How to read password asterisks

Who I am
Carlos Priora
@carlospriora
Author and references

Snadboy’s Revelation (Windows)

The first of the useful resources I want to tell you about is Snadboy’s Revelation. It is a free program specific for Windows operating systems that allows you to recover forgotten passwords by allowing you to view those hidden behind the asterisks. It is quite light, very simple to use and does not require configurations to function. Let's see in more detail how to exploit it.

First of all, connected to the download page of the program on the Softpedia website and click on the button Download placed at the top left and then presses the button Softpedia Mirror (US) and wait a few moments for the program to be downloaded and completed.



At the end of the download, extract the ZIP archive obtained in any position on your computer and start the executable file inside it. Then click on Si, its Next four times in a row and then on Finish to complete the setup. When installation is complete, start the program by recalling it from Start menu.

Now, click on the symbol with the circle with a cross inside that you find in the software window that appears on the desktop, next to the wording ‘Circled +’ Cursor, and continuing to hold drag it to the asterisks. By doing so, the password hidden under the asterisks will be shown to you in the text field of the main Snadboy's Revelation window. Great, right?

Then clicking on the button Copy to clipboard, the password will be copied to the clipboard and you can paste it wherever you think is most appropriate, using the combination Ctrl + V or by recalling the specific function attached to the contextual menu.


Nirsoft Bullet PassView (Windows)

As an alternative to the above software you can appeal to Nirsoft Bullet PassView, a free program for Windows operating systems also useful for reading the passwords hidden under the asterisks. It allows you to find the passwords saved in the system, on the various programs used, and in Internet Explorer, making them all visible in a special window.


To use it, first download the program to your computer by connecting to its download page and clicking on the link Download BulletsPassView in Zip file. Then click on the link city that you find in the table below to download the cittàn language translation file of the program. Then extract both compressed archives obtained in the same location and start the file BulletPassView.exe.

In the program window that at this point you will see appear on the desktop, you will be shown the complete list of all the passwords saved on your computer, in the column Password. Il program or il servizio corrispondente ti saranno indicati invece in corrispondenza della colonna Window title. If no data appears, try reloading the program window by pressing the button with the blank sheet and the two arrows which is high up.

By selecting one or more items in the list you can also copy them to the Windows clipboard by calling up the menu Modification standing up and choosing Copy Selected Items, while to copy only the passwords you have to click on Copy Password Selected. Alternatively, you can use the buttons found on the toolbar.


Then I point out that if you want you can make further customizations to the operation of the program by going to the menu options that you always find at the top and enabling or disabling the functions of your interest or which you do not intend to use. For example, you can choose to activate the emission of a "beep" at each password found, to enable the display of passwords saved in Internet Explorer, etc.

Keychain Access (macOS)

If, on the other hand, what you are using is a Mac, I am happy to inform you that to read the passwords under the asterisks you can use a special tool already included in macOS: Portachiavi access. It is a resource that, as can be easily understood from the name itself, allows you to store the user's passwords and account information and to view such data at the appropriate time. The only thing to take into account is that it does not allow you to reveal what is reported under the asterisks in the various input fields but you have to access the application and make an explicit request for it from there.


To use it for your purpose, start Keychain Access by selecting its icon (the one with the keys) from the folder Other of Launchpad (otherwise call it back via Spotlight, through Crab or by accessing the folder Applications> Utilities).

In the window that you will later see appear on the desktop, select the reference category in the left sidebar and then the item Password, therefore identify the name of the service or in any case it is the resource of your interest and double-click on it. If you want, you can also help you with the search field at the top right.


In the further window that will open, check the box next to the item Show the password at the bottom, type the password for your user account on macOS in the additional window that opens and click on OK. If prompted, type your macOS username and password again and click the button Allow after which you can finally view the reference password in the appropriate field.

To copy the quick password to the Mac clipboard, double-click it and use the key combination cmd + c or, alternatively, right-click on it and choose Copy from the menu that opens. You can then paste it where you see fit using the combination cmd + v or the command Paste accessible from the context menu of macOS.

Password Revealer (Chrome)

Do you need to read the passwords under the asterisks that you have saved in Google Chrome and don't want to install ad hoc programs on your computer? Then the advice I feel like giving you is to rely on Password Revealer, a browser extension of "big G" that works in a similar way to the aforementioned Snadboy's Revelation.


You ask me how to take advantage of this extension? I'll point it out to you right away. First of all connected, using Google Chrome, to the page dedicated to the extension on the Chrome Web Store then click on the button + Add and confirm your intentions to install the add-on by clicking on Add extension.

Then go to the Internet site for which you have saved the access data and which are automatically entered in the relevant fields, bring the pointer over it and ... as if by magic you will see the previously hidden password appear. More comfortable than that?

To deactivate the operation when not useful, just click on the relative icon (the one with the asterisks and the magnifying glass) that has been added to the Chrome toolbar, then click on Manage extensions from the menu that pops up and bring up OFF the switch in the new browser tab that appears.

Show/hide passwords (Firefox)

Instead of Chrome using Firefox and are you looking for something similar to the above resource? Then I invite you to try now Show/hide passwords. This is an add-on for the "red panda" web browser that once installed adds a new option under the fields dedicated to entering the password to make visible what is reported under the asterisks for the saved login data in the navigator.

To serve, first connect to the web page dedicated to the add-on using Firefox. Then press on the button Aggiungi to Firefox and confirm the installation of the extension by clicking on Install then click on OK.

Now, go to the website you wish to access and for which you have previously saved the login data in the browser and click on the writing Show that you find in the field for entering the password. By doing so, the secret word associated with that account will be immediately shown to you.

To hide the password again behind the asterisks, click on the writing Hide appeared in place of that Show previously displayed and it's done. Easier than that?

Useful tips to avoid forgetting passwords

To conclude, as they say, I want to point out some tools that can be convenient for you to avoid having to resort to one or more of the above resources. To be precise, I am talking about software that can perform the function of password manager, which you can therefore use to store and keep all your passwords and access them at the most appropriate time.

Below you will find indicating those that in my opinion represent some of the best resources in the category.

  • 1Password (Windows / Mac) - Famous program for saving passwords and sensitive data. It offers unlimited space for data storage and 1GB for any documents to attach. It also integrates the two-factor authentication system for greater protection and security. To use it, however, you need to subscribe on an annual basis.
  • KeePass (Windows) - This is an excellent password manager made through an open source project. It is very simple to use, has an easily understandable user interface and is completely free. It is available in both Installer and portable versions.
  • LastPass (Browser) - Excellent service to store and manage passwords usable in the form of a browser extension (all the most popular ones). Passwords are saved in the cloud on LastPass servers and the various fields are filled in automatically. It can be used free of charge but, if necessary, you can choose to subscribe to access extra features.

For more details about the operation of the above programs and to find out what other tools you have from yours, I invite you to read my article on how to store passwords on your computer and my post dedicated to password programs.

How to read password asterisks


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