DetailPage-MSS-KB

Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 306541 - Last Review: September 23, 2011 - Revision: 3.0

This article was previously published under Q306541

On This Page

SUMMARY

This article describes how to manage stored user names and passwords on a computer that is not a member of a domain.

When you log on to a Windows XP-based computer, you can supply a user name and password, which becomes your default security context for connecting to other computers on networks and over the Internet. However, this user name and password may not provide access to all desired resources. The Stored User Names and Passwords feature provides a way to store additional user names and passwords as a part of your profile.

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

Overview of Managing Credentials

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 by Windows to automatically authenticate your user account.

When a credential is saved by selecting the Remember my password check box on the user name and password dialog box that you receive when you connect to a resource, the credential are saved in the most general form possible. For example, if you access 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 the use of more specific information.

When you access a resource, the authentication package searches the Stored User Names and Passwords store 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 will be returned to the program that attempted to access the resource. At this point, you are prompted for your user name and password.

You can manually manage the credentials that are 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 and edit an existing entry; to do so, click the Add, Edit, or Properties button.

How to Manage Stored User Names and Passwords

To manage stored user names and passwords, follow these steps:
  1. Log on to the computer as the user whose account you want to change.
  2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  3. In Control Panel, click User Accounts under Pick a category to open the User Accounts dialog box.
  4. Open the Stored User Names and Passwords dialog box; to do so, use the appropriate method:
    • If you log on with a limited account:
      1. Under Related Tasks, click Manage my network passwords.
    • If you log on with an account with administrative privileges:
      1. Under or pick an account to change, click your user account to open the What do you want to change about your account? dialog box.
      2. Under Related Tasks, click the Manage my network passwords.
    A list of stored user names and passwords similar to the following example is displayed:
    *.Microsoft.com
    Passport.Net\*(Passport)

Add an Entry

To manually add a credential:
  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 (in this example, Microsoft is the name of the domain, and User is the user name):
    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.

Remove an Entry

To remove a credential:
  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.

Edit an Entry

To edit a credential:
  1. In the Stored User Names and Passwords dialog box, click the credential that you want, and then click Properties to open the Logon Information Properties dialog box.
  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. In the Old password and New password boxes, type the corresponding information, type the new password in the Confirm new password box, and then click OK. The domain password is now 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.

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.

REFERENCES

For additional information about managing stored user names and passwords, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306992  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306992/EN-US/ ) How to Manage Stored User Names and Passwords on a Computer in a Domain
281660  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/281660/EN-US/ ) Behavior of Stored User Names and Passwords

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbhowtomaster KB306541
Share
Additional support options
Ask The Microsoft Small Business Support Community
Contact Microsoft Small Business Support
Find Microsoft Small Business Support Certified Partner
Find a Microsoft Store For In-Person Small Business Support