From MozillaZine Knowledge Base
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Revision as of 16:16, 19 September 2005
A Master Password protects access to your stored passwords in your Password Manager. By setting a Master Password, a user will be prompted to enter the Master Password when access into the Password Manager's stored passwords is needed (not everytime, but as needed). For example, your webmail account login information is stored in the Password Manager (if your agree to the prompt that asks you about it). On Thunderbird and Mozilla Suite, it also protects your POP, IMAP, and SMTP server passwords. You will also need to setup a master password if you wish to install S/MIME certificates. A master password is set on a per-profile basis, so it is useful if you have many profiles on your machine or you share a machine with many profiles.
Note for Thunderbird and Mozilla Suite users: This will not prevent other users from reading any mail which is already stored in local folders, but it will prevent them from downloading new mail and sending mail from your accounts.
Set a master password
Note: Enabling the Master Password feature will not protect any passwords that are already stored in the Password Manager. To remedy this, clear your current passwords.
Clear your stored passwords
Reset your master password
If you have lost or forgotten your Master Password or you want to disable the feature, reset your master password. Note that, upon resetting, you will lose all the stored information in the Passwords Manager as this is a built-in security feature to prevent people otherwise resetting your master password and gaining access to your passwords.
Changing master password settings
On Firefox (at least), you can enter "chrome://browser/content/pref-masterpass.xul" in your Location Bar to access UI for changing master password settings.
Upon initial installation, Firefox sometimes believes it has a master password in effect and the user is unable to change it using "Tools -> Options -> Privacy -> Saved Passwords -> Change Master Password" because the set master password is unknown to the user  . This situation sometimes occurs when Mozilla Suite profile's passwords is imported into Firefox at install time.
A tentative solution is to reset your master password (see above). If that doesn't help, try removing "key3.db" file from your profile folder.