How to Recover Forgotten Website & Browser Passwords on Mac OS via Command Line Guide

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You can recover forgotten passwords for websites and browsers using the command-line tool in Mac OS X. This is a handy feature that gives you access to the keychain through the terminal.

How many times have you forgotten your website password? Don’t feel bad because it happens to the best of us. The good news is that if you use the Mac OS X Keychain feature to track website login information through your browser (you know when your browser asks you to save / save your login information? ), You don’t need to worry, you just need a website URL and you can retrieve a forgotten password. logged in to the same user account you originally saved. This works on all websites that have data stored through Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and should work in other browsers as well. This is a great option for using password recovery or forgotten password features, which are multi-step processes on many websites and services because it doesn’t require an Internet connection.

Important safety instructions: This trick has a small potential for security breaches, but as long as you don’t let random people sign in to your user account, there shouldn’t be a problem – that’s what signing in your visitors is all about. On the other hand, there is legitimate value here for forensic purposes and some unique system administration situations, and it’s also extremely useful for those of us who forget the password and don’t want to go through the entire recovery process for a service on a separate line. . However, this allows the user to reveal passwords stored in the same user account, so be aware of the potential privacy and security implications.

Recover forgotten browser password from Mac command line

The basic syntax for finding a password on a secure website looks like this:

internet password security search -s -w

Because this account security is a sensitive issue, the script will be broken so that you don’t blindly allow scripts to reveal your login information. The “Security” command is a keychain interface used by Mac OS X to store safe logins, “find-internet-password” is the main flag with an apparently unusual descriptive name, -s is used to match URL , and -w tells the security command report only the password and not the full key list, which is otherwise a confusing bunch.

This must be entered on the terminal, which can be found in the directory / Applications / Utilities / Utilities or through the Launchpad in the Utilities folder. When you press the Back key, a window pops up saying that the following “security is trying to access confidential information stored in your keychain” in the domain you selected. “Would you like to approve this item?”

Allow security to retrieve a password from a keychain

Click the Allow button to reveal your password. The “Always Allow” option is not recommended, and “Deny” would prevent the password from being revealed.

Example of retrieving a password from a keychain from the command line

We use the well-known website getpocket.com as an example, because it is a service that I use often, and I accidentally forgot your password recently, despite the fact that it was recorded in Safari and Chrome on Mac, and there was an application accompanying him. iOS. Since I don’t remember the password, but it is stored in browsers, this is the best way to use a security command to get it.

So the string for the command would be:

security find-internet-password -s getpocket.com -w

In the dialog, click “Allow” when prompted.

You’ll find that the only thing reported is a single line containing a password, which makes the entire script and standard output look like this:

$ security find-internet-password-password getpocket.com -wpassword123

(no, not a valid password)

If you plan to use this for scripting purposes, you might want to try the -ga flag along with grep to see the password, the syntax format is:

security search Internet Password -s DOMAIN -g | grep “password”

Output showing “password: (actual password123)” facilitates identification.

Restrict saved passwords stored in web browsers

This special function is limited to stored passwords stored in a web browser, although it doesn’t matter which browser as long as it uses the keychain for storage instead of password management. So, this is not a solution to recover forgotten Mac logins (go here instead) or other logins that aren’t specific to a website or service.

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FAQ: How to Recover Forgotten Website & Browser Passwords on Mac OS X via Command Line

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