	string connectionString,
	string newPassword
public static void ChangePassword (
	String connectionString, 
	String newPassword
public static function ChangePassword (
	connectionString : String, 
	newPassword : String



The connection string that contains enough information to connect to the server that you want. The connection string must contain the user ID and the current password.


The new password to set. This password must comply with any password security policy set on the server, including minimum length, requirements for specific characters, and so on.

Exception typeCondition


The connection string includes the option to use integrated security.


Either the connectionString or the newPassword parameter is null.

When you are using SQL Server 2005 on Windows Server 2003 or later, developers can take advantage of functionality that lets the client application supply both the current and a new password in order to change the existing password. Applications can implement functionality such as prompting the user for a new password during initial login if the old one has expired, and this operation can be completed without administrator intervention.

The ChangePassword method changes the SQL Server password for the user indicated in the supplied connectionString parameter to the value supplied in the newPassword parameter. If the connection string includes the option for integrated security (that is, "Integrated Security=True" or the equivalent), an exception is thrown.

To determine that the password has expired, calling the Open method raises a SqlException. In order to indicate that the password that is contained within the connection string must be reset, the Number property for the exception contains the status value 18487 or 18488. The first value (18487) indicates that the password has expired and the second (18488) indicates that the password must be reset before logging in.

This method opens its own connection to the server, requests the password change, and closes the connection as soon as it has completed. This connection is not retrieved from, nor returned to, the SQL Server connection pool.

The following console application demonstrates the issues involved in changing a user's password because the current password has expired.

using System;
using System.Data;
using System.Data.SqlClient;

class Program
    static void Main()
        catch (Exception ex)
            Console.WriteLine("Error: " + ex.Message);
        Console.WriteLine("Press ENTER to continue...");

    private static void DemonstrateChangePassword()
        // Retrieve the connection string. In a production application,
        // this string should not be contained within the source code.
        string connectionString = GetConnectionString();

        using (SqlConnection cnn = new SqlConnection())
            for (int i = 0; i <= 1; i++)
                // Run this loop at most two times. If the first attempt fails, 
                // the code checks the Number property of the SqlException object.
                // If that contains the special values 18487 or 18488, the code 
                // attempts to set the user's password to a new value. 
                // Assuming this succeeds, the second pass through 
                // successfully opens the connection.
                // If not, the exception handler catches the exception.
                    cnn.ConnectionString = connectionString;
                    // Once this succeeds, just get out of the loop.
                    // No need to try again if the connection is already open.
                catch (SqlException ex)
                    if (i == 0 && ((ex.Number == 18487) || (ex.Number == 18488)))
                        // You must reset the password. 
                        connectionString =

                        // Bubble all other SqlException occurrences
                        // back up to the caller.
            SqlCommand cmd = new SqlCommand(
                "SELECT ProductID, Name FROM Product", cnn);
            // Use the connection and command here...

    private static string ModifyConnectionString(
        string connectionString, string NewPassword)

        // Use the SqlConnectionStringBuilder class to modify the
        // password portion of the connection string. 
        SqlConnectionStringBuilder builder =
            new SqlConnectionStringBuilder(connectionString);
        builder.Password = NewPassword;
        return builder.ConnectionString;

    private static string GetNewPassword()
        // In a real application, you might display a modal
        // dialog box to retrieve the new password. The concepts
        // are the same as for this simple console application, however.
        Console.Write("Your password must be reset. Enter a new password: ");
        return Console.ReadLine();

    private static string GetConnectionString()
        // For this demonstration, the connection string must
        // contain both user and password information. In your own
        // application, you might want to retrieve this setting
        // from a config file, or from some other source.

        // In a production application, you would want to 
        // display a modal form that could gather user and password
        // information.
        SqlConnectionStringBuilder builder = new SqlConnectionStringBuilder(
            "Data Source=(local);Initial Catalog=AdventureWorks");

        Console.Write("Enter your user id: ");
        builder.UserID = Console.ReadLine();
        Console.Write("Enter your password: ");
        builder.Password = Console.ReadLine();

        return builder.ConnectionString;

Windows 98, Windows 2000 SP4, Windows CE, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 2.0

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