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How to retrieve passwords used on your computer

Every time you choose to save a password in an application or on a web site, the password data is stored in a secure location on your computer. If you are an administrator, you can access the password data and retrieve a list of passwords that have been used on your computer. Password data is stored in different ways on PC and MacIntosh computers, but the information is accessible on both types of systems.

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  1. Log on to your PC computer with an administrator account.

  2. Open the "Start" menu and click on the "Run" button.

  3. Type "keymgr.dll" into the text box and hit "Enter." The Key Manager utility program will launch and display a list of passwords used on the computer.

  4. Highlight the password item you want more information about.

  5. Click on the "Properties" button on the right side of the window to view more information about the selected password item. The pop-up window will display the username, password and server address for the selected item.

  6. Log on to your MacIntosh computer with an administrator account.

  7. Open a new "Finder" window by clicking on the icon in the dock.

  8. Go to the "Utilities" folder in the "Applications" section of the Mac hard drive.

  9. Double-click on the "Keychain Access" icon to launch the utility program. A list of all the passwords used on your computer will be displayed.

  10. Highlight a password item and click on the "i" button at the bottom of the window to view more information about it.

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Things You'll Need

  • PC or Mac computer

About the Author

Bennett Gavrish is an I.T. professional who has been writing about computers, electronics and the Web since 2004. His work has appeared in the "Nashua Telegraph" and the "Daily Free Press" and on numerous websites. Gavrish received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University.

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