Getting at Windows Passwords

By Deane Barker on September 11, 2005

20 Things They Don’t Want You to Know: This is just one page in an excellent article from PC World (found via Slashdot) that has links to multiple resources for finding passwords that you’ve forgotten.

  1. Finding license keys for software you currently have installed
  2. Revealing saved passwords in IE that you don’t remember (note that Firefox lets you display these, which is so handy sometimes)
  3. Resetting the Windows administrator password when you don’t know it

Handy stuff. (The rest of the article is great too, especially the link to this page with the IVR codes to get a human operator at dozens of companies.)



  1. I dont see how FireFox is so great when it allows you to view passwords normally hidden with the asterisk? Wonderful. Now my children and my guests can get at my bank accounts and whatever else. Great. Good thing I read this, Firefox is GONE from my PC.

  2. I hate to burst your bubble, but the article explains how this is possible with IE as well with a simple download.

    The good news is that if you have Firefox, you can control this behavior: In the Preferences is a section called ‘Privacy’. Right below the button to ‘View Saved Passwords’ is another button: ‘Set Master Password’. You can set a password that you can use to lock down Firefox’s password vault, so you only have one password (the master) to remember for all of your sites. Pretty handy. The Firefox folks have foreseen your concern and have provided a solution.

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