How to Change Your Password

I want to change my password!

Based on the information we gave you about how to choose a good password in our How to Make a Strong Password tutorial, as well as how to avoid weak passwords, we're not surprised that you'd want to try out your newfound knowledge.  Before you actually do so, though, here are a few things to remember about changing your password:

  • You almost always have to be logged into the account that you want to change your password for, in order to change it.  The most common exception is if you wish to reset your password.

  • You can usually find the controls for changing your password under the "Settings" page of the website you're on, and/or under the "Security" or "Privacy" sub-category.

  • When creating a new password, you usually have to submit your old password as well.  If you can't remember it, you may need to reset your password instead.

  • Certain websites have certain rules on what your password can be.  For example, some websites will force your password to be at least (or at most) a certain length, or to contain at least two different types of characters (letters, numbers, or symbols).  Of course, as we went over in our How to Make a Strong Password tutorial, following these sorts of guidelines when making your password is a good habit anyway.

  • Certain websites will not allow you to use the same password twice.  If that is the case, be sure to make a note of this fact, and make a note of any passwords that you have used previously for your account on that website.  This will help you avoid wasting time trying to make previously-used passwords work on a website that won't allow it.

  • Changing a password is the standard practice for updating a password to one that is more secure.  If you need to change your password in an emergency, such as if you forget it or think that someone has accessed your account without your permission, then reset your password instead.

How do I change my password? – Facebook example

The process for changing your password is different depending on which website you're using.  However, they are usually all rather similar, and more-or-less follow the guidelines listed in the section above.  As an example, let's try changing a password on an account for Facebook, the popular social media website.

To change a password

  1. Log into the account that you wish to change the password for.  To do this, you will usually need to provide your name, user name, email address, or (sometimes) phone number, as well as your current password.

  2. A good bet to find the controls for changing a password is to look for the "Settings" menu.  In Facebook, it can be found by clicking the little arrow beside the lock icon in the top-right corner, and then clicking the Settings option in the drop-down menu that appears.

  3. In the case of Facebook, the option for changing your password is in the General account settings (which you should automatically be taken to).  Find the box that says "Password", and click Edit beside it.

  4. From here, type in your "Current" password, then the "New" password that you've come up with, and then "Re-type [the] New" password to verify it for security purposes.  Then click Save Changes.

To confirm that your password has been changed, check the email address that you use to receive messages from that website.  They will usually send you an alert that your password has been changed, which you can safely ignore if you were the one responsible for the change.  Also, try logging out of your account, and then logging in again by using your new password.


There!  Now that you have the basic skills for how to change a password, here are some other tutorials on how to change passwords for popular websites:


Next, we'll cover how to reset a password in case you forget it or think that someone knows how to get into your account.