Backup and Restore of Stored User Names and Passwords


In some environments, the stored user names and passwords feature significantly affects user efficiency and productivity because it can store dozens of credentials for using network resources per user. Unfortunately, this same usefulness can lead to frustration if a user suddenly loses his or her stored user names and passwords because of a hardware or software failure on the client computer he or she regularly uses.

To resolve this potential source of user frustration (or to help organizations support this feature), Windows Vista includes a Backup and Restore Wizard that allows users to back up user names and passwords they have requested Windows to remember for them. This new functionality allows users to restore the user names and passwords on any computer running Windows Vista. Restoring a backup file on a different computer allows users to effectively roam or move their saved user names and passwords.


Restoring user names and passwords from a backup file will replace any existing saved user names and passwords the user has on the computer.

To access this feature, open Control Panel, double-click User Accounts, and then click Manage your network passwords. If you have previously saved any credentials, the Back up button is enabled.


This feature requires Windows Vista.

Automation and scripting

For security reasons, this feature cannot be automated, nor can the backup process be initiated by an application that runs under standard user credentials.

Security considerations

The backup file is encrypted by using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and a password supplied by the user at the time the backup is performed. The password should be a strong password to avoid the possibility of the backup being compromised if the password is lost.

See Also


Windows Vista Authentication Features