If you are looking to be careful and your passwords include all the types of characters, what is the ideal password length?

  • 3
    Ideal for what purpose? Shooting ICBMs? Securing your home computer?
    – Sklivvz
    Commented May 9, 2013 at 8:47
  • Hi @Jenny - as you may have noticed, your questions are getting a lot of downvotes. Have a good read of the faq and the tour pages. Especially read the how to ask a question section. And always have a good search before asking, to see if there is already a question which will give you the answer you need. Hopefully this should help you improve your questions and your rep.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented May 9, 2013 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


This is an entirely subjective question and there is no single answer for it. The simplest answer is simply to say that the longest and most complex password that you can remember is the best.

Microsoft Complex Password Group Policy requires the following be met:

  • The password is at least six characters long.

  • The password contains characters from at least three of the following five categories:

    • English uppercase characters (A - Z)

    • English lowercase characters (a - z)

    • Base 10 digits (0 - 9)

    • Non-alphanumeric (For example: !, $, #, or %)

    • Unicode characters

  • The password does not contain three or more characters from the user's account name.

Personally, I think that six chars to way too short. So much so that I'd recommend doubling that recommendation and increasing the minimum length to 12.

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