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Streamlining passwords in Credential Manager

From: Windows 7 Essential Training

Video: Streamlining passwords in Credential Manager

One big issue these days with regard to computer security is the number of passwords you may be required to remember. Not only that, you may be required to periodically change those passwords. So remembering them becomes quite a chore. Well, there's a feature in Windows 7 known as the Credential Manager that lets you save your usernames and passwords to help you log-on to websites, network computers, and other resources, automatically without having to type them in. Now the concept is not really new, but in Windows 7 you can also backup and restore your Vault where those credentials are stored.

Streamlining passwords in Credential Manager

One big issue these days with regard to computer security is the number of passwords you may be required to remember. Not only that, you may be required to periodically change those passwords. So remembering them becomes quite a chore. Well, there's a feature in Windows 7 known as the Credential Manager that lets you save your usernames and passwords to help you log-on to websites, network computers, and other resources, automatically without having to type them in. Now the concept is not really new, but in Windows 7 you can also backup and restore your Vault where those credentials are stored.

So let's take a look at the Credential Manager now. In the Control panel, which you can open up from your Windows Orb, click User Accounts and Family Safety, then click Credential Manager. Now, here you are going to notice several categories of credentials. If you're using credentials to login to Windows sites and network computers, you might want to add a Windows Credential. If it's one of those sites that requires a security certificate, you can create Certificate-Based credentials. And for everything else, there's Generic Credentials.

Let's test this out. We'll click Add a generic credential. You can add whatever you like. If it's a Windows site, for example, your Windows Live account, home.live.com, you'd try that one. I'm going to use an actual FTP site that I access on a regular basis. So, I type in the address here, and now I'll type in the username and password I use to access that site. Once I get the password in here, and click OK, I'll never have to enter that information again when accessing that FTP site. That's beautiful.

Let's test it out. I'm going to click my Windows Explorer button, and in the address field, I'm going to type that exact same address, the dropbox.lynda.com. Typically, I'd be prompted now to enter my username and my password, but you can see it's actually busy now logging me in to the FTP site, and eventually depending on your connection to the Internet, the speed will vary. But I will see the contents of this FTP site without having to remember or even enter my username and password.

That's the beauty of the Credential Manager. Keep in your mind that the Credential Manager uses Windows Cardspace technology, so when credentials are saved in the Windows Vault, they can actually be backed up and restored now to encrypted Managed Information Card Files or MIC Files. So I am going to just close this up. You saw how easy that was. Notice I also have the ability to backup and restore my Vault. So my Vault has a couple of credentials in there now. If I want to back that up-- and why would I want to do that? A couple of different reasons.

One, I could, and this is the worst-case scenario, crash my system. I've lost everything, wiped the drive, and I reinstall Windows 7, I wouldn't want to have to type in all those usernames and passwords again, I can just restore my card file. So the first thing I need to do is back it up. So Back up to. I click Browse and I get to choose a location. I am actually going to back it up to a removable disk, so it's my USB drive, which I can then unplug and store in a safe location.

I'll give it a name. I'm going to call it MyVault. You can see it's a cardfile, and when I click Save, the path appears here. I click Next. The message is going to tell me that I need to press down Ctrl+Alt+Delete to continue. So I'll do that now. There we go, the backup was successful, and I should probably take that USB drive and store it in a safe location. When I click Finish, I'm back to my Credential Manager. Now if you ever need to make changes, for example, I'm told that I need to create a new password to login.

Well, I can do it right from here. That way I do it once and I don't have to remember it after that. Go down to my Generic Credentials here. I can expand this by clicking the little arrow that appears in the right-hand side and if I need to, I can edit the contents of this credential. The other option is to remove it. If I'm not using it any longer, click Remove from Vault. You'll need to confirm that by clicking Yes and that removes it from your Vault. If you like to use the Credential Manager, Windows 7 now lets you backup and restore your Vault.

It's a good option to have, just in case of an emergency. When you're done, close up your Control Panel.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Windows 7 Essential Training
Windows 7 Essential Training

73 video lessons · 45090 viewers

David Rivers
Author

 
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  1. 16m 28s
    1. Welcome
      1m 54s
    2. Windows basics for first-time users
      13m 47s
    3. Using the exercise files
      47s
  2. 29m 18s
    1. Assessing your hardware and Windows 7 versions
      6m 57s
    2. Upgrading from other Windows versions
      2m 56s
    3. Transferring old files with Windows Easy Transfer
      7m 2s
    4. Dealing with device drivers
      6m 42s
    5. Running a Windows XP program in Windows 7
      5m 41s
  3. 33m 12s
    1. Getting familiar with the desktop
      8m 55s
    2. Handling tasks with the improved task bar
      8m 50s
    3. Accessing your favorites quickly with jump lists
      3m 59s
    4. Finding files and programs with Windows Search
      2m 18s
    5. Using the Action Center
      3m 48s
    6. Keeping information at your fingertips with desktop gadgets
      5m 22s
  4. 34m 24s
    1. Navigating folders and their contents
      6m 59s
    2. Staying organized with your own folders
      4m 44s
    3. Choosing how your folders and user interface behave
      7m 30s
    4. Sharing and protecting folders and files
      5m 27s
    5. Simplifying organization with libraries
      3m 48s
    6. Backing up by burning to CD or DVD
      5m 56s
  5. 24m 44s
    1. Windows Media Center
      7m 22s
    2. Playing media files with Windows Media Player
      3m 59s
    3. Organizing and sharing photos in Windows Explorer
      7m 22s
    4. Taking screenshots with the Snipping tool
      6m 1s
  6. 24m 35s
    1. Taking notes with sticky notes, Notepad, and WordPad
      11m 33s
    2. Creating graphics with Paint
      4m 58s
    3. Performing simple and advanced calculations with the calculator
      5m 20s
    4. Playing Windows games
      2m 44s
  7. 33m 5s
    1. Getting under your computer's hood with the Control Panel
      5m 28s
    2. Controlling system settings
      6m 38s
    3. Controlling sound device volume settings
      6m 38s
    4. Uninstalling programs that are no longer used
      2m 42s
    5. Setting default programs
      5m 10s
    6. Exploring accessibility options
      6m 29s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Connecting hardware with Device Stage
      2m 56s
    2. Create a home network using HomeGroup
      4m 49s
    3. Controlling what is shared on a network
      3m 26s
    4. Troubleshooting a network and HomeGroup
      3m 58s
    5. Reconnecting quickly with jump lists
      2m 18s
    6. Boosting your computer's memory with ReadyBoost
      3m 34s
  9. 31m 53s
    1. Keeping your PC secure with Windows Update
      3m 44s
    2. Battling spyware with Windows Defender
      7m 41s
    3. Controlling access with user accounts
      4m 32s
    4. Streamlining passwords in Credential Manager
      4m 38s
    5. Using parental controls to block unwanted content
      4m 49s
    6. Securing drives with BitLocker Drive Encryption
      6m 29s
  10. 15m 11s
    1. Printing files directly from Windows
      2m 48s
    2. Troubleshooting printer problems
      5m 15s
    3. Printing power tips
      3m 56s
    4. Printing to and viewing the XPS file format
      3m 12s
  11. 25m 4s
    1. Finding issues in the Troubleshooting control panel
      3m 53s
    2. Sharing issues with the Problem Steps Recorder
      3m 56s
    3. Backing up folders and drives
      6m 36s
    4. Restoring files and drives
      4m 39s
    5. Handling an entire system crash
      6m 0s
  12. 28m 23s
    1. Exploring changes to the UI
      4m 46s
    2. Access sites quickly using Favorites and History
      5m 17s
    3. Connecting to RSS feeds and web slices
      6m 1s
    4. Displaying similar sites with Suggested Sites
      2m 16s
    5. Browsing without navigating using accelerators
      6m 36s
    6. Keeping your browsing private using InPrivate Browsing and filtering
      3m 27s
  13. 1h 14m
    1. Setting up your Windows Live profile
      4m 37s
    2. Downloading Windows Live Essentials
      2m 23s
    3. Tracking dates and events with the Windows Live calendar
      7m 22s
    4. Free email with Windows Live Mail
      6m 14s
    5. Texting live with Windows Live Messenger
      7m 13s
    6. Organizing and sharing photos in Photo Gallery
      9m 46s
    7. Synchronizing photos on two computers with Live Sync
      4m 0s
    8. Controlling content and communications with Family Safety
      6m 26s
    9. Keeping a blog with Windows Live Writer
      6m 50s
    10. Accessing free online storage with SkyDrive
      4m 44s
    11. Creating a movie with Windows Live Movie Maker
      14m 46s
  14. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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