My Front End Server Crashed for one of my SharePoint 2010 (Version 14.0.4762.1000) Farms. I restored the Farm via my backup system. However, I am unsuccessful trying to connect to the original Farm Configuration Database. This is because I forgot the Farm passphrase. :(

My 1st question is: Is there anyway to recover the original farm passphrase?

My 2nd question is: Is there a way around this if the original farm passphrase is not recoverable?

I tried creating a new Configuration Database and then changing the phrase using the below Powershell script. That only works for the new Configuration Database not the old one.

*$passphrase = ConvertTo-SecureString -asPlainText -Force
Set-SPPassPhrase -PassPhrase $passphrase -Confirm*

2 Answers 2


AFAIK, in short there's no way to recover the passphrase. WHY? Because it was intended this way in the first place for security reasons. The answers that you find from other sites/people are all right to CHANGE the passphrase, not to recover them. So if you've forgotten your passpharse, the best you can do is to create a new one.

Hope this helps you.

  • Thanks Karthik, I cannot change the passphrase until I connect to the original Configuration database though.
    – user14884
    Oct 28, 2013 at 13:44
  • @user14884, did you create new passphrase.? Oct 28, 2013 at 13:47

I am not entirely sure as this has never happened to me but I will throw my best guess out there.

This procedure worked on my farm.

In powershell:

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

Screen Capture

Taken From:


  • This is useful command for retrieving app pool passwords but it doesn't help me with PassPhrase recovery. It seems like I'm out of luck and may have to rebuild the entire farm.
    – user14884
    Oct 28, 2013 at 13:46
  • I believe that you are right about that, when you run the powershell script in your original question what is the error message if any that you are receiving? Oct 28, 2013 at 16:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.