Have you ever gone to a web page and the password is filled in for you automatically? Obviously, at some point, you must have checked the “Remember Me” box.
Have you ever wondered where Windows stores your password when you check the “Remember Me” or “Save My Password” box on a web page? Saved passwords on Windows 8 go into the Credential Manager (sometimes called the Windows Vault) for safekeeping.
Viewing Saved Passwords on Windows 8: What is the Credential Manager?
The Credential Manager is a kind of “digital locker” where Windows stores usernames and passwords (among other things) that are used to access other computers, servers, or websites. This data can be used by Windows or applications that know how to use it (like Internet Explorer).
OK, so why do I care?
Well most of the time, you don’t. However, you can go into the Credential Manager and view, edit, or delete the stored information. This opens up some interesting possibilities, like recovering a password for a website that you can’t remember but your computer does.
Oh, now I see that I have your attention. You’ve been in this boat before haven’t you? Of course you have. We all have.
So, let’s walk through viewing a password in the Credential manager. Specifically, we’re going to look-up my Facebook password.
Viewing Saved Passwords on Windows 8: Step-by-Step
- From the search Charm, look for credential manager under Settings. Technically, you can get there from Control Panel but, this is easier.
- The Credential Manager window will appear. Since the information we’re looking for is for a web site (Facebook) make sure you tap on the Web Credentials tab
- Next, scroll down to find the entry you’re after. You’re going to probably have a lot more than I have here but the name of the entry should make sense. Also, note that you might have more than one entry for the same site or program
- When you find an entry you want to check, tap on the down arrow to expand it. you’ll see some information including the password hidden behind the dots
- To show the password, tap the Show button
- You’ll be prompted for your Windows password. Go ahead and enter it
- After you enter your Windows password, the dots will disappear and the password will be revealed. Since you may have more than one entry for a website, you may need to look at more than one entry but you will only have to enter your Windows password once.
That’s it. Pretty simple, huh? You could also remove the entry if you want.
It’s important to note that not every password can be recovered this way. Some websites assign random passwords or tokens that won’t really help you unless you’re an advanced user.
Anyway, if you ever need to figure out what a remembered password on your Surface is, I hope you find this post helpful.
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.