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How To Use Credential Manager in Windows 11 (Complete Guide)

Previously, Windows Credential Manager was introduced with Windows Vista as part of the Protected Storage system. It is a location where the Usernames, Passwords, Addresses, Login Information, and other sensitive data of a user are stored separately for both the web and System Activities and letting the users store all their saved login information in one central location where they can access it quickly and easily.

windows credentials

Let’s breakdown what we’re going to understand in this article:

1. Certificate-Based Credentials

They’re primarily utilized for corporate network setups involving the use of smart cards. The majority of individuals will never need to use such credentials unless they use a smart card due to any reason.

2. Generic Credentials

Some external third-party applications need to utilize the Windows System Resources for work, so these certificates are designated and given authorization/approval during the application installation in Windows. Some apps using generic credentials are Slack, VsCode Editor, Github, etc.

3. Web Credentials

It involves the Storage of usernames, passwords, and login details of websites visited by the user. The data is automatically retrieved while surfing websites because of the use of Credential Management API integrated with forms and other inputs in the HTML Code, and you need not sign in every time repeatedly.

4. Windows Credentials

These credentials are used by Microsoft Windows and services such as Windows Virtualization and Hyper-V. They are responsible for authenticating the Windows Based Local Network Shares, homegroups, virtual machines, and other Services and holding their sensitive data including usernames, passwords, IP addresses, login information, etc.

Step 1: Open the Control Panel from the Start Menu and click the “User Accounts” option.

select the user accounts option
“User Accounts” option

Step 2: Navigate between the “Windows Credentials” and “Web Credentials” options to manage the respective credentials by selecting the respective option.

select the respective credentials - web credentials or windows credentials
Select the credentials

In Windows, we can only create Windows Credentials, generic credentials, and certificate-based credentials, the Web credentials cannot be created manually.

Step 1: Click the User Accounts in the Control Panel, select the “Manage Windows Credentials” tab, and select the “Add a Windows Credential” option.

add a new credential in windows - windows credential, certificate based credential, and generic credential
“Add a new credential” option

Step 2: Fill in the required login details depending on the type of credential being created (including IP Address, User name, and Password), and press the “OK” button.

Step 3: Once the credential is created, it’ll appear under its respective category.

added custom credential
Added Custom Credential

In Windows, we can modify/edit the Windows Credentials only. Before we proceed to edit the Windows credentials, it is recommended not to make changes in the default ones otherwise some Windows services will lead to some functionality issues.

Step 1: In the Windows Credentials tab, select the credential that you want to modify, and click the “Edit” option.

single click the credential that you want to edit
“Edit” button

Step 2: Modify the existing server, username, or password and press the “Save” button.

Step 1: In the Windows Credentials tab, select the credential that you want to modify, and click the “Remove” option.

select the remove button to remove the credential
“Remove” button

Step 2: A new window will appear. Select the “Yes” button to remove the credential permanently.

press the yes button
Press the “Yes” button

Note: We can backup the Windows Credentials only and do not share the Windows Credentials with anyone.

Step 1: In the Windows Credentials tab, select the “Back up Credentials” option.

select the backup credentials option
Backup Credentials

Step 2: Click the “Browse” button and select the destination where you want to save the backup credentials in the “.crd” file format. Press the “Next” button.

select the backup location for credentials
Backup File Location

Step 3: Press the “Ctrl + Alt + Delete” key combination to back up the credentials on Windows and add the Password to protect the Credentials file backup.

add password and click the next button
Add Backup File Password

Step 1: In the Windows Credentials tab, select the “Restore Credentials” option.

click the restore credentials button
Restore Credentials

Step 2: Select the “Browse” button and select the backed-up credentials file (“.crd” file extension)

select the location to export the credentials
Locate Backed-up Credentials

Step 3: Press the “Ctrl + Alt + Delete” key combination and enter the password to restore the backed-up credentials on Windows.

add the password to protect the credentials backup file
Add Password to the Backup File

Where are the Windows Credentials stored in Windows?

The Windows Credentials are actually located in the following path in Windows:

Do I need to add a windows credential?

No, the Windows Credentials are added automatically whenever you save any password on your Windows OS or while saving the passwords on the web.

Next Steps

We’ve covered how to use the credential manager in Windows.

Overall, we can consider that the Windows Credential Manager is a valuable resource designed by Microsoft to help user retrieve their lost passwords and acts as a centralized location for saving passwords, usernames, and other necessary credentials in Windows.

Further, customize your device’s configuration by following the related articles below.

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