The Easy Way To Recover SharePoint Farm Password In SharePoint 2010 / 2013


Here's something new (NOT). The guy who set up our SharePoint has left. So now, here I am trying to administer this thing and I find out that no one else knows the password. Efforts to contact the previous guy have been rather unsuccessful. So here's the question - How do I get in there?

Here is the solution. We can achieve this with the help of Command Prompt/PowerShell window and IIS Manager. Before this, using a local Admin account, we need to sign into the SharePoint Server whose Central Admin password we intend to recover. 

The Web/Service Application passwords can be recovered by signing into those Servers.

IIS runs Central Admin under the Farm Account credentials. Similarly, Web applications and Service applications run in App Pools with their own credentials.

In the IIS Manager, we find out the name of the Application Pool whose password we need to recover, as shown below.


For Central Admin, that would be,

  • SharePoint Central Administration v4

But, we can also recover the passwords for other Application Pools, e.g,

  • SharePoint – 80
  • e4b4b94050634ad2863ad7d7d17c3a17

Next, in the command prompt (or PowerShell), you can use the IIS appcmd.exe to request the Password field from the ProcessModel section of the applicationHost.config file. For example, in PowerShell (on ONE LINE!):

  1. SharePoint Central Administration v4

    cmd.exe /c $env:windir\system32\inetsrv\appcmd.exe list apppool "SharePoint Central Administration v4" /text:ProcessModel.Password

    An example run is shown below.

  1. SharePoint – 80

    cmd.exe /c $env:windir\system32\inetsrv\appcmd.exe list apppool "SharePoint -80" /text:ProcessModel.Password

    An example run is shown below.

  1. e4b4b94050634ad2863ad7d7d17c3a17

    cmd.exe /c $env:windir\system32\inetsrv\appcmd.exe list apppool "e4b4b94050634ad2863ad7d7d17c3a1" /text:ProcessModel.Password

    An example run is shown below.


Hope this helps everyone! Enjoy.