Resetting the SharePoint 2010 Farm PassPhrase

Applies To: SharePoint 2010

I was setting up a Report Server for our SharePoint 2010 Farm this morning and I ran into a show stopper. After installing SharePoint 2010 on the new server and getting it ready, I ran the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard only to get to the PassPhrase step and be told I was entering the incorrect passphrase.

I have it written down from the original setup and I was positive it was correct, but no matter what I tried I couldn’t get it accepted. So I did a quick look-up on how to recover it. Turns out you can’t. Fortunately, you can change it without knowing the old one or requiring any downtime for your farm.

This material is covered elsewhere ( and, but I wanted to put it somewhere I would remember it. I also wanted to give first hand testimony to it working without causing any issues with our farm. You can read either of the linked blogs to get the full details, but here’s the quick powershell you’ll need to get this taken care of:

$passphrase = ConvertTo-SecureString -asPlainText –Force
Set-SPPassPhrase -PassPhrase $passphrase –Confirm

You will be prompted for your new passphrase after the first command and will be asked to confirm it on the second.

That’s it. Go back to your configuration wizard and try again. No service restarts or downtime needed, it’s SUPER EFFECTIVE!!

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