- Preliminary notes
- Programs to decrypt passwords from files
- Advanced Password Recovery (Windows)
- Password Revealer (Chrome)
- How to decrypt the browser password
Being able to decrypt the password of a file is a simple operation in itself, but at the same time very long, as the decryption software needs to carry out a series of possible combinations in order to find the correct one that can guarantee the 'access to the file.
In general, the most effective procedure to be able to decrypt a password is the one that requires the use of the brute-force method. In fact, this method sooner or later manages to find the password for opening a file, as it uses all possible combinations based on the settings indicated by the user.
However, the length of the process depends on the length of the password and its complexity: using a password with many characters, which includes upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters, will take days if not weeks.
There are also other methods for recovering a password, such as the one that uses the most common words present in a dictionary or the one that uses possible combinations starting from a word.
In the next paragraphs I will show you some software that you can use in order to decrypt the passwords that you have forgotten which are associated with your files.
Programs to decrypt passwords from files
Advanced Password Recovery (Windows)
If you want to recover passwords from your archives or documents, I can recommend the software Advanced Password Recovery produced by the company ElcomSoft Co. These are paid and are available for Windows devices via the official website.
From the list of products that the company provides, you can try for free one of the tools available based on the type of file on which you want to recover the password.
For business customers there is also a package containing all the company's software, but at a disproportionate price for a simple home user.
If you are interested in these programs, I recommend that you reach the link to the official website that I have provided and, after opening the official website, click on the tab For Home Users and then select one of the programs listed.
Advanced Office Password Recovery is a software for recovering passwords from Microsoft Office documents; Advanced PDF Password Recovery perform the recovery of PDF documents; Advanced Archive Password Recovery instead it specializes in recovering passwords from archives.
There are also other software used to recover passwords on other software or services, but in this guide I will tell you about the one used to recover the password of a compressed archive.
Then locate the entry Advanced Archive Password Recovery and then click the button Windows, which you find under the heading Download free trial version.
After downloading the file, double-click on it and, in the installation window, click the button Next. Then click the button Accept and then click the button again Next for two consecutive times. Then click the button install and then click the button Yes, at the window of Windows User Account Control. When installation is complete, click the button Finish to close the window.
Now open the program via its icon, which you can find in the programs list of the menu Home Windows. The program interface is very intuitive. You will first need to click the button Open that you find in the horizontal bar at the top; then select the file relating to the password protected compressed archive and then click on the button apri.
From the drop-down menu Type of attack, select the method for identifying the password. Choose one that best suits your needs, but in case you have no clue about the password you want to decrypt, select the entry Brute-force.
Then click on the tab Range and check the boxes for the characters to include in the password. You can decide to enter uppercase or lowercase characters, numbers and special symbols.
Then click in the tab Length and indicates the minimum and maximum number of the password length; in the trial version you can only set a maximum length of four characters. To unlock the ability to decrypt longer passwords, you will need to purchase a license.
If you want to customize more settings, you can use the other tabs. After customizing all the necessary parameters, click the button Home that you find at the top of the horizontal bar. You will then see a progress bar at the bottom that will tell you the time remaining for the current password length you want to search for.
When the password has been found by the software, a successfully completed result window will appear; inside you will also find the password in the field Password for this file. You can then decide to save it by clicking on the button Save, or write it down somewhere else and then click the button Ok, to close the window.
Password Revealer (Chrome)
Let's say instead that you want to decrypt the password consisting of only the asterisks that appear in the field Password of the login form of a website you want to access. In this case what you need is simply the ability to reveal the hidden password from the browser.
If you are using the browser Google Chrome, you could then use an extension designed for this purpose, Password Revealer. This is available for free via the Chrome Web Store.
To use it, simply reach the link I provided and then click the button Add. A window will then appear at the top that will ask you to confirm the addition of this extension to Google Chrome; then click the button Add extension, to install it on your browser.
Now all you have to do is go to the website where your username and password are already filled in and place the mouse pointer over the asterisks (o dots).
Then wait a few seconds for these to be converted into the password you saved. In this way you will then have decrypted the symbols on the screen into a password that you can also use on other devices, without having to carry out the password reset procedure.
If you want more information on the subject then I suggest you read my guide on how to read passwords obscured by asterisks, in which I told you about some software for both Windows and macOS.
How to decrypt the browser password
When using the auto-save passwords option in your browser, you don't need decryption software. Almost all browsers now contain a setting to view all passwords stored in them.
There is therefore no question of a real password decryption, but simply of viewing in a few clicks the password that is hidden behind the field obscuring symbols Password and, therefore, of those stored after having already logged into a website.
For example, if you want to view all the passwords saved in your browser Google Chrome, you will need to click the button with the three dots symbol which is located at the top right.
You will then have to select the item Settings and, from the window that opens, locate the item Advanced. By clicking on it, you will expand further entries; you will then need to locate the one named Password and Modules.
Then click Manage passwords so as to view the list of saved passwords that you will find in the section Saved passwords.
As you can see the password is hidden under some symbols; click the button with the wink symbol to show it.
If instead you use the Safari browser, from the horizontal bar at the top you will have to click on the item Safari. Select quindi la voce Pref Renze to open the browser settings panel. Then click on the entry Password (symbol of a key) and enter the password to access the computer.
You will then have reached a section where all the passwords you decided to keep when you logged in to the websites are stored. Then click on the name of the website to view the password associated with it.
If you want to know more about how to view the passwords saved on your favorite browser, then I suggest you read my guide on how to find out passwords.How to decrypt passwords