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I have forgotten my Windows Live's password AND secret question AND alternate e-mail account.

I can still access my account from Safari on my MacBook, because I told it to save my password, which led me to think I could recover my password using Keychain Access. However, I couldn't. Windows Live Mail doesn't use OS X's default mechanism to store passwords.

I can also still access my account from Windows Live Messenger on my PC, because (again!) I told it to save my password, which leads me to think I could recover it by navigating through the Registry (at least, theoretically!). However, I don't want to mess with the Registry and potentially make things worse.

This is especially frustrating taking into consideration that, a few months ago, when I forgot my Gmail account's password, I could retrieve it using Keychain Access. Why does Microsoft have to make things more complicated in the name of "security"? Is Microsoft trying to secure my account from myself?

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What're the odds that if there there wasn't a secret question and alternate email other folks would post a rant about MSFT "dumbing" down security ? – Sathya Jan 29 '11 at 18:54
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Try MessenPass from NirSoft. It should show the password stored by WLM.

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Thanks. At first, I was scared of the possibility it could contain worms and whatnot. I tried running it in XP Mode, just to be sure it was legit. But it seems to be legit. It turned out that my password was too strong, even for me! – pyon Jan 29 '11 at 19:51

Somewhat off-topic, but it sounds like you could use a program like LastPass or 1 Password.

They are password managers, so when you find or remember the password for your Live ID, put it in one of those programs and you'll never forget it again!

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That's what Keychain Access was supposed to do automatically... (Unless the website operates in a way that defeats the purpose. Meh.) – pyon Jan 29 '11 at 17:03
I've not had any experience with Keychain, but I believe it's designed more for remembering passwords as opposed to actually managing them. Also Keychain does not work with everything, as you evidenced. The others work with any website or program that requires a password. – Connor W Jan 29 '11 at 17:08

If you can gain access to the account via a saved password, can you not go to "account settings" and change the password to something you may remember in future?

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While you're at it, change the email account to a currently used one, and set up a security question. – Connor W Jan 29 '11 at 17:23
No. Windows Live Mail wants me to type my current password before changing it or my security question. – pyon Jan 29 '11 at 17:23
@Eduardo León You dont normally have to type in your password again to change your email address. Change that to one you use and use that to recover your password. – Connor W Jan 29 '11 at 17:37
@Connor W: I thought he meant changing the additional e-mail for password recovery. – pyon Jan 29 '11 at 19:49

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