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Password Force Change


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Hi everyone,

Here's a little module that allows you to force users to change their password on their first login, or at any time if you manually force it.



Key Features

  • During install it creates a new checkbox field in the user template, "force_passwd_change".
  • Automatic checking of this checkbox when creating a new user is determined by the "Automatic Force Change" module config setting.
  • When a user logs in for the first time (or if you have manually checked that field for an existing user), they will be warned that they have to change their password and they'll be automatically redirected to their profile page.
  • They must change their password to something new - they are not allowed to re-enter their existing password.
  • Bulk "Set All Users" option to at any time, force all users (by selected roles) to change their password.

Hopefully some of you will find it useful and please let me know if you have any suggested changes/enhancements. 

PS I used the new info.json way of defining the module details, so it requires PW 2.4.3+ 

Edited by adrian
Updated module features information
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Thanks Adrian! This has been on my to-do list for a while, looks like I can tick it off now. Benefits of free software -- just wait long enough and someone will solve it for you ;)

The way I've seen this implemented before was a checkbox titled "Force password change on next login", which was unchecked when a password was changed. That would slightly simplify things by removing the need to check it for existing users.. and perhaps make things a bit easier to understand if you want to use it at some point later (for some reason unchecking "password changed" sounds weird).

Just saying, doesn't matter much either way. The module looks great and I look forward to using it.. on all of our sites :)

Edit: by the way, would you mind specifying a license for this module? I'm not suspicious of your motives or anything (honestly), it's just that I try to avoid any code where licensing isn't clearly stated, and modules are no exception here :)

Edited by teppo
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Hey teppo,

Thanks for the thoughts on the checkbox issue. I agree that unchecking "password changed" does sound weird :) My reasoning for going this way was because I was wanting to avoid the need for an additional step (checking the checkbox) when creating a new user. I thought, maybe incorrectly, that anyone using this module would want to ensure that all new users are required to change their password when they first login. My approach to setting up admin users is to send them all the same initial password and ask them to change it immediately. I wonder if a better approach might be to use a dropdown select that is a required field when setting up a new user. It could be called "force password change" and have a blank default and then "yes" and "no" options. It's still an extra step when setting up a user, but at least this way I can ensure the superuser doesn't forget to do it. Any thoughts on whether this would be a more logical setup?

Thanks for the reminder on the license - I actually haven't been good with that for any of my modules - mostly because of ignorance/trust with these sorts of things. I'll take care of it shortly and also check my other modules and do the same.

PS Minor fix committed this morning - I woke up realizing that I had hardcoded the path to the profile page :)

EDIT: Do you, or anyone else, know why I can't set the collapsed state of the pass field via the API? I can do it with other system fields, but not this one. You'll see in my code two commented blocks where I try to set it to open before the redirect and then set it to collapsed after they have changed their password.

Edited by adrian
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Just discovered a bit of a gotcha - if the new user does not have "profile-edit (User can update profile/password)" permission they obviously won't be able to change their password, so just committed an update that checks for this permission and warns that it needs adding.

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I wonder if a better approach might be to use a dropdown select that is a required field when setting up a new user. It could be called "force password change" and have a blank default and then "yes" and "no" options. It's still an extra step when setting up a user, but at least this way I can ensure the superuser doesn't forget to do it.

teppo - I thought through this a little more and realized that any multi field would not be a good idea as it would involve associated pages and templates for the yes/no options, so I have gone back to the checkbox, but reversed it to be a "Force password change on next login" checkbox as you suggested. However I have added a module config setting called "Automatic Force Change" and if this is checked, then the "Force password change on next login" checkbox gets automatically checked when creating a new user. I think this solves all the issues of:

  • Confusion over the reverse checked and the strange "Password Changed" label.
  • With the automatic force change checked, there is no extra step required when creating a new user, but there is also the flexibility for the superuser to turn this off so it has to become an active selection to force the password change.
  • Existing users are left untouched, which is cleaner.

I am pretty convinced this new approach is better in all ways but I'd like to hear any feedback before I commit the changes to Github, in particular from you teppo if you have a minute to think about it.

I am attaching the new version here for testing/review. Please make sure you uninstall the old version first to make sure the old passwd_changed field is removed.

If I don't hear anything back by tomorrow, I'll commit this version anyway :)

EDIT: Removed attached version to avoid confusion since it is now on Github.

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 was worried about the scalability of old method when user count was in thousands. 

Agreed - that occurred to me yesterday too.

Thank you both for the feedback - changes have been committed to Github and the module has been submitted to the modules directory.

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Now available in the modules directory:


For anyone who might have downloaded early on, please grab the latest version. There was an important fix two days ago that now prevents users from simply navigating away from their profile page to another page in the admin. Now they can't do anything in the admin until their password has been changed.

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Another bug fix and enhancement just committed.

There is now a batch "Set All Users" option which allows you to easily force existing users to change their password. Selection of users is possible via roles so you can limit the enforcement to just specific roles, or all if needed. If you mess up, there is also a simple way to clear the requirement for everyone as well.

This addition was in response to teppo's comment in his ProcessWire Weekly post: "easily forcing periodic password changes for users" - now it really is easy to force periodic changes, so thanks for the suggestion :)

The bug fix is for PW sites installed in a subdirectory - thanks also to teppo for reporting this.

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Sorry for the constant updates :)

Definitely recommended to update to the latest version as it adds better handling for users without profile-edit permission.

  1. As well as the warning, it now also unchecks the force password change checkbox if the user doesn't have profile-edit permission
  2. The Set All Users role selection is now limited to only those roles with profile-edit permission

Hopefully that will be all the changes for a while, unless someone has any suggestions.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi everyone,

Thanks to a request from @Ralf, this module now also works on the front-end. If you have setup your own login form and profile editing forms you can enable this for the front-end and specify a URL to redirect to for the user to change their password.


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  • 2 years later...

I had to uninstall this one. Is it compatible with pw 3.0.96? Once installed I set the frontend login URL for profile edit to the correct frontend page (/member-login/?profile=1 using Ryan's Login/Register/Profile module) and I get an Internal error. Won't load the page.

Additionally I set it to force all users with the "member" role to change password and as a superuser I get the message to change my password. I don't have the member role. When I set it to clear superuser, on next login I get the same message to change my password.

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@digitex - I am using it with no problems on 3.0.99

Can you make sure PW debug mode is on to see if there is any further info about the internal server error and maybe check your error logs.

I also just tested the option to force all users with a particular role to have to change their password and it worked fine - set it for that role, but no impact on my superuser account.

Maybe there is some interaction with Ryan's module that I haven't tested. I don't have time to look into it at the moment, but if you wouldn't mind investigating and letting me know more details of the issue, I'll make any required changes.



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@adrian I suspect you're right that it may be a specific issue with Ryan's module. With Login/Register/Profile the profile page is the same as the log in page and the profile UI is loaded with a GET variable. It may be the get variable in the Frontend Login URL that's causing the error. When logging in using a member's credentials it does try to redirect to the profile page but throws an error when it gets there.

As for the superuser role getting the password change notice I will have to get back to you.

When I get a minute I'll reinstall and enable debug. I would love to use it I'm importing 250 user accounts and need to ensure everybody updates their password.

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  • 2 years later...
1 hour ago, kater said:

Using it with Login Register Pro and frontpage redirect (https://www.../login-register/?profile=1) it redirects infinitly.

Hi @kater - what do you have set for the Frontend Login URL setting - is it set to login-register/?profile=1 ?

Is it set to a full URL, or root relative?

Does adjusting that help?

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happens with either setting.

relative shows in the url.




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@kater - I just tested with: /?profile=1 (where the LRP module was instantiated for all pages) and also another option with /login-register/?profile=1 (where it was instantiated for just the page with the name "login-register") and both work as expected. 

I am not very familiar with the LoginRegisterPro module, but at the moment I am not sure where the infinite redirects might be coming from, but I don't think it's from the Password Force Change module.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello @adrian,

Would it be possible to make the fields which are displayed in the user profile "translatable"?

I am talking about lines 109 and 261-264 in your code?


Furthermore I am currently building the code into an LRP module from ryan and I would like to display the message in the front-end that the user has to change his password now.
How do I display this again? Sorry I am standing a little bit on the hose right now... 🙈

Thanks cu Ralf

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Hi @Ralf - that checkbox field label, description, and notes should be translatable already. You can see here on a site I have with English and Portuguese:


The "load on frontend" option should make it work with LRP. I did just commit one change that allows translating of the note that says: "You must change your password now".

Hope that gets you going.

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Hello @adrian,

... yes, if you look under "Admin -> Setup -> Fields -> force_passwd_change" this is also possible *am I stupid* 🙈
I looked it up under Language and didn't have the idea to look under Fields... sorry. Of course you can find everything there and enter everything you want.

Secondly, thanks yes, I have now found the translation in the language files and translated it immediately ("You must change your password now").

But as far as my actual topic with the "output" is concerned, it still doesn't work.

My question here is, do I have to add any code to the PHP template file of LRP (login-register.php) in the frontend to output exactly this message "You must change your password now"? Because this message is currently not displayed in the frontend? (but in the backend I see this message)

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@Ralf - I am glad you got the translation stuff sorted out.

The "You must change your password now" text is added as a note to the "pass" field when it is rendered. So if this module is successfully redirecting to the profile editing screen of LRP, then it should display that note - if not, then it might be a question for Ryan to see if he can support this module within LRP by displaying the note, or suggesting some other way for this module to inject that note.

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