Find Hidden And Saved Passwords
There are a large number of websites and programs that prompt end users to saved passwords on their personal computers. There are some popular web browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and instant messaging software like Windows Live Messenger are capable of saving user logins and passwords on the computer.
A common task that arises for the end-user is to find stored passwords on a computer. This helps to recover lost or forgotten access information. The task can be declared easy as choosing some options in the OS, depending on some aspects. They include the application being used, operating system, and specific user permissions.
You may log into various websites in your browser or access protected file shares on the network. But Windows stealthy works in the background may or may not store your credentials in various locations within the operating system.
These usernames and passwords may end up in the registry. They may be within credential files, or within the Windows Vault. The credentials are, generally, stored in encrypted format. But they can be easily decrypted using your Windows password.
Let’s go on with several tools that can be used to view these hidden passwords on your system.
1. Windows Credential Manager:
A credential manager is a built-in tool in Windows. To get into it, click on Start and type in credential manager to open the program. There will be two categories appearing in the credential manager. They are “Web Credentials” and “Windows Credentials”.
The web credentials will have any passwords from sites that you have saved while browsing in Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge. Click on the down arrow and then click on the Show link.
To decrypt the password, you’ll have to type in your Windows password. Even though a password manager is used and saving password is turned off in the browser, few account passwords will be saved. If you once log into your account on any computer, they become saved passwords.
You may not want anyone to know your login credentials. But when you log into your account on some other person’s PC, be careful that the password gets saved.
In Windows Credentials, you’ll see fewer credentials stored here unless you work in a corporate environment. These are credentials when connecting to network shares, different computers on the network, or network devices such as a NAS.
Do you want to know how you can view Google Chrome saved passwords? Basically, each browser has the same feature, so you can do the same thing for Firefox, Safari, etc. In Chrome, click on the three dots at the top right and then click on Settings. Scroll down and then click on Show advanced settings.
Under Passwords and forms, click on the Manage saved passwords link next to Offer to save your web passwords.
Here you’ll see a list of all the passwords that you have stored in Chrome. If the save password feature is enabled, the passwords list may be quite long.
2. Third-Party Utilities:
You can find quite a few passwords using the above methods. There are still more passwords saved in other locations on your system. To get to know them, you have to use some third party tools. My favorite site for free and clean tools is Nirsoft.
There are three third-party tools that can be downloaded, extracted and run without installing them. They are Encrypted Reg View, Credentials File View, and Vault Password View. This doesn’t mess with your system at all and once you are done, you can just delete the files.
1. Encrypted Reg View:
When you run the program, you’ll see a dialog box where the Run as administrator box is checked. Then just click on OK. The program will then scan the registry and decrypt all passwords it finds in the registry.
2. Credentials File View:
Instead of double-clicking on this program, you can right-click and choose Run as Administrator.
Type in the Windows password at the bottom on the main dialog that pops up. Then click OK. Now you can see a list of various credentials stored on your system. If you’re on a domain, you’ll see a lot more entries.
3. Vault Password View:
This one works the same way as Credentials File View but instead looks inside the Windows Vault. This tool is especially useful for Windows 8 and Windows 10 users because these two OSs store the passwords for Windows Mail, Edge, and IE in the Windows Vault.
Don’t think that these were the only useful password recovery tools from Nirsoft. Make sure to check out the entire page on password recovery tools. If you have ever forgotten a password that you have used before, these tools will help you recover them.
These are the tools to decrypt the hidden and saved passwords in Windows. So be careful while logging into your personal account on others’ PC.
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