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Windows 8 : Sharing and Securing with User Accounts - Using Credential Manager

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Credential Manager (see Figure 1) enables you to manage your usernames and their associated passwords (collectively called credentials) for servers, websites, and programs. These credentials are stored in an electronic virtual vault. When you access a server, site, or program that requests a password, Credential Manager can submit the credentials for you so that you don’t have to type them yourself. If your password cache has dozens of sets of credentials in it, as mine does, you’ll be more than happy to put Credential Manager to work for you.

FIGURE 1 Store usernames and passwords in Credential Manager.

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Note
Credential Manager can’t interact with every website that requests credentials. For example, when you log in to your online banking site, the site probably displays a form in which you enter your credentials. Credential Manager can’t store this type of form-based credentials, but you can have Internet Explorer remember the credentials for you.

Although you can add credentials to your vault directly, you don’t need to do so in most cases. Instead, you can let Windows do it for you. To do so, navigate to a server or other computer on your network, or to a web server that prompts you for credentials. Enter the username and password in the Windows Security dialog box, select Remember My Credentials, and click OK. Windows stores the credentials in Credential Manager.

You can add credentials to your vault directly if you want to. For example, if you have lots of credentials you use with multiple servers or sites, you might want to prepopulate your credential vault so that you don’t have to wait to enter them until the next time you visit that resource.

To add credentials directly, open the User Accounts And Family Safety item in the Control Panel and then click Credential Manager. Click the Windows Credentials icon and then click Add A Windows Credential and in the resulting form (as shown in Figure 2), enter the following:

FIGURE 2 Manually add a Windows credential.

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  • Internet or Network Address: Type the path to the resource. For example, enter \\fileserver\Docs to specify the Docs share on a server on the network named fileserver. Or, you would enter portal.mycompany.com if your company intranet portal was located at https://portal.mycompany.com.
  • Username: Enter the username you want to use to log on to the specified service.
  • Password: Enter the password associated with the username.

You can also add a certificate resource, which associates a network resource with a security certificate that is already installed in the Personal certificate store on your computer. In this case, verify that you have already installed the certificate, click Add A Certificate-Based Credential, type the resource URL, and click Select Certificate to select the certificate.

The final type of credential you can add is a generic credential, which are credentials used by applications that perform authentication themselves rather than rely on Windows to perform the authentication. As with a Windows credential, you specify the URL, username, and password for a generic credential.


Tip
You can specify a port number in the resource path, if needed. For example, if an application is connecting to a SQL Server at sql.mydomain.tld on port 1433 (which is an uncommon port), you would specify sql.mydomain.tld:1433 in the Internet or Network Address field in Credential Manager.
 
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