If you work on .NET 3.5 or newer, you can use the System.DirectoryServices.AccountManagement namespace and easily verify your credentials:

// create a "principal context" - e.g. your domain (could be machine, too)
using(PrincipalContext pc = new PrincipalContext(ContextType.Domain, "YOURDOMAIN"))
    // validate the credentials
    bool isValid = pc.ValidateCredentials("myuser", "mypassword");

It’s simple, it’s reliable, it’s 100% C# managed code on your end – what more can you ask for? 🙂

Read all about it here:

  • Managing Directory Security Principals in the .NET Framework 3.5
  • MSDN docs on System.DirectoryServices.AccountManagement


As outlined in this other SO question (and its answers), there is an issue with this call possibly returning True for old passwords of a user. Just be aware of this behavior and don’t be too surprised if this happens 🙂 (thanks to @MikeGledhill for pointing this out!)