The Windows XP registry contains all the saved settings for your computer. This includes hardware drivers, software settings and even some e-mail usernames and passwords. E-mail accounts are stored in plain text, but some e-mail clients store passwords in an encrypted form. Nevertheless, you can find these values in the registry in case you forget an old e-mail address or password. If the password is encrypted, you need to reset the password with your e-mail host.
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Click the Windows "Start" button and enter "regedit" into the text box. Press "Enter" to open the Windows Registry Editor, which is where you can search for your values.
Click the "Edit" menu item and select "Find." A new window opens with a text box. Enter the email address you want to search in the text box and click "Find Next."
Press the "F3" key until you find the location of your e-mail client settings for the email address. Underneath this key, a password key is configured. Double-click it to view the value. If the value is a list of characters, then it is an encrypted password and you need to reset it. Otherwise, if the plain text password is saved, you can recover your e-mail by using this password in your e-mail client.
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