Question: I'm using Internet Explorer
and usually when I login in to a new site, I get a popup box
asking if I want Windows to remember my
password. I usually answer Yes, but on one site I mistakenly clicked
now I don't get asked anymore. Is there any way to make Windows ask me again? Is there some place these
passwords are stored?
Answer: To be clear, the dialog box
we are talking about is this one:
So what to do if you click NO and change
your mind later
In most cases you can
get the box back easily—without having to enter the registry. You
simply remove that particular user name from the login form.
1. Double-click inside
the form field where you normally enter your user name. This
will bring up a dropdown list showing all your saved AutoComplete user
names. (in this example, there is only one in the list)
2. Point (not click) to
the one you want to remove, so that it is highlighted, and then hit
the Delete key.
3. Once gone, login
in again. You should now get the autocomplete box again.
If that doesn't work then
it's time to explore the registry and delete the password there.
First, you should realize
that all of this involves the registry whether you know it or not. For
example, if you check the box "Don't
offer to remember anymore passwords" and
then change your mind, all you have to do to get it back is
open Internet Explorer and click:
Tools > Internet Options > Content > AutoComplete
There you will see the
option: "Prompt Me to Save Passwords" and simply checking it will bring the prompt back at most web logins
No sign of registry involvement
there at all; but in fact, what you are really doing when you
make that choice is editing this string value in the registry:
you check the box, you are setting it to NO
you will never be prompted to save your password, ever.
you uncheck the box, you are setting the value to YES
can see this value here:
look in the right hand pane for the value "FormSuggest PW Ask" which
will be set to either yes or no.
So what happens when you
click Yes to have your password remembered? Again,
a registry change occurs.
The password is stored
at the SPW key (which stands for Saved PassWords). The
location is here:
In the right hand pane
of the SPW key you will see all your saved AutoComplete controlled passwords.
However, you won't recognize them because they are encrypted as you can
see, looking something like this:
passwords and other autocomplete info can be easily decrypted by
using special password revealing utilities.
If the non registry method doesn't work to get back the lost prompt
box, you can fix the problem by deleting this whole key. However,
if you have a lot of passwords saved and dread the thought
of losing them all, then use this method:
1. Select the SPW key, click File > Export and then save it as
a reg file (i.e., spw.reg)
2. Once exported and saved,
right click the SPW key in the registry and choose Delete.
3. Login to the
site that was giving you the problem and enter your user name and password.
This time the dialog box will come up and you can choose Yes to remembering
4. Double click the reg
export you made to merge those settings back into the registry.
And there you go—your
problem is fixed and you didnít have to lose your other passwords.
But it was "NO"...do NOT remember
my password, that I mistakenly checked!
Secret...it makes no difference whether
you chose YES or NO. Your password is saved at the SPW key regardless of
your choice. Saving your password is not the same as remembering it to
Windows. When you click NO, the password has to exist so that Windows will
know what action to take with it (offer to remember it or not). To
remember or not remember is controlled by more complex binary values
hidden deep under the Protected Storage key.
Storage System Provider
That's where all
your AutoComplete info is held and, though it is possible to hack these
values, it is not something you can just turn on or off with a simple yes
For more registry tips,
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