When creating these service accounts, for various reasons, we typically create a domain account in Active Directory and configure it such that the passwords do not expire. As well, we find that the passwords for these service accounts typically are not changed often. However, there are circumstances in which the password for the SharePoint 2013 farm account must be changed.
- One example of such a circumstance is if we suspect that the farm account has been compromised by a malicious user.
- Another example is when consultants, such as myself, are brought in to deploy new SharePoint 2013 environments. Once that deployment process is complete and the client is happy with the environment, rightfully so, the client typically wants to take complete control of the environment and restrict farm admin level access to only a small set of internal employees - essentially they want to prevent the consultants that deployed the environment from continuing to have farm administrative level access.
Changing the SharePoint 2013 farm account is a manual process. Its not something that is done often, so people often aren't sure which steps are required to ensure that it has been changed in all required locations. Always be sure to test this process in a TEST SharePoint 2013 environment and monitor that environment for a period of time before performing this process in a PRODUCTION environment. Your SharePoint 2013 farm may be configured differently that other standard configurations and your process may require extra steps.
For a standard SharePoint 2013 farm, the following are the steps required for modifying the SharePoint 2013 farm account:
- The farm administrator account must be made a local administrator on the server hosting the user profile service during the password change.
- Once that step is complete, launch SharePoint Central Admin, navigate to System Settings and click ‘Manage Services on Server’. This page is used to start and stop services on each machine in the farm. Select the machine hosting the user profile service and find that service. It should say started.
- Stop the service.
- Start the service again – when starting the script you’ll be asked for the new password
- Ensure that you monitor the user profile service and ensure that the service starts correctly.
- Once started, you may remove the farm administrator account as a local administrator. However, we often recommend leaving it as a local admin on the server for simplicity of making such changes in the future.
- Launch SharePoint Central Admin, click Application Management in the left hand menu, click Manage Service Applications, click the Secure Store Application and click Manage Target Applications.
- Select a single Target Application from the list.
- In the Credentials group on the ribbon, click Set. This opens the Set Credentials for Secure Store Target Application dialog box. If any target application uses the farm administrators account, change the password here.
- Repeat this process for all secure store applications.
- Note: Be cautious when entering the password. If a password is entered incorrectly, no message will be displayed about the error. Instead, you'll be able to continue with configuration. However, errors can occur later, when you attempt to access data through the BCS. If the password for the external data source is updated, you have to return to this page to manually update the password credentials.