Where Are Passwords Stored in Windows?

2020-07-16 - 5 min read

Managing your passwords can be a hassle, especially if you tend to forget them. Luckily, Windows stores most of your local accounts, so you can quickly look them up. If you're wondering how to find your saved email passwords in Windows, take a look at these short tutorials and find out where passwords are stored in Windows.

Where are passwords stored in Windows 10?

First, let's look at how to find passwords stored on your computer in Windows 10. There are a few ways to do this. Here's how to locate them using the credential manager:

Credential manager

  1. Go to the Windows Control Panel.

  2. Click on User Accounts.

  3. Click on Credential Manager.

  4. Here you can see two sections: Web Credentials and Windows Credentials.

Under Web Credentials, you can find the passwords you use to log in to various websites. Windows Credentials hosts the rest of your logins on the computer.

  1. Once you find the account you were looking for, click the arrow on the right..

  2. In the drop-down tab, click Show next to the password.

  3. In the pop-up prompt, enter your administrator password. That’s it — you're done!

If you're not sure what your administrator password is, don't worry. There is a way to access it on your computer, so read on for a tutorial. Now, let's take a look at another way to access your accounts by going through the command prompt.

Command prompt

  1. Type command prompt in your Windows search bar.

  2. Click Run as an administrator in the window on the left.

  3. A user account control window might pop up, asking if you allow the app to make changes on your device. Click Yes.

  4. Command Prompt window will appear.

In the window, type in this command:

  1. rundll32.exe keymgr.dll,KRShowKeyMgr

  2. Hit Enter.

  3. Stored User Names and Passwords window will pop up.

To access your administrator password, you'll need to access the Windows 10 registry. However, you must be extra careful — one wrong click could seriously disrupt your computer's operating system. So, where are passwords stored in Windows 10 registry? You'll need to use the command prompt to access them.

Registry editor

  1. Navigate to Windows Command Prompt again.

  2. Type in regedit and hit Enter.

  3. The Registry Editor window will appear.

  4. Go to HKEY_ LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows NT > CurrentVersion > Winlogon

  5. Now, scroll down to DefaultPassword and double-click it.

  6. A window will pop up, revealing the stored password.

As mentioned earlier, this method is risky since tampering with the Windows registry can damage your operating system. If you're nervous about meddling with the registry, here’s a simple guide to get a hold of your logins using the Microsoft recovery page.

Where are passwords stored in Windows 7?

If you have an earlier version of Windows, don't worry. Here's how to access your accounts on Windows 7:

  1. Go to the Start menu.

  2. Click on the Control Panel.

  3. Go to User Accounts.

  4. Click on Manage your network passwords on the left.

  5. You should find your credentials here!

But what if you can’t log in to your computer in the first place? Forgetting your computer password is definitely annoying, but fortunately there are a few relatively easy ways to recover your Windows 7 credentials. Check out our tutorials on how to reset your Windows 7 password here.

Other ways to recover your passwords

The Windows operating system isn’t the only place where you can find your credentials. If you have enabled your browser to save your passwords, it’s possible to view and edit them later on. Check out our blog posts on how to access your logins in Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Google Chrome. However, keep in mind that saving your credentials in your browser isn’t always the best idea.

There is another great way to ensure you never lose your passwords. Use a password manager — it keeps them safe, all in the same place. NordPass syncs your credentials across all of your devices, so you never have to worry about forgetting your logins again.

Keep your passwords organized with NordPass.

Chad Hammond
Chad Hammond
Verified author
Chad loves traveling and technology. His global view and open-mindedness add interesting angles to various security topics. He has already traveled to over 80 countries and is not planning to stop any time soon.
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