Reveal Hidden Password Behind Asterisks


Forgotten Passwords

I’ve known people who have automatic login enabled on their Facebook accounts and then the data gets erased and they can’t remember their passwords. The problem is, we are too busy looking at the asterisks in the password field and it’s easy to forget. They write them down, but still lose track.

The only thing worse than losing your password completely is forgetting it, but seeing those stupid little asterisks in the password box and wondering what is hidden behind them. I think every site should have the option to actually see the password itself, but the truth of the matter is, most don’t.

Using Browser Developer Tools

This works on Opera and should work across most browsers.

Right-click the password field and then choose Inspect Element.

right-click-in-password-field

This will open an inspector window, usually at the bottom of the page. The item you are looking for should already be highlighted. It should look similar to this in my example:


right-click-on-the-word-password-then-edit-attribute

After input type you’ll see the word password. Just right-click on that and click on Edit attribute and replace the word password with the word text. Press enter. I can’t show you my password but I can confirm it works. Instead of asterisks, now you should see your actual password.

replace-password-with-word-text

If other people use your computer, you might want to change it back afterwards.

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About the Author

Terry Hollett

Terry is a self-taught computer aficionado, who after being exposed to Windows 3.1 in the early 1990's devoured every book and magazine on the subject he could get his hands on. A published author with over 20 years' experience building and servicing computers for friends and family he started his first website in 2002 at Hit Any Key.

7 Comments

  1. Tried this using Firefox and my DCT forum login and it did indeed show me what my password. The most recent password I have forgotten is my Steam account, although I did get it reset. Will have to try and remember this. Thanks Daniel.

  2. Marvellous post. Very helpful.
    Thankyou Terry.
    The consumption of the early 1990’s has done you proud.
    Keep it up.
    Cheers,
    Colin

  3. This is an interesting feature but I was just curious if there is a way to prevent this. Imagine for example someone managed to break into your computer, technically if you have your passwords saved they could use this technique to find your passwords for multiple sites.

  4. Thank you all for your comments. I not sure now how to prevent this except for not saving your passwords in your browser. If I come across anything I’ll let you know.

    • It makes me wonder. Could malware install itself and basically do this trick automatically to then steal passwords

      • It wouldn’t surprise me. I did notice if you don’t have a password setup on your account it’s a lot easier to access the hidden passwords in your browser. Since it wont ask for a Windows password if none is set. So put a password on your account and you have an extra layer of protection.

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