Windows 11 has a new trick to prevent dreaded password reuse

Microsoft introduced a new password protection feature for Windows 11, which aims to discourage the use of your computer’s login password elsewhere and prevent others from being stored in unsecured places.

The new security tools, called Enhanced Phishing Protection and Microsoft Defender Smartscreen, are arriving as part of this month’s Windows 11 22H2 update.

It’s a two-pronged approach that first seeks to protect the login to your device itself by making sure that you are not tempted to reuse that password within an app or website where there is a known security breach.

So, suppose there is an active phishing attack, you are not handing the administration password to your laptop or desktop, the offenders can reap more havoc. Second, Microsoft will “promote good credential hygiene” by warning users when they try to store passwords in unknown locations, such as text files.

“This goes beyond browser-based protection to build advanced phishing protection into the operating system itself, enabling users to take proactive action before passwords are used against them or their organization,” Microsoft says in a blog post.

Of course, Microsoft would prefer users to work completely passwordless with Windows Hello, but in a world that isn’t quite ready to part with passwords forever, the company is doing its best to ensure you never get one.

Elsewhere in the big Windows 11 update, Microsoft tweaked the Start menu, brought tabs into the File Explorer experience, debuted the video-editing app Clipchamp, and introduced a new Focus feature.

You can download the update for best laptops and desktops by opening Windows Update settings (Settings > Windows Update) and selecting Check for updates. Microsoft has provided a helpful video about updating to the new Windows 11 update, which you can see above. You can download the update for Windows 11 directly from your compatible Windows 10 PCs.

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