When trying to change the password in Command Prompt in Windows 10, you might encounter a somewhat weird and cryptic error with the following message:
“System Error 8646. The system is not authoritative for the specified account and therefore cannot complete the operation.”
Despite containing hard-to-understand for a regular and less experienced user text, the error is relatively easy to fix. This article will show you how to fix the “System error 8646 the system is not authoritative for the specified account” error.
What Causes the “System is not authoritative for the specified account” error?
System Error 8646 happens mostly in two scenarios. First, when you try to change the password for a local account without administrative privileges. Second, when you try to change the password for a Microsoft Account using Command Prompt. Practice shows that users encounter the “System Error 8646” error in the second case most often.
Fixing System is not authoritative for the specified account error in Windows 10
If you encounter the “System is not authoritative for the specified account” error when trying to change the password for a local account, do the following.
Note. Keep in mind that this instruction works only on systems with a local account. You cannot use this method to fix “The system is not authoritative for the specified account” error when using a Microsoft Account to sign in to Windows.
- Close Command Prompt with error 8646, then launch it again with elevated privileges. Press Win + R, enter the cmd command, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter. Try to change the password using the net user command. If that did not work, proceed to the next step.
- Close Command Prompt, then open Windows Settings. Press Win + I or right-click the Start menu button and select Settings.
- Go to Accounts > Sign-in Options.
- Click Passwords, then click Change.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
If you want to change the password for another local account, you can use the Control Panel. Note that you need Administrator privileges to complete the process.
- Press Win + R, then enter control. You can also use any other method to launch the Control Panel. For example, you can try to fix The system is not authoritative for the specified account error by launching the classic Control Panel using a shortcut on the Desktop.
- Change the view to Small Icons or Large Icons.
- Go to User Accounts.
- Click the Manage another account link.
- Select Cange Password, then follow the on-screen instructions.
- Save the changes, then try to log in using the modified account.
Finally, you can fix the “System is not authoritative for the specified account” error in Windows 10 and 11 by changing the password for your Microsoft Account. Note that the net user command does not work with profiles with Microsoft accounts in Windows 10. Therefore, you need to change passwords on the official Microsoft Account website.
You might need another device to perform the following actions. The good thing is that to fix the error, any modern device will suffice. You can use Chrome on your Android smartphone, another computer, or Safari on your iPhone. Just make sure you access the Microsoft Account website using a relatively modern device.
- Launch your preferred browser and open the account.microsoft.com page.
- Click the Sign-in button.
- Enter your email address, then click Next.
- Click the “Forgot Password” link.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to change the password for your Microsoft account.
- After resetting the password for a Microsoft Account, try to log in using the new password.
That is how you can fix The system is not authoritative for the specified account error in Windows 10 and 11. If nothing helped, we recommend you try to create a new account with administrative privileges using Command Prompt and try to reset the password again.