Keeping track of multiple passwords can be a problem for users. Often, they either forget the passwords or write them down and keep lists of passwords near their computers. Windows 95/98 solves this problem by storing passwords for resources in a password list file (.PWL). If password caching is enabled (default) and a user types

and saves a password when connecting to a password-protected resource, Windows 95/98 will cache the password in the password list file.


Windows 95/98 comes with an administration utility called Password List Editor (PWLEDIT). It allows you to view the resources listed in a user's password list file but It does not allow you to view the actual passwords. If problems are encountered using a cached password you can only remove specific password entries without knowing if the password was the real problem. PWLEDIT works only if the password list file is unlocked, that is, if the user is logged on. It can be used to view the contents of the logged-on user's password list file only, so it should be executed on the user's computer.


On the contrary, Cain allows you to view all cached resources and relative passwords in clear text either from locked or unlocked password list files. That means all the passwords stored in external .PWL files can be viewed even if you are not logged-on with that file.



In order to recover cached resources in .PWL files you must know the main user name and password for that file. Cain's PWL Password Cracker will help you to find the main password.


Once the main PWL password is found you can activate the decoder using the relative function from the list pop up menu.