READ ALSO -> How to Generate Strong and Rememberable Passwords for All Websites
How to find PC program and app passwords
The tools that we are going to show you below are able to show the passwords saved in clear text within browsers or the most famous programs, so as to be able to recover the access data for sites whose passwords we no longer remember. The programs reported can be reported as malware by the most dedicated antivirus, even if they fall into the category of riskware (programs that are harmless but can be used for illegal purposes such as stealing account passwords). Obviously, proceed at your own risk.
Recover passwords with PasswdFinder
The first program that we recommend you to try to recover the passwords of apps and sites saved on your PC is PasswdFinder, available from the official website.
PasswdFinder is a very valuable program that, in seconds, allows you to see in clear text the passwords stored in programs and internet browsers. PasswdFinder must be downloaded and installed on the Windows PC and then run to scan the computer. From the main window, you can press the hammer-shaped button and then see the list of supported programs, from which PasswdFinder will try to recover passwords; the list obviously includes the most famous browsers, but also e-mail clients.
The best part is linked to the search for passwords in Firefox because you can thus recover if it had been memorized, even the password for accessing Facebook. Some passwords can still remain unrecoverable and remain hidden so if that doesn’t work, other solutions need to be found. The logins and passwords found can be printed or saved in an HTML file.
Recover passwords with Nirsoft
The best tools to recover any password saved on a Windows PC are offered by the Nirsoft site, which in fact provides numerous tools to try to recover the passwords of apps and sites saved on the PC. Below we will see the most suitable ones for password recovery from the most common programs:
- ChromePass: with this tool, we can recover passwords and access data saved on any profile on the Google Chrome browser (not synchronized with a Google account). If the profile is synchronized with a Google account, the passwords will be encrypted and will not be accessible with the tool.
- PasswordFox: tool identical to the one seen previously, but designed to show the passwords saved in Mozilla Firefox. Also in this case we will only be able to see the passwords of the accounts not synchronized with the Mozilla Sync account.
- WebBrowserPassView: This tool is designed to show passwords from any browser on your PC, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, and the Opera browser.
- Protected Storage PassView: by focusing on this tool we will be able to view the passwords stored in the Windows Protected Storage, the password database integrated within Windows. On Windows 10 this database is accessible only if we use a local account; with an active Microsoft account, the passwords will be encrypted.
- Mail PassView: this tool offers the possibility to show in clear the passwords saved on the Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, Outlook Express, Microsoft Outlook 2000, Microsoft Outlook 2002/2003, IncrediMail, Eudora, and Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail clients. If we have also associated web email accounts (such as Gmail) in one of the clients mentioned above, the password of these accounts will be accessible in cleartext.
- EncryptedRegView: this is probably the most powerful tool among those mentioned since it allows you to recover passwords and user licenses stored in the Windows system registry, also proceeding with the decryption of information (kept with a very weak encryption level). If the previous methods did not work, it could be the last beach to recover the passwords of apps and sites saved on the PC, but the data must still be interpreted.
With these tools, it should be possible to recover any passwords or log-in credentials saved on your computer.
Programs to manage passwords
The recovery tools shown above do not always succeed in their intent; whatever the outcome of the search we recommend that you use an online password manager (also called Password Manager) to save all passwords in one place so that you always have to remember only one password (i.e. the master password, which actually unlocks the password manager).
The best password manager we can use to save all the passwords of the websites and apps we use is Bitwarden, integrable on all modern browsers, on phones/tablets with Android or iOS, on PCs with Windows 10, and on Mac systems; to try it out, just download the right app or extension from the official website.
Using Bitwarden as a password manager we will have a synchronized online database in which to store all the passwords, so as not to have to use one of the recovery tools seen above, since the passwords (even those made hastily and with temporary emails) will always be accessible, having to remember always and only one password (the main one for accessing Bitwarden).
The service also supports two-factor authentication, access via fingerprint or facial recognition on smartphones and tablets, and offers an efficient self-completion service, which actually fills in the login fields for saved sites by itself.
To discover other password managers suitable for the purpose, we can read our guide Best apps to manage passwords on Android and iPhone.
Recovering passwords is always a very risky operation, given that the tools we have reported to you will not always succeed in this purpose, also due to the major security systems provided by modern browsers and operating systems, which always encrypt the associated password databases. ad online account. Also in this case the saying “prevention is better than cure” applies: to avoid such a scenario we download and use a password manager like Bitwarden.
If we don’t want to use an external password service, please read our guide How to save site passwords on a Google account.
In another article, we made one guide to create and manage web account passwords in order to keep them safe from external access, without ever forgetting them.
If, on the other hand, we want to recover the Wi-Fi passwords saved on the PC, we can also read our guide on programs to recover network and internet passwords and the wifi router.