Recovering Old Passwords

I’m in the process of helping a friend move to a new computer and I asked him if he knew his email password or any of his other account passwords. He answered, “I don’t think I have a password.”

I knew at that point that I was going to have to try and recover his old passwords from his old computer. Internet Explorer had “remembered” these passwords for him that now he didn’t know any of them. The trick is to get IE to give them up.

Note – watch out for WebRoot – it also manages passwords and can cause problems. It apparently also uses a version of Lastpass. Don’t uninstall until you have tried the below solutions.

I’m going to try a couple of different ways to do this.

#1 – Manage Stored Passwords – according to Microsoft if I follow these directions I can get a list of all my stored passwords – NOT – nothing showed up.


Revelation – shows the passwords under **********


Lastpass – sometimes this will import the passwords from other browsers – not this time – I’m not sure why.

– Note – I wasn’t even allowed to go the site. It’s likely that the installed program Webroot is stopping this. Even when I uninstalled Webroot, I still had this problem.


IE Passview – shows you the passwords stored by IE – note – Chrome blocks you from downloading this so you will have to use a different browser.

Note – this worked partially.

It gives you a list of most of the sites and their passwords!

It did not give me the Yahoo email password, but luckily my friend found that.


Web Browser Passview – not sure if this is different from the above. I did not use it as IE Passview worked.


– Using Chrome to Import

MS is not going to like this, but it’s the best way to do it without having to install 3rd party password recovery apps and the like.
1.  Download and install the newest Google Chrome.
2.  Open Chrome, go to Settings, under the Users section, click “Import bookmarks and settings”
3.  Make sure the From: is filled with Microsoft Internet Explorer, tick all of the boxes, then click Import.
4.  Restart Chrome, go to the website you want to retrieve a password for and login using the remembered credentials.
5. Go to Chrome settings again, click Show Advanced Settings, under the Passwords and Forms area, click Manage saved passwords.
6.  Find the site you are looking for, click the password field corresponding to it and click “Show”.

Note – this did NOT work!


Lifehacker Article – works!
Right-click the password box and select “Inspect Element.” This brings up the developer console. On the line that starts with “input type=password” change the word “password” to “text.” This will reveal your password.

I have used this in the past and know it works.


Other Resources

– Chrome Extension – Show/Hide Passwords – note – do a search for this in Chrome Extensions and you will see a number of similar options.


About Tom Terrific

Interested in MANY things.
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