Password Manager

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This article was written for Firefox but may also apply to Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey and Thunderbird, although menu sequences may differ.

Firefox includes a feature that allows you to save passwords. If you enter a password in a web form and you do not see a message asking you if you want Firefox to remember the password, make sure that "Remember passwords for sites" is enabled in "Tools -> Options -> Security / Passwords.

You can also choose to use a Master password to protect your passwords, which is highly recommended if you share your computer. See the linked article for details.


Using the Password Manager


You access the Password Manager from the Firefox menu via "Tools -> Options -> Security / Passwords".

  • Firefox 3: Click the "Saved Passwords" button to open the "Saved Passwords" window.
  • Firefox 2: Click the "Show Passwords" button to open the "Remember Passwords" window.

The "Saved Passwords" window (Firefox 3) or "Remember Passwords" window (Firefox 2) lists the web sites and user names for your stored passwords and includes a "Show Passwords" button that lets you view your stored passwords.

If you use a Master password then Firefox has access to the passwords as long as you are logged in to the Software Security Device ("Tools > Options > Advanced > Encryption: Certificates: Security Devices: Software Security Device"). See the Master password article for details.

Deleting passwords

To delete stored passwords for web sites and user names listed in the Password Manager, open the "Saved Passwords" or "Remember Passwords" window (see above). Highlight (select) the items that you want to delete and click the "Remove" button (or press the Delete key). Warning: Make sure you do not click the "Remove All" button, as that will remove all the passwords, without asking for confirmation in Firefox 2 and below.


The Exceptions button in "Tools -> Options -> Security / Passwords" opens a window ("Exceptions - Saved Passwords" in Firefox 3 or "Don't Remember Passwords" in Firefox 2) that lists the web domains from which you chose never to store passwords. If you later decide that you do want to store a password from a site on the Exceptions list, you will need to remove that entry. That is done in the same way you would delete a password, by highlighting the entry and clicking the "Remove" button (or pressing the Delete key).


If Firefox 3.5 or later versions do not offer to store new passwords then make sure that you are not in Private Browsing mode. This is the case if you have a "Tools > Stop Private Browsing" menu item. If that item is disabled (grayed) then you start Firefox automatically in Private Browsing mode. To see all the history settings choose Tools -> Options > Privacy, choose the setting "Firefox will: Use custom settings for history" . You will enter Private Browsing mode if you select: Tools -> Options > Privacy > History: Firefox will: "Never Remember History".

If you do not see any passwords in the Password Manager window (Show Passwords) then your passwords are probably lost. If you use Firefox 3 and still see encrypted names and passwords in the file signons3.txt (signons2.txt in Firefox 2.0.0.x) then a possible cause is a wrong or corrupted key3.db file. In Firefox 3.0.2 and 3.0.3 it can also be a problem with the encoding [1][2][3].
If you have updated from Firefox 2 to Firefox 3 and you haven't changed the Master Password then you can try to copy or rename an existing signons2.txt to signons3.txt to see if that works.
Firefox 3.5 and later versions use the file signons.sqlite to store the encrypted names and passwords. You can rename signons.sqlite to signons.sqlite.sav to make Firefox 3.5+ versions use the file signons#.txt from a previous Firefox 3 or 2 version.
Firefox 3.5 will use an existing signons#.txt if no file signons.sqlite is present in the Firefox profile folder.
All Firefox versions use the same key3.db file to store the encryption key and that file need to match the signons file.
If you can't add new passwords but still see your old passwords in the Password Manager window then use the Password Exporter extension to export your current passwords and delete key3.db and delete or rename signons.sqlite and all signons#.txt files (e.g. signons3.txt and signons2.txt) in the Profile folder - Firefox. You can also do that if you lost your Master password and the suggestions in the Master password article didn't work. You need to set a new Master password after deleting the file key3.db.

Backing up and restoring passwords

Firefox stores your password data in two files: key3.db (Master Password / Encryption key) and a "signons" file (encrypted names and passwords). You can back up your passwords by making a copy of the files "key3.db" and "signons" for your Firefox version. Firefox 2 uses signons2.txt. Firefox 3.0.x uses signons3.txt. Firefox 3.5 and later versions, including current beta and nightly builds, use signons.sqlite. [4]
See Profile folder - Firefox and Profile backup for additional information.

You can also use the Password Exporter or FEBE add-ons to back up your passwords.

You can also create a backup in JSON format with the code shown below. Copy and paste the code in the Code field in the Tools > Error Console and click the Evaluate button
var {classes:Cc, interfaces:Ci} = Components;

var tokendb = Cc[";1"]
var token = tokendb.getInternalKeyToken();

try { token.login(true); } catch (e) { }

if (!token.needsLogin() || token.isLoggedIn()) {
 var passwordmanager = Cc[";1"]
 var signons = passwordmanager.getAllLogins({});

 for (i=0;i<signons.length;i++) {
  try {
   var host = signons[i].hostname;
   var realm = signons[i].httpRealm;
   var user = signons[i].username;
   var userf = signons[i].usernameField;
   var password = signons[i].password;
   var passwordf = signons[i].passwordField;
   var submiturl = signons[i].formSubmitURL;
   } catch(e) {}

 var json = JSON.stringify(signons);

 var fp=Cc[";1"]

 if ( == fp.returnCancel) return;

 var filoutputStream=Cc[";1"]


Printing passwords

If you want a printed copy of the password then look at this forum thread and also read this web page (scroll down to #4).

This is the Firefox 3 version of the code from the edmullen's site. You can find the complete file with the Firefox 3 code on: the-edmeister's Firefox Informational Website. The version shown below will run in the Tools > Error Console (paste the code in the Code field and click the Evaluate button)

(function(){ /* */
function twodigs(str) {return (str.length < 2) ? "0" + str : str;}

var today = new Date();
var hours = twodigs(today.getHours() + "") ;
var minutes = twodigs(today.getMinutes() + "") ;
var seconds = twodigs(today.getSeconds() + "") ;

var timeValue = " - At  " + hours + ":" + minutes + ":" + seconds;
var days = new Array("Sunday","Monday","Tuesday","Wednesday","Thursday","Friday","Saturday");
var months = new Array("January","February","March","April","May","June","July","August","September","October","November","December");
var date = ((today.getDate()<10) ? "0" : "")+ today.getDate();

today =  "On " + days[today.getDay()] + ", " + date + " " + months[today.getMonth()] + " " + today.getFullYear() + timeValue ;

var Cc = Components.classes;
var Ci = Components.interfaces;

var tokendb = Cc[";1"].createInstance(Ci.nsIPK11TokenDB);
var token = tokendb.getInternalKeyToken();

try {token.login(true)} catch (e) {}

if (!token.needsLogin()||token.isLoggedIn()){
 var pwdmanager = Cc[";1"].getService(Ci.nsILoginManager);
 var names="",signons = pwdmanager.getAllLogins({});

 for (i=0;i<signons.length;i++) {
  try {
   var host = signons[i].hostname;
   var realm = signons[i].httpRealm;
   var user = signons[i].username;
   var userf = signons[i].usernameField;
   var password = signons[i].password;
   var passwordf = signons[i].passwordField;
   var submiturl = signons[i].formSubmitURL;
   if (user == ""){ user = "<br>"; }
   names+="<tr><td>" + host + "<td>" + user + "<td>" + password + "<td>" + submiturl;
   } catch(e) {}

'<title>Exported Mozilla Passwords</title>\n'+
'<style type="text/css">\n'+
'body {\n'+
' margin: 1em 3em;\n'+
' background-color: rgb(255, 221, 221);\n'+
'table {empty-cells: show; background-color: rgb(221, 255, 221);}\n'+
' tr.head {background-color: rgb(204, 204, 255);}\n'+
' td {font-family: "Trebuchet MS", Arial, Verdana, Sans-Serif; font-size: 85%; padding: 1px 2px 1px 2px; }\n'+
'<p>Produced by <i>Pasting Code in the "Tools > Error Console: Code field"</i> (by "ernie" - Andrew Poth - Ed Mullen - adapted by to run in the Error Console)<br>\n'+today+
'<table border="1" cellspacing="0">\n'+
'<tr class="head">\n'+
'<td><b>User name</b>\n'+
'<td><b>Submit URL</b>\n'+

Entry of userid and password when requested

If the password is stored, you can start typing in the first letter(s) of the userid, or you can double-click in the userid text area, either should bring up a choice of userids. Once the userid is typed in the password will be automatically entered after you have answered request for your Master Password. The Master Password needs to be entered only once for a site during your session. If there is only one choice and you have already entered the master password during your session you may be able to just mouse over the userid.

See also

External links