How to Add, Backup, Restore User Credentials using Windows Vault

Windows 7 allows you to store the login credentials which can be used to login to various servers, Web sites or programs. These are quite handy to use and they are stored in electronic vault which is called as Windows Vault.

To add an entry into Windows Vault:

  • Go to Control Panel -> User Accounts -> Credentials Manager



  • Click on Add a Windows Credential or Add a Generic Credential. You will be asked to fill the details. Just fill them up.


  • To add a Certificate based credential click on Add a Certificate-based credential


To backup the Windows Vault:

  • Click on Back up Vault. Windows will open which will ask you to browse the location where you want to take the back up.



  • After that you will see a window which will ask you to press CLR+ALT+DELETE

After this again a new window will come which will ask you to enter the password. It is always advisable that you use strong password which must be a combination of upper case , lower case , special characters and numbers. Also please take the back up on some external secondary storage.

To restore the back up:

  • Click on Restore Vault. It will ask you to browse the file location which will be of .crd type.

  • You will again find the same window asking you to press CLR+ALT+DELETE
  • A new window will come asking you to enter the password to verify the backup.
  • Once you password is verified you will see a window showing the Restored message.

This is all you have to do to ease your life to have a automatic login. I will suggest you to add an entry into Windows Vault to have automatic login using your personal computers because generally browsers use Cookies to store this information which are susceptible to various security attacks where as here the information is stored in electronic vault.

Hope that helps!

Go here to learn how to manage passwords in Internet Explorer 10 using Credential Manager in Windows 8.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Harsh Mahajan is a Microsoft Student Partner. A technology enthusiast at heart, he has a tremendous passion for emerging technologies & trends like Cloud Computing & Windows Azure. He is associated with the International .Net Association as Brains Unleashed leader.


  1. Rajat

    this works!

  2. Ed

    This is not safe to do even under the best and safest circumsatnces and why it is being posted here when it is ill advised all over the web is confusing to me.

    Automatic log in to any server or site is the worst thing anyone can do with all the security holes that are constantly being found not only in IE but Windows also. It only takes 15 seconds to punch in your user/pass to any site or server. If you want to back up your user names and passwords that is ok but do it on something external. By doing what is written above you are only asking for trouble.

  3. HarshM@TWC

    Well ED first of all you might be right in your own respect but this feature is still quite handy. Passwords are encrypted and it uses DPAPI for the. The feature mentioned is just for the sake of simplicity for end users and this is aren’t that bad which you think. Saving the passwords in cookies makes you more vulnerable.

  4. Ed

    Sorry, I did not mean for it to sound like I was discrediting what you had wrote. If anyone is comfortable doing this then by all means do it.
    As for me I do not store ANY usernames or passwords on any of my devices, I also make a habit of entering all that info manually when I visit sites or servers. And if I happen to forget a username or password, it is backed up on a thumb drive stored in a safe place.
    Even though you say the passwords are encrypted and uses DPAPI it would be interesting to see if a program something like Trinity would be able to crack it because it DOES crack Windows logon passwords which is supposed to be encrypted the same way.

  5. HarshM@TWC

    As per my knowledge, user name and passwords are stored in an electronic vault and this stuff is encrypted. Exact name of the algorithm I still don’t know. But i believe they are encrypted using AES algorithm i.e. Rijndael which provides 256 bit encryption as .Net framework has support for it. AES passwords are hard to break. If you find any tool which breaks the security of Windows Vault then please share with us.

  6. windows password password preofessional is great! I have used it!

  7. Paulo Matos

    CTRL+ALT+DELETE (or CTRL+ALT+END on Remote Desktop)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 + 4 =