Reset the Farm Passphrase in SharePoint 2010

So, you are adding a new server to the farm and you can’t remember that new SharePoint 2010 addition called the Farm Passphrase? No problem! You can use PowerShell to reset / change that forgotten farm passphrase. Note that I said reset and not retrieve. There is currently no option to retrieve the existing farm passphrase.

  • Must be a member of the SharePoint_Shell_Access database role on the SharePoint Configuration database. Check Get-SPShellAdmin and Add-SPShellAdmin.
  • Open the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell (Start > All Programs > Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products > SharePoint 2010 Management Shell)
  • Enter this at the PowerShell prompt:
    • $passphrase = ConvertTo-SecureString -asPlainText -Force
  • Input the new passphrase and hit Enter
  • Enter this at the PowerShell prompt:
    • Set-SPPassPhrase -PassPhrase $passphrase -Confirm
  • You will be asked to confirm the passphrase by re-entering it
  • Re-enter the passphrase and hit Enter
  • You will be asked if you are sure that you want to perform this action, type Y (for Yes) and hit Enter
  • Your farm passphrase has now been reset!

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