How to view a forgotten password in Firefox

You know all those times you’re surfing the web, logging into sites and clicking Remember password?  Well what happens if you forgot one of those passwords?  Do you need to reset the stored Firefox passwords or is there a way to view them?

Check this out…

Open Firefox, and open Options by pressing Alt + t and then o (that’s an “oh”).

You can also get there by clicking the “hamburger” icon in the upper right corner of the browser and choosing the Options cog from the drop down menu but I like keyboard shortcuts because they’re faster and arguably more efficient.

Anyway, in the Options window, click the Security padlock tab and then choose the Saved Passwords… button on the right side of the window.

Viewing options in Firefox

You’ll see all your saved passwords here.

In addition to showing you the username and site it also shows you:

  • the last time it was used
  • when it was changed and
  • how often it was used.

Important stuff.

If you don’t see all these columns you can display them by clicking the tiny column button hiding at the far right of the column headers. It looks like a little two column table with a down arrow under it.

If you right click a saved login, you’ll have options to copy the username or password to the clipboard.  This lets you simply paste the password into a password box without disclosing it which could come in handy if you’re in a crowded area or a public space like a library or hotel lobby.

Copying your protected stored logins to the clipboard in Firefox

Also, if you click the Show Password button in the bottom right corner of the window you can actually view the saved password in plaintext.

Viewing Firefox passwords in PlainText

Since the only thing protecting your saved passwords is your Windows login, it’s pretty easy for anyone to quickly view your saved Firefox passwords (assuming your box is unlocked).

For this reason, I suggest creating a Firefox master password to protect your stored logins.  Just imagine what could happen if you got up to brew some tea but forgot to lock your computer.  Or maybe something unexpected happens in the office and you’re forced to leave your computer abruptly…

That reclusive co-worker with the unshaven beard and abominable body order could easily roll his chair over and instantly grab all your saved passwords.

And you would have no idea.

If you had a master password protecting your passwords he would get stopped in his tracks so I highly suggest creating that master password!


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Posted in Mozilla Firefox, Web Browsers, Windows, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Vista Tagged with: , ,