Thursday, February 16, 2017

Fixing Chrome's old password display problem in Windows...

If you're a Google Chrome user on Windows, you may have come across this problem - especially if you're in a domain-environment:

You ask Chrome to show passwords for a site. You find the password entry you need, click the "show" button, and Chrome "helpfully" asks you to enter your Windows password *before* it will reveal it. Yet, because you're on a domain-joined machine, and the Chrome password dialog doesn't resolve domain accounts, *no* password will satisfy the dialog.

This has been posted as a long-term (as in *years*) bug in Chrome (at least one version is referenced here, one Google says it "won't fix." But your trusty friend here at Computing Central has, at least for his own situation, come up with a workaround, and it solves the problem.

Here's the problem. That password dialog Chrome tosses up takes the account name mated to the user account identity running the application. In a non-domain environment, that's just going to be an account name on the local machine. If your Windows box is joined to a domain, however, that username will be of the form 'DOMAIN\username', but Chrome apparently discards that 'DOMAIN' portion - thus tries to resolve the username (only) against the *local user account database*. On a domain-joined machine, that will always fail.

Solution? Create a "fake" user on the local box with the username that corresponds to the *domain* login that Chrome is mangling. That is, if your domain account is YOURDOMAIN\bobuser, create a *local* account named 'bobuser', give it a password (a nice, strong one), and once it's done, use *that* password to satisfy the Chrome password dialog:

(These directions are for Windows 7)
1. From the Start Menu, within the "Search Programs and Files" box, type "lusrmgr.msc" (without quotes)
2. Click on the "lusrmgr.msc" entry in the search result list above the search dialog.
3. From the "Local Users and Groups" tool, right-click on the "Users" folder (left hand pane)
4. Select "New User..."
5. In the "User name" dialog, type in your "username" (WITHOUT domain)
6. In the "Password" box, provide a password for the account. Make it strong - this is a real account you're creating on your local machine.
7. Confirm the password in the "Confirm Password" box.
6. Uncheck "User must change password at next logon."
7. Click "Create"

Now, go back to Chrome and that pesky password....
1. When Chrome's Windows authentication dialog appears, type the password you defined in Step 6 above.
2. See if Chrome displays your password!

I did it for me, and it worked like a charm.

Good luck.