How to manage stored user names and passwords on a computer in a domain in Windows XP

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SUMMARY

This article describes how to manage stored user names and passwords on a computer that is a member of a domain.

Stored User Names and Passwords is a secured store for password information. With this feature, you can enter user names and passwords for various network resources and applications (such as e-mail) once, and then have Windows automatically supply that information for subsequent visits to those resources without your intervention.

More Information

When you first log on to a server or a Web site, you are prompted for your user name and password. When you type your user name and password for the resource, and then click to select the Remember my password check box, your logon information is stored with your user account. When you next connect to the same resource, these stored credentials are used to automatically authenticate you.

When a credential is saved by selecting the Remember my password check box on the user name and password prompt that you receive when connecting to a resource, the credential are saved in the most general form possible. For example, if you are accessing a specific server in a domain, the credential may be saved as *.domain.com (where domain is the name of the domain). Saving a different credential for a different server in this domain would not overwrite this credential. The new credential would be saved by using more specific information.

When you access a resource, the authentication package searches in Stored User Names and Passwords for the most specific credential that matches that resource. If one is found, it will be used by the authentication package without any interaction from you. If a credential is not found, an authentication error is returned to the program that attempted to access the resource. You are then prompted for your user name and password.

You can manually manage the credentials stored in Stored User Names and Passwords by clicking Manage my network passwords in the user account that you want to change.
In the Stored User Names and Passwords dialog box, you can add a new entry, remove an existing entry, or view the properties to edit an existing entry.

How to Manage Stored User Names and Passwords

NOTE If you use an administrative account to log on the computer, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, click User Accounts under Pick a category to open the User Accounts dialog box appears.
  3. On the Users tab, click the user that you want, and then click the Advanced tab.
  4. Click the Manage Passwords button to open the Stored User Names and Passwords dialog box. A list of stored user names and passwords similar to the following may appear:
    *.Microsoft.com
    Passport.Net\*(Passport)
If you use a restricted user account to log on the computer, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type Control Userpasswords2, and then press ENTER.

    Note The following message may occur:
    You must be a member of the Administrators group on this computer to open User Accounts. You are logged on as user name, and this account is not a member of the Administrators group.
    In this condition, you are required to type the user name and password when the system prompts the dialog box to type the user name and password of the administrator of the computer.
  2. Click the Advanced tab, and then click Manage Passwords.

To Add an Entry

  1. In the Stored User Names and Passwords dialog box, click Add to open the Logon Information Properties dialog box.
  2. In the Server box, type the name of the server or share that you want. You can use an asterisk as a "wildcard" character. The following example entries are valid server names:
    *.Microsoft.com
    \\Server\Share
  3. In the User name box, type the name of the user account that has permission to access the resource. Type the user name in the Server\User or User@domain.com name format. The following are examples of valid user name entries:
    Microsoft\User
    User@microsoft.com
  4. In the Password box, type the password for the user that you entered in step 3, and then click OK.
  5. In the Stored User Names and Passwords dialog box, click Close.

To Remove an Entry

  1. In the Stored User Names and Passwords dialog box, click the credential that you want, and then click Remove. The following message is displayed:
    The selected logon information will be deleted.
  2. Click OK.
  3. In the Stored User Names and Passwords dialog box, click Close.

To Edit an Entry

  1. In the Stored User Names and Passwords dialog box, click the credential that you want, and then click Properties. The Logon Information Properties dialog box is displayed.
  2. Change the items that you want, and then click OK.

    If you want to change the domain password for the user account that is specified in the User name box, click Change. Type the old password and new password into the corresponding boxes, type the new password into the Confirm new password box, and then click OK. The domain password is changed.
  3. In the Stored User Names and Passwords dialog box, click Close.

Troubleshooting

When you store user account information for remote resources in this manner, anyone who gains access to your user account may also gain access to these password-protected resources. For this reason, it is highly recommended to use a strong password for your Windows XP account.

REFERENCES

For more information about creating strong passwords, click Start, and then click Help and Support. In the Search box, type creating strong passwords, and then click the Start searching button. For more information about managing stored user names and passwords, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306541 How to manage stored user names and passwords on a computer that is not in a domain in Windows XP
281660 Behavior of stored user names and passwords

Properties

Article ID: 306992 - Last Review: May 10, 2007 - Revision: 2.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbhowtomaster KB306992

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