Our Sharepoint servers were shut down safely as part of a backup, and when brought back online we noticed multiple errors in the crawl log, and no successes. The error was "The account password was not specified. Specify the password." As specified here: http://blog.sharepointsite.co.uk/2011/07/sp2010-enterprise-search-crawl-log.html, we re-entered the password for the Default Content Access Account (SP_Crawl), which was accepted.

After this password was entered, the error in the crawl log changed to "Item was not crawled because of a password change. Update password and retry crawling.", and the same number of errors persisted. We tried re-entering the correct password but it has made no difference. The crawl is now completely inoperative and not indexing any new content.

There seems to be very little information online about these errors, and we are at a loss as to why this would have happened after a simple server restart. (The servers are restarted fairly regularly for patch installations and upgrades.)

The password for the account is definitely correct, as we are able to log onto the servers using this domain account.

Any thoughts welcome, thanks.

2 Answers 2


Try following the steps here to reset the password within sharepoint.

Specifically: (4) SharePoint Server Search Content Access Account(s)

4.1. Bring up the Search Service application in Central Admin.

4.2. Click the Default Content Access Account in the "System Status" section.

4.3. Change the password of the account in the popup. 4.4. Please note that you need to do these steps even if your content access account is the same as your search service account.

4.5. Change the passwords of content access accounts that you may have defined in the Crawl Rules.

(5) SharePoint Foundation Search Content Access Account

5.1. Bring up Central Admin. Click "System Settings"

5.2. Click "Manage Services on Servers."

5.3. Find the server(s) where the SharePoint Foundation Search Service is running.

5.4. Click "SharePoint Foundation Search Service"

5.5. Change the password of the service account in the "Content Access Account" section. Click "OK."

5.6. Repeat these steps if you have Foundation Search service running on more than one server.

Click Here


First, I would check to see if you can log on as the service account in Sharepoint as well as the Central Administration. I also recommend creating a new crawl rule to test and see if you receive the same authentication issues.

Use this link to troubleshoot and test: TECHNET ARTICLE

If you are able to create a new crawl rule with no issues, you will have to delete your old crawl rule and simply create a new one.

Hope this helps.

  • Hi Rounn, thanks for your suggestion. Yes, we can log into SharePoint as the service account, and the account successfully authenticates when setting up a new crawl rule, although the actual crawl itself is still failing with the above error.
    – Vassal
    Dec 23, 2013 at 11:26

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