Most applications that require the user to login with a username and password have an option to save the password on the local computer for convenience. Although the software developers try to do their part in saving the password in an encrypted form rather than clear text, they can be easily decrypted using third party password recovery tools. Hence, the password saving feature is for convenience sake but mostly insecure.
Windows Live Messenger is an instant messaging program by Microsoft that is currently being replaced by Skype and it also has a “Remember me” and “Remember my password” option after entering your Live ID and password. Basically the “Remember me” option only remembers your Live ID while the second option “Remember my password” is obviously to save both login info. Using the “Remember me” option without the “remember my password” offers a combination of convenience with security so that your password cannot be retrieved by password recovery tools.
It is well known that Windows Live Messenger has a bug that neither of the ID and password are saved after restarting the computer. This can be caused by some security policies and even third party software such as the Yahoo Toolbar messing up your Windows user profile registry. If you are experiencing Windows Live Messenger not remembering your ID and password, here are 5 possible ways to fix it.
DisableDomainCreds is a hidden setting that can be found in the Windows registry to remove any cached credentials on the local system and prevent credentials from being cached in future. This is a possible Windows policy to prevent Windows Live Messenger from saving the ID and password on your computer. If DisableDomainCreds is enabled, all you need to do is disable it in:
You need to set the DisableDomainCreds value data as 0. Alternatively, you can download the pre-made registry file from the link below, run it on your computer and the DisableDomainCreds policy will be disabled. Take note that this setting takes effect on all users on the computer.
DisablePwdCaching is another registry entry but is not included in Windows by default. When DisablePwdCaching is added to the registry and enabled with a data value of 1, passwords will not be cached locally. If this registry is added by a third party software, you can either set the value data as 0 or simply delete DisablePwdCaching.
As you can see from the registry path above, this is a user specific setting and will only affect the current logged in user. The pre-made reg file to automatically delete the DisablePwdCaching can be downloaded from the link below.
3. Protected Storage Service
Protected Storage is only used in Windows XP for storing password and encrypted data so it should be started. The Protected Storage service is enabled and automatically started by default but a user can unknowingly disabled it when attempting to tweak Windows in hoping to boost the performance. To check the status of the Protected Storage service, press WIN+R to bring up the Run window, type services.msc and press enter. Look for Protected Storage in the list and make sure that the status is Started.
4. Protected Storage System Provider
The Protected Storage System Provider in the registry contains user account information and is protected by only allowing SYSTEM to access it. If you navigate to the Protected Storage System Provider path in the registry, you will find an empty subkey which cannot be deleted or renamed. A corrupt Protected Storage System Provider containing incorrect information can cause problems in remembering password. Deleting the subkey can possibly solve the problem but it requires making changes to the permissions.
Alternatively, you can also use a third party tool called AntiSpy to directly delete the subkey without changing the permission of the registry. Run AntiSpy, go to the Registry tab and navigate to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System Provider\
Expand Protected Storage System Provider and you should see another folder with random numbers. Right click on the subkey, select Delete and click the Yes button to confirm the action.
Since Windows XP, there is an environment variable %AppData% that points to the user’s application data folder. Some third party software such as Yahoo Toolbar is notorious for changing the AppData value in the registry and this causes some software such as Windows Live Messenger to not remember the user’s Live ID and password. The AppData in the registry is found at:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders\
In Windows XP, the AppData has a value of %USERPROFILE%\Application Data while from Vista onwards, the value of AppData is %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming. If AppData’s value is %AppData%, it is definitely wrong and you should revert it back accordingly to the version of your Windows operating system.
If you are not familiar in editing the Windows registry, you can use a free and small tool called Make Messenger Remember that automatically solves Messenger forgetting your username and password problem with only a single click of a button.
Take note that after clicking the Fix button, the program will automatically restart your computer without any warning, so please make sure you’ve saved and closed any files before starting the fix. Make Messenger Remember requires Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 installed on the computer to run.