Update SharePoint 2010 Farm Credentials Tips

Within your SharePoint environment – such as your PowerPivot for SharePoint single server install – a common task that you will need to do is to update the SharePoint Farm credentials  when the password changes.  You may be able to do this automatically by using the new SharePoint 2010 feature to plan automatic password change

But if you need to change your farm credentials, you can follow the instructions: How to change service accounts and service account passwords in SharePoint Server 2007 and in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.

But in the process of updating a PowerPivot for SharePoint single server install, I realized that a few additional tips that may prevent you a few hours of debugging. 

  • Since its SharePoint 2010, Step 1a is now the c:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\Bin folder.
  • The update farm credentials step Step 1b is still (i.e. No change)

stsadm –o updatefarmcredentials –userlogin DOMAIN\username –password $password$

  • Steps 4 and 5 are not required unless you’re running SharePoint Search.  In most PowerPivot for SharePoint installations, this service is not running so you don’t need to do these steps
  • Step 6 is not necessary as SharePoint 2010 is using service applications (as opposed to SharePoint 2007 using shared services providers).  Though you will want to ensure to update your managed accounts for any services that are using the same account as your farm account.

As well, here are some other good reminders:

  • You should login to your server using the farm account to ensure that you have the rights to run the above commands
  • Make sure that the SQL Server service for your SharePoint databases (for example, the SQLSERVERNAME\POWERPIVOT) is running (from services.msc).  Often in PowerPivot for SharePoint installs, the startup account for SQL server and the farm account are the same.  If you need to update the password, it is likely that the SQL Server service is not running because the credentials are no longer valid.
  • If you’re still running into issues when running the updatefarmcredentials command, you may want to apply the same step for the SQL Server service to the SharePoint 2010 Timer service.

Hope this helps!


  1. Good and Informative Article! Thanks a lot Denny..

  2. Hi,

    You should *NEVER* login to your server using the farm account to ensure that you have the rights to run the above commands.

    You should retain and use your setup/admin account.


    1. Normally I’d agree with you. The context for this, though, is the PowerPivot Single Farm installation which by default has the farm account and setup/admin account one in the same. Saying this, yes once you’re up and running and/or more familiar with SharePoint – do exactly what Anthony says. 🙂

  3. stephan

    monday morning and the (test) sharepoint farm was not available (service account was not configured correctlly), thanks to your guide I was able to fix this problem in ten minutes!

    kind regards

  4. […] got this stsadm tip from https://dennyglee.com/2010/04/08/update-sharepoint-2010-farm-credentials-tips/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

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