Credential Manager is a little-known Windows feature that stores your usernames and passwords in one place.
What is Windows Credential Manager?
Credential Manager is a native Windows utility that stores authentication data used to access applications, websites, and network resources on your Windows computer.
The app eliminates the need to manually enter login details each time you access a password-protected service by automatically filling in login details for you.
The data stored by Credential Manager is not just credentials to access specific Windows services, such as your Microsoft account or your Outlook inbox.
It also includes identifying information for third-party programs and websites that you access in your browser, such as username and password combinations for webmail accounts, social media accounts, and online banking information.
Access to Credential Manager
To enter Credential Manager (or Credential Manager), follow these steps:
Step 1: Press Win + R keys simultaneously to open the Run window.
Step 2: Type the following:
control /name Microsoft.CredentialManager and press Enter.
Open Windows Control Panel and click “Credential Management”
Add credentials to Credential Manager
There are two categories of credentials in Credential Manager:
Web credentials – this is where you will find all saved login credentials from the websites you connect to Microsoft productsincluding Internet Explorer and Edge.
Windows credentials – maintains login credentials for network resources and remote servers, such as network shares, remote desktop connections, and Windows Remote Management (WinRM). Windows credentials are only used by Windows and its services to store login information.
It is possible to manually add it to the Credential Manager in the “Windows Credentials” location but not in the “Web Credentials” location. There are three different types to choose from.
Step 1: Click “Add Windows Credentials“.
Step 2: Add your internet or network address, along with your username and password. Press “OK” to save.
Alternatelyselect “Add Generic Credentials ». These are used by certain applications that you install on Windows so that they can be authorized to use certain resources.
Enter your details here. This can be the standard username/password pair plus a URL or IP address. Click “OK” to save.
Third alternativeselect “Adding a certificate-based identifier“, which is a bit more complicated.
To add certificate-based credentials, install a certificate on your computer, then add it to the application by clicking Select Certificate.
Certificate-based credentials provide an additional layer of security when transferring sensitive data by ensuring that communication is encrypted and the legitimacy of the service being accessed is verified.
Edit existing credentials
Changing your existing credentials is just as easy. Click on the identifier you want to modify, then click on “Treatment», make the necessary modifications, then click on « OK ».
Remove unwanted credentials
If you no longer want to keep your sensitive credentials stored in Credential Manager, you can delete them entirely. Select the credentials you want to remove, select “Abolition» and confirm your choice by clicking on « Yes ».
Save your credentials
Backing up your credentials is always a good idea, especially if you use multiple devices or face a high risk of data loss.
Step 1: Click “Saving credentials” in the Credential Manager window.
Step 2: Select a directory on your drive to save the backup file by clicking the “Browse” button.
Give a name and click on the “Save” button
How secure is Windows Credential Manager?
It is relatively secure as it uses industry standard encryption techniques to protect credentials.
However, there are still widespread concerns about its security, mainly because hackers have proven everything to be broken.