Error when trying to access SharePoint Managed Accounts “Object reference not set to an instance of an object”

When trying to access the Managed Accounts section in Cental Admin you may recieve the following vague error message:
Error
Object reference not set to an instance of an object

After doing some digging I found that you can get this error message when one of your Managed Accounts is not in sync with Active Directory, as in the passwords no longer match and most likely the account is locked. You’ll need to work with your access control team in order to get the password reset of the necessary account and have the account unlocked, however you still won’t be able to view the Managed Accounts screen.

In order to get back to the Managed accounts screen you’ll need to disable the automatic password change of the problem account. If you’re not sure what the problem account is then its best to check with each one.

First find out which accounts are set to automatic password change by running the following PowerShell command:

PS C:\> Get-SPManagedAccount | Select-Object UserName, AutomaticChange
Username                                             AutomaticChange
--------                                             ---------------
domain\svc_account                                             False
domain\svc_search                                               True

Next you will need change the Automatic Change status of the problem account(s) by running the following PowerShell command.

PS C:\> $account = Get-SPManagedAccount -identity domain\svc_search
PS C:\> $account.AutomaticChange = $False
PS C:\> $account.Update()
PS C:\> Get-SPManagedAccount | Select-Object UserName, AutomaticChange
Username                                             AutomaticChange
--------                                             ---------------
domain\svc_account                                             False
domain\svc_search                                              False

Once you’ve done this you should be good to go access the Managed Accounts from Central Admin, and re-configure to your needs.

Cheers