Browsers always hide the passwords behind asterisks or dots to ensure others can’t snoop on them. That may be cumbersome when there are too many passwords to remember. Often you need the convenience to view them in plain text, especially difficult passwords.
The following methods will allow you to see your typed password in your browser instead of asterisks.
Warning: while the methods to reveal passwords are safe to use, it’s important to keep your passwords hidden as much as possible.
1. Reveal Saved Passwords in the Browser
All major browsers offer the convenience to save passwords while you’re logging in to any website. Many times they can be viewed in the browser’s settings. Is that a privacy concern? Yes, because the passwords are retained in plain text and can be exposed by simply clicking the “show password” option.
Whether you want to save the password or not, you always get a one-time reminder. This gives you the flexibility to not save the super-sensitive passwords. Also, you can review periodically and delete one or more of the saved passwords.
Check the methods to reveal saved passwords behind the asterisks in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox as shown below.
Microsoft Edge (Chrome Version)
The Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge is a big improvement on what came before, and a big part of that is the fact that it’s based on Chrome and functions in a similar (if even slightly faster) way.
- Go to
Edge://Settings/Passwordsand make sure that the option to save passwords is enabled, which it should be by default. Whenever you enter your login credentials on any website going forward, Edge will offer to save them. It’s an option you can accept or decline.
- To see your saved passwords in Microsoft Edge, click the three-dot menu icon at the top-right corner, then go to “Settings -> Profiles -> Passwords.”
- In the passwords list, click the eye icon next to the password you want revealed.
Cloud Sync and Multiple User Profiles
When you install Edge, it creates a default profile for you and any passwords you save are linked to this profile. However, these passwords are deleted when you clear the browser cache, and you can’t sync them across multiple devices.
To get a more permanent view of Edge passwords (and sync them across multiple devices), it’s good to back them up to a Microsoft account. You can also use Gmail, Skype, or a work or school account instead of Hotmail. It takes just a few seconds to get started. Click on the Profiles button (user icon) in the toolbar, then on the “Sign in to sync data” button under the default profile.
As soon as you sign in, your existing passwords are backed up to your account and each time you save a new password, it gets added to the list.
You can create multiple profiles via the Profiles menu or toolbar button. To save passwords to and view them for a particular profile using the instructions above, you have to switch to that profile first.
To save and reveal passwords in Google Chrome, here’s what you need to do:
- In the Chrome browser, go to “Settings -> Auto-fill -> Passwords.”
You can also access this location via the person icon at the top right. Look for the prominently displayed key icon within the pop-up that appears.
- Enable the option “Offer to save passwords” to get the reminders when you’re logging in.
- If you enter a new password on a site, Chrome will ask to save it. To accept, click “Save.”
- Go back to “Settings -> Auto-fill -> Passwords,” and you should see a list of saved passwords. Click the Show password button (eye icon) to view it.
- Chrome also lets you copy or delete the password from a three-dot menu.
Just as in Microsoft Edge, passwords get saved to the default profile. You can back them up to your Google account to ensure you don’t lose them when you clear your browser’s cache.
If you have set up multiple user profiles in Chrome, keep in mind that you have to switch to the right profile to save passwords to it and to view saved passwords.
A welcome feature in Chrome’s password manager is a list telling you whether any of your passwords have been compromised in a recent security breach on one website or another. You can then view the passwords in question and go to their sites to change them into something more secure.
- In Firefox, go to “Options -> Privacy & Security -> Logins and Passwords.” Check all the boxes beneath “Ask to save logins and passwords for websites.” Unlike Google Chrome, Firefox lets you use a primary or “master” password as a top layer over all the saved passwords. This is quite a useful security feature.
- From now on, Firefox will offer to save all the passwords you enter. Click “Save” to proceed.
- All the saved passwords are recoverable from “Options -> Privacy & Security -> Logins and Passwords.” You can click the “show password” icon to view the password. You can also copy the username and password from prominent icons to easily delete the passwords.
2. Use Show Password Option
During login, several websites allow you to remove dots or asterisks using a “show/hide” checkbox in the password field. This option is best if you don’t want your sensitive passwords to be remembered. It’s also the easiest method that works seamlessly across all browsers.
Once you’ve had a sneak peek, it’s easy to hide the password.
The show/hide option for passwords is available for all mainstream websites such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix, Yahoo, Dropbox, Instagram, Reddit, Quora, and many more.
In many websites, instead of the show/hide checkbox, you will see an eye icon in the password field. Many banking and credit card sites also carry this feature to prevent invalid password attempts.
3. View the Password from Developer Options
A browser’s developer option is a good way to view proper password names instead of asterisks.
- In any of the browsers above, right-click and enter “Inspect element.” You can also enter F12 as a shortcut to open the developer options.
- When you hover the mouse cursor near the password box, you will notice a type field whose value is “password.”
- Just replace the word “password” with “text,” and the password that you entered will be revealed automatically.
- The same hovering technique is applicable for Chrome. Replace the word “Password” with “text” to get the plain password.
4. Use a Third-Party Extension
You can also use a third-party extension to show the passwords while entering your data in the field. For Chrome, Edge, and any browser supporting Chrome extensions, ShowPassword is a good option.
- In ShowPassword, it is easy to control the timing and effect to show passwords, which can be done with mouse over, double-click, on focus, or pressing the control key. (You can switch effects via the extension’s options.)
- Once ShowPassword has access to the site, you can use the saved effect, such as mouse-over, to reveal your password.
- As soon as you hover your mouse near the password field, the password will be displayed.
Unmask Password is another related app which displays the password text in Chrome/Edge as soon as you click inside the password box. In Firefox, you can use a similar extension called Show/hide passwords. There is also a similar extension which reveals all password fields for Opera.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why are my passwords not auto-filling in my browser?
Browsers store extra information such as passwords in their cache memory units. Sometimes the cache and cookies can accumulate a lot of information, including browser memory. This may prevent them from saving data, including passwords. Therefore, it is recommended to periodically clear your cache memory to use the auto-filling feature in your browser.
2. Is it safe to store passwords in a browser?
This is a major concern for privacy seekers. The safety of these passwords can be compromised if a hacker gains access to your computer, and the tricks to reveal the password are very easy because they are stored in plain text format.
However, some browsers are more secure than the others. Firefox, for example, has a handy “Primary Password” entry available in its Privacy & Security area.
You cannot store the master password in your browser, but it can be used to guard all the remaining passwords.
It is much safer to use an encrypted password manager to store your passwords rather than plain text browser extensions.
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