How to Recover Passwords from Mozilla


If you are like me you use Mozilla’s password manager to remember all your passwords for all your websites. In fact, I just choose random passwords now, and forget about them. Every once in a while you may need to recover those passwords to use on another computer, or use in a different web form. This is how you figure out those passwords.

The first step is to turn off password encryption, if you had it on. This will require you to enter your master password.

Next go into your .mozilla, then into your profile’s directory (usually default). This will contain one directory that is some random characters ending in .slt (salt?). Go into that directory. The passwords seem to be stored in some file with a number for a name and ending in .s. Look at that file.

The files will be organized by URL. Find the site you are looking for and it will have base64 encoded usernames and passwords. Something like ~UnVzc2VsbA=. The data between ‘~’ and ‘=’ is the base64 encoded data. Now you need to find a base64 decoder.

Fortunately there is a convenient one available. Mozilla can handle data URIs. Enter “data:;base64,UnVzc2VsbA” into the location bar, and mozilla will decode it for you. Now your password is readable.



Russell O’Connor: contact me