Configure password writeback


Having a cloud-based password reset utility is great but most companies still have an on-premises directory where their users exist. How does Microsoft support keeping traditional on-premises Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) in sync with password changes in the cloud?

Password writeback is a feature enabled with Azure AD Connect that allows password changes in the cloud to be written back to an existing on-premises directory in real time.

Screenshot of Azure AD Connect Optional Features. The Password Writeback checkbox is selected.

Password writeback provides:

  • Enforcement of on-premises Active Directory Domain Services password policies. When a user resets their password, it is checked to ensure it meets your on-premises Active Directory Domain Services policy before committing it to that directory. This review includes checking the history, complexity, age, password filters, and any other password restrictions that you have defined in local Active Directory Domain Services.
  • Zero-delay feedback. Password writeback is a synchronous operation. Your users are notified immediately if their password did not meet the policy or could not be reset or changed for any reason.
  • Supports password changes from the access panel and Microsoft 365. When federated or password hash synchronized users come to change their expired or non-expired passwords, those passwords are written back to your local Active Directory Domain Services environment.
  • Supports password writeback when an admin resets them from the Azure portal. Whenever an admin resets a user’s password in the Azure portal, if that user is federated or password hash synchronized, the password is written back to on-premises. This functionality is currently not supported in the Microsoft admin portal.
  • Doesn’t require any inbound firewall rules. Password writeback uses an Azure Service Bus relay as an underlying communication channel. All communication is outbound over port 443.


To use SSPR you must have already configured Azure AD Connect in your environment.