Changing your Computer Science password

Reviewed by Bil Hays 9/8/2019


The department requires all users to change passwords annually. You will receive and email to change your password if you have not changed it since July 1st of the current year. We give a little over 3 months from July 1st to have changed your password.

If you know your password, go to this site to change it:

For users who have an onyen, if you have a new account, or do not know your cs password or login, or if your account was disabled, you can use your onyen and password to reset your cs password here:

For new account information go here:

This is the only supported method for changing your Computer Science password.  Your Computer Science password is not related to your campus Onyen password.  There are three main password databases in the Computer Science department:  the Windows Active Directory database, which uses Kerberos to handle passwords; a separate Kerberos database used by our Linux systems; and Google’s password system, which controls access to department Google Apps accounts.  (The department Google Apps accounts are limited to faculty, staff, and CS grad students and undergrad majors.  The webpass site will change your Windows password, then change your Linux password, and then change your Google Apps password (if you have a Google Apps account).

Currently Computer Science account holders are required to change their password at least once a year.  You will receive an email notice about changing your password if you have not done so.  You can use the webpass page to check the last time you changed your password by entering your current password and pressing the Check Date button; this will not change your password.

If you notice an error while changing your password, please email with the output from your web browser along with your name and Onyen.

How to choose a password

See Password Security for general rules on passwords, specific restrictions on Computer Science passwords, and tips on choosing passwords.  The following are the password requirements on our system.  Your campus ONYEN password has the same requirements.

  • Must be 12 or more characters
  • Must share less than six, or the length of your
    login id, consecutive characters with your login
  • Must contain at least two letters
  • Must contain at least one digit
  • Must contain at least one of: !@#$%&*+={}?<>”‘
  • Must not start with a hyphen (-)
  • Must not end with a backslash (\) or a space
  • Must not contain a double quote, (“) except as the last character
  • Must not be a previous or current password
  • Must vary by at least 1 character from your current password

Note:  The maximum number of characters in our passwords is 99.

If you need to have your password reset

If you have forgotten your password or had your password disabled, you can get your password reset using any one of the the methods below.  Note that we never send new passwords out by email or fax.

  1. If you have a campus Onyen first try to reset your password here:
  2. If you are in the department during regular working hours, see: Alan Forrest in SN235, John Sopko in FB140 or Bil Hays in SN141 and we will reset your password for you.  Bring your picture ID.
  3. You can scan or photograph a picture ID (UNC One Card, driver’s license, or passport) and email the resultant file as an attachment to We don’t need your driver’s license or passport number, so it would be best to obscure that before scanning it or taking a picture of it. Tell us your name, login, and either a phone number or a non email address. We can send you an email to a secure web site with your password to non emails or phone you.

In addition to the methods listed above, during the first few weeks of each semester we staff the front desk, and anyone at the front desk can reset your password.  See for more information.