Mozilla Password Manager Tricks

Sections: Password Recovery Method, Importing a Password File, Revealing a Password

Password Recovery Method

Mozilla's Password Manager is a great tool for logging into dozens of websites without drowning in Post-It Notes, or using one password everywhere. Sometimes, however, you have a lot of passwords in there, and for one reason or another, you need to create a new profile, and wish to take your passwords with you. What do you do? Here's a simple way to recover them.

  1. Locate your profile directory. For the 3 major OSes, they're located in the following locations:

  2. In your profile directory, there will be a file with a string of numbers for the name, with a .s extension, such as 91453348.s. This is the file containing your login information. Open it in a text editor. There will be a block of text like so:

    The top line is the URL where the information that follows belongs. The second line is the name of the username field. The third line is the username information, encoded in Base64. The fourth line is the name of the password field. The fifth line is the password data, also encoded in Base64. The final line is a period, which tells Mozilla that it has reached the end of stored information for that website, it is just a separator.

  3. In this example, the third and fifth lines are what we want. Copy them, and remove the ~ at the beginning of each. Then you can copy them into the form below to decode them. This will give you the username and password stored in your password file.

Note: This decoder form is done with JavaScript, and no data travels
anywhere outside of your computer. This form can be used offline as
well, since no data is sent to any server. A stripped down version can
be found here.

Clear Text

Base64 Encoded Text

Importing a Password File

Would you rather just bring your old profile's password file into a new profile? Too many passwords to do one by one? Fear not, you can import your old passwordfile into the new profile with just a few simple steps.

  1. Locate your profile directory, just like above.
  2. Again, find the [random string].s file, like in Step 2 above. Write down the filename exactly as it appears.
  3. Copy that file to your new profile's directory.
  4. While Mozilla is not running (including Quick Launch), open the prefs.js file in your new profile directory in any text editor.
  5. Find the following string in the file using your text editor's Search function: You should have found a line that looks like the following:
  6. Change the number in that line to match the number of the filename you wrote down from Step 2.
  7. Save your changes, and exit. You're done.

Now Mozilla will have all your old passwords stored again.

Revealing Passwords in a Web Login Form

Mozilla filling in all those passwords automatically can lead to a person forgetting what those passwords were to begin with. There's an easy way to see them without resorting to the in-depth methods above (which is really just intended for saving multiple paswords from al old profile). It's called a Bookmarklet. Bookmarklets are just like regular bookmarks, in that they fit right in with all your regular bookmarks, but they're not just a link to a page. They're a tiny bit of JavaScript that can perform an action on the current page. Jesse Ruderman has created most of my favorite Bookmarklets, which can be found here.

When I was in the middle of writing a bookmarklet to show you passwords in a form, I found out he'd already written a better one. You can right click on the link View Passwords and select "Bookmark This Link" to add it to your Bookmarks, or drag it to your Personal Toolbar or Bookmarks menu. Then, whenever confronted with a form with a password field, click the Bookmark it creates, and it will reveal to you the contents of the password field.

Free Password Manager. Ever Password is a free password manager protects passwords on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and online.