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NetID: What to do if Locked Out of Account

What is automatic account lockout and how do I correct it?

How do I know that my account is locked out?

There is no simple answer to how do you know if you are locked out.  

  • Did you have access to this system or service recently?
  • When you try to authenticate to the system or service, do you receive a message saying the "invalid password," or "account locked," or does it fails silently with no response?
  • Are you able to log into with the same password?

If the answers to all of these questions is YES, then at least one of your accounts may be locked.

Why am I locked out?

Have you changed a password recently?  Automatic account lockouts typically activate after multiple consecutive failed login attempts to a specific authentication system. An old password on an active device could be the cause of the lockout.

What to Do 

If your account is locked, keep calm.  The lock automatically expires if no other failed authentications occur. 

While you are waiting, check your phone and laptop for places where you may have an old saved password and change it to the new password. Did you get a new laptop and phone but still have the old devices? Check those older devices. Read more about places to check below.

If you still are unable to figure out what is causing your account to automatically lock, please reach out to the OIT Help Desk.

What triggers the automatic account lockout?

An automatic account lockout event is usually triggered by old passwords that are saved in an application (like an email client) or a device (like a mobile device, laptop, phone or tablet).

Common places with passwords stored:
  • WiFi/Wireless Network Settings - perform "forget this network (Rice Owls)", re-authenticate with credentials
  • Email Client (Thunderbird, Exchange, Apple Mail, Outlook)
  • iOS / Android 
  • Cached credentials / stored passwords in a web browser (clear the browser cache)
  • Windows stored credentials 
  • Windows Mapped Drives (disconnect "mapped drives" and reconnect with proper credentials)
  • MacOS X/ MacOS Keychain (remove password from Keychain and re-authenticate with credentials, add to Keychain)

Rice's Authentication Systems

To better understand the automatic account lockouts, it's important you understand that we have two independent authentication systems with auto-lock protection:
  • Active Directory
    • RiceNet Wireless
    • Rice Exchange Mail
    • Workstation/Kiosk Logins (Windows, Mac)
  • LDAP / Web Single Sign-On
    • Rice Campus Mail
    • Rice Authenticated Web Sites (Canvas, Box, Subversion,  Webmail, etc)
    • Server/Desktop Logins (Linux)

Auto-lockout affects access to everything within that authentication system. For example, if you trigger the auto-lockout by entering your password incorrectly into Webmail (Rice Campus Mail), you will be unable to access any Linux computers that are also using LDAP for authentication, but your RiceNet Wireless would continue to work normally because it uses a different authentication system.

Preventing Future Lock Outs

Before you change a password:
  • To prevent mobile devices from causing an auto-lockout event is to disable wireless and/or enable "airplane mode" on the device before changing your password.  Enable the wireless or disable "airplane mode" once the new password has been stored on the device.
  • Identify devices where your password is saved and know what devices that you are currently logged into, whether on campus or at home.
  • If you use a smartphone or other mobile device, "forget" the Rice wireless network in network settings.
  • If you use multiple computers, log off of all of them except one.
  • Save your work and close any open applications. 

Need help?

Reach out to the OIT Help Desk if you need assistance.

KeywordsNetId Account Password AD SSO Kerberos Campus Mail wireless network computer   Doc ID73432
OwnerDean L.GroupRice U
Created2017-05-22 13:49:33Updated2023-08-14 15:05:15
SitesRice University
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