CredentialsFileView: access decrypted Credentials files

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • If you want to see what's inside a Credentials file in Windows, you only need a third-party program. CredentialsFileView from Nirsoft allows you to decrypt Windows credential files, and display their content.
  • Credentials can store various types of data, including remote computer login passwords, mail accounts passwords, and many others. To keep these data secure, credential files are encrypted.
  • Our All the Windows 10 tips you need to Know Hub is pretty self-explanatory, right? Infinite power!
  • There's no shame in not knowing the tech slang. Just head out to our Tech definitions section to refresh your memory.
How to ccess decrypted Credentials files

In case you want to see what’s inside a Credentials file in Windows, you don’t need to be an expert programmer, just use a third-party program.

A new application from Nirsoft, called CredentialsFileView allows you to decrypt Windows credential files, and display what’s stored in it.

In case you’re not familiar with this type of file in Windows, the system uses credentials for storing data and sensitive info securely.

How can I use CredentialsFileView?

Credentials can store various types of data, including remote computer login passwords, mail accounts passwords, Windows Live session information, Windows Messenger passwords, or Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge passwords.

To keep these data secure, credential files are encrypted.

The program is very simple to use. You just need to enter the Windows login password, and it will automatically detect all information.

Without the Windows login password, the program isn’t useful, because it only shows encrypted info.

When you open CredentialsFileView for the first time, it will automatically detect all credentials files, based on the path you enter. Once the setup is done, all files will be listed in the main screen of the program.

Here, you can click on each file individually, to show its decrypted content in the lower half of the interface.

Information is shown as a full hex dump by default, but you can switch the view mode to strings, for better understanding.

It also allows you to change any password in a credential file, so if you want an application to use a different password, you can use this program to change it.

How can I download CredentialsFileView?

CredentialsFileView is compatible with every version of Windows from Windows XP to Windows 10. So, whatever system you’re currently on, you can use this program to access decrypted credentials files on your computer.

This program will be of most use mainly to system administrators, but you may also use it to remind yourself of a certain app password.

CredentialsFileView is available, and you can download it for free.

FAQ: Read more about credentials

  • How do I find my generic credentials password?
The generic credentials password can be found in the Credential Manager. If the Credential Manager doesn’t work, here’s how you can fix it.
  • How do I open Credential Manager?
To open Credential Manager, write credential in the Windows search box and select Credential Manager from the results. Here’s a guide on how to add, remove, and edit files in Windows Credential Manager.
  • Where are generic credentials stored?
In Windows 10 and 8.1, all the credentials are stored in the Windows Credentials section. Here’s what to do if Windows forgets the network credentials.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.