Windows Credential Manager & Windows Vault

Windows 7 introduced a feature called as the Credential Manager. This is not exactly a new feature and is similar to technology in past versions of Windows like Vista or XP, in the sense that it stores your passwords, which you can access & manage easily. However, in Windows 7 Microsoft has added the ability to back up & restore your passwords, and give it a nice user interface. This has been improved upon in Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 as well.

These Credentials are saved in special folders on your computer called vaults. The default storage vault for the credential manager information is referred to as the Windows Vault.

Windows Credential Manager

You can use the Windows Credential Manager, a part of Authentication Services, to save credentials like user-names & passwords so that you can easily log onto websites or secure computers. You can access the Credential Manager through the Control Panel.

credential manager

To access Credential Manager, type ‘credential manager’ in start search and hit Enter.

From the Windows Credential Manager, you can :

  1. Add edit or remove a Windows credential
  2. Add a generic credential
  3. Add a certificate based credential
  4. Backup the Windows Vault
  5. Restore the Windows Vault

All are self-explanatory and easy to operate.

Credential Manager not working

If you find that your Credential Manager is not working, type services.msc in start search and hit Enter to open Services Manager. Here make sure that Credential Manager service and its Dependencies are started and working properly. For more troubleshooting steps, see Credential Manager is not working.

Additional resources at MSDN here and here too. Click here to find out how to Add, Backup, Restore User Credentials using Windows Vault.

Web Credentials Manager in Windows 10/8

Credentials Manager in Windows 10

In Windows 10/8, you will also see one more type of credential, called as the  Web Credentials, which help Internet Explorer to store your web passwords. Go here to learn how to manage passwords in Internet Explorer using Credential Manager and here if you find that Internet Explorer does not save credentials for a website.

VaultPasswordView lets you decrypt passwords stored in Windows Vault.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.