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You may find it helpful to read our articles on Windows security and password recovery examples. Video section contains a number of movies about our programs in action

Reset Windows Password: Web browser history

The browser history allows you to extract and collect statistics of visited Web pages, saved cookies, stored form autocompletion data and saved passwords. The program supports all popular browsers: Internet Explorer, Edge, Opera, browsers based on Mozilla source code (Firefox, SeaMonkey, etc.), Chromium (Google Chrome, YandexBrowser, 360 Extreme Explorer, etc.)


Selecting data source

Setting data source when extracting browser history

Initially, Reset Windows Password offers to select the data source where to search. This is either a specific user's profile or profiles for all users.


What to search for

Setting browser data to be exrtacted

By default, the program tries to search for the following items, you can turn on/off each of them separately:

  • The list of visited URLs.
  • Form auto-completion data.
  • Logon names and passwords (if ones could be decrypted instantly only).
  • Cookies. May be used for determining what sites were visited and when, whether the user was logged in and so on.
  • Download history. Note that not all browser keep this information

Setting up time filters

Setting up time filters

You can set up an additional time filter to skip out-dated or unnecessary items.


Viewing browser history

View browser history

The statistics can be copied to the clipboard or saved to a file. Using the context menu, you can also hide some items that are not of interest to you.


Where do browsers store their lists of visited URLs?

Internet Explorer
Visited places are stored in index.dat file. The index.dat contains different records: visited URLs and local files, web mail accesses, cookies, etc. The database file has it's own format (Client UrlCache MMF) and was first introduced in Internet Explorer 5. The format of index.dat file was not changed much since that time, the physical location, however, may vary:

C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\UserData
Older OSes use different paths to keep the file.

Internet Explorer - typed in URLs
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs

Microsoft Edge
Similar to Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge keeps the history of the Web browsing, cache, cookies, along with other information in a single file called WebCacheV01.dat which seems to be is the successor of the index.dat. The WebCacheV01.dat is located at the following path:

Opera (older versions)
The browser history is kept in global_history.dat, global.dat, vlink4.dat files in the current Opera's profile. The files have different formats (depends on browser version).

Chrome (and all Chromium-based browsers)
All visited URLs are kept in SQLite database called history. The location of the history is different and depends on the browser. For example:
C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

Firefox (and all Mozilla-based browsers)
This is either a history.dat file (a mork format) or a places.sqlite file in newer versions. A typical location is C:/Users/%USERNAME%/AppData/Roaming/Mozilla/%PROGRAM%/Profiles/%PROFILENAME%. Example:


Where do browsers store the form autocompletion data?

Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer v4-6 keep autocompletion data in a special location of the user registry called protected storage. Even though encrypted, it is easy to decrypt and view because decryption keys are stored along with encrypted data. The registry location of the storage provider:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System Provider

Internet Explorer v7-9 use a different and interesting technique. Instead of encrypting user-sensitive data with a static secret key (IE 4-6) which can be figured out easily, IE 7-9 use the source URL address as the encryption key to protect the data. Thus without knowing the Web page a certain data belong to, you will not be able to decrypt the data. More details can be found here. RWP does not support extracting IE 7-9 form autocompletion data. Use our PIEPR for that. Here's the registry location where the encrypted data is stored:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IntelliForms\Storage1
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IntelliForms\FormData

Internet Explorer v10+ and Microsoft Edge have even better protection. All data entries are kept in Windows Vault files and protected with DPAPI. There's no chance to decrypt it unless providing the owner logon password and master key file. A tricky part is that RWP can decrypt the data/passwords instantly if the browser has saved them under the system account. The Vault path for the user data:

Opera (older versions)
The form autocompletion data can be found in the following files:

Chrome (and Chromium-based browsers)
The form submission data is kept in history and Web Data files, both in SQLite format. A typical location for the Chrome browser is:
C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

Firefox (and Mozilla-based browsers)
This is either a formhistory.dat file (older versions of the browser) or formhistory.sqlite file. A typical location is C:/Users/%USERNAME%/AppData/Roaming/Mozilla/%PROGRAM%/Profiles/%PROFILENAME%. Like this one:


Where do browsers store their passwords?

Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer v4-6 keep Web passwords in the protected storage.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System Provider

Internet Explorer v7-9 passwords are kept in the following registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IntelliForms\Storage2

Internet Explorer v10 and Microsoft Edge default location for the saved passwords:
Some versions of IE can also save HTTP basic authentication passwords in the 'Credentials store' (Windows Vista and higher OSes). The DPAPI is used to protect the entries there.
The program is smart enough to extract some extra data stored in other locations. For example, the Reset Windows Password can parse Chrome databases to look for Internet Explorer items that are kept here after data migration.

Opera (older versions)
All passwords are stored in wand.dat file in encrypted form along with decryption keys. The passwords can easily be decrypted unless a Master password is set.

Chrome (and Chromium-based browsers)
In Windows OSes Chromium-based browsers protect user passwords with DPAPI and store them in Login Data file which actually is an SQLite database. A typical database location for Google Chrome:
C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Login data

Firefox (and Mozilla-based browsers)
Mozilla had a long way evolving the password storage format. Initially, it was a simple textual file signons.txt. Then in version 2 it came signons2.txt which had the "#2C" prefix at the beginning. Then signons3.txt with the "#2D" prefix in version 3, etc. Next the signons.sqlite database came into a play. But it's not the end of the story. Firefox v32.x and higher has new storage for passwords - logins.json which is actually a JSON format file. In spite of apparent diversity, data protection is almost the same. A typical location for the files is: