Have you encountered the error message “Your password was changed on a different device” while using Windows Hello to sign in to your Windows 10/11 device? Don’t worry, this is not an error, but rather an indication that your account password was changed on a different device. In this article, we’ll explain why this message appears and how you can easily fix it.
The full error message is read as: “Your password was changed on a different device. You must sign in to this device once with your new password, and then you can sign in with your PIN.”
Windows 11/10 Hello: Your password was changed on a different device
Windows Hello is Microsoft’s biometric authentication system that allows users to sign in to their devices using a PIN or biometric gestures such as facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, or iris recognition. When you set up Windows Hello on a device, the PIN or biometric gesture is tied to that specific device. However, your account’s password is server-specific and can be set up on multiple devices.
So, if you recently changed your Microsoft account password on a different device, other devices that use the same account won’t recognize the password changes and will show the error message “Your password was changed on a different device.”
For instance, let’s say you’re using the same Microsoft account on Computer A and Computer B and have set up a PIN or biometric gesture for both computers. If you change your password on Computer A, the next time you sign in to Windows Hello on Computer A, you’ll be able to log in using your PIN or biometric gesture. However, if you’re on Computer B and try to sign in using your PIN on Windows Hello, it will fail and show the “password was changed” error message because it couldn’t recognize the password change made on Computer A. This issue also applies to Windows 10/11 mobile devices and laptops that use the same account.
How to fix the problem
To fix the “Your password was changed on a different device” error, you need to update the password on the specific device that shows the error message. Here are the steps:
- When you see the error message while signing in to Windows 10/11 using PIN or biometric gesture on Windows Hello, click OK.
- Select “Sign-in options.”
- Click on the “Password” option/button.
- Enter the new password you changed on the other device earlier.
- The device will now recognize the password change.
- The next time you sign in to Windows Hello, you can select “Sign-in options,” then click “PIN” to resume signing in using your PIN or any biometric gesture you previously set up.
If you’re using Windows Hello for Business, you won’t encounter the “password was changed” error message, even if you recently changed your password on a different device that uses the same account. Windows Hello for Business can recognize any password change on the account and won’t affect sign-in using your PIN or biometric gesture.