Password Retrieval Application

This article was contributed by Tom Archer (enhanced by Steve Bryndin - see Version History)


Simply drag the "magnifying glass" over any "password" edit control and Eureka!

Eureka! is a 32-bit Windows utility that allows you to view password fields. For example, let's say that you forget what your FTP password is. If you use WSFTP, the security dialog shows you the password in an Edit field. However, it is shown as a row of asterisks. This is because the ES_PASSWORD style was used for Edit control. Using Eureka! you can uncover that lost password! Simply click on the magnifying glass icon and drag it over the password edit control and Eureka!, the text "behind" the asterisk will appear on Eureka!'s dialog! This application was developed using Visual C++ 5.0 and has been tested on both Windows '95 and Windows NT 4.0 Workstation. The source code for this application is freely downloadable. It should be understood that this application was NOT developed for the purpose of any illegal activity. This application should only be used for the purpose(s) expressed. Insofar as the source code is concerned, you are free to download this code. The only thing I ask is that you do not claim my work as your own own. In other words, give credit where credit is due.


  • While this utility has been tested and does work with the password screens of such applications as WSFTP, CuteFTP and Outlook Express, it does not work with Internet Mail and the Windows NT User Manager. Why not? Who knows :) I wrote this app in about an hour for a specific purpose and have never had the time to go back and make it work with all applications. If anyone wants to "fix" this, I'll be more than happy to update the code and give them credit.

Version History

  • August 3, 1999 - Original version
  • February 11, 2000 - Original version was hardcoded to look for windows that were defined with a class name of "Edit". Steve Bryndin updated the source code to provide the ability to enter a list of Windows classes on the dialog that are treated as password edit controls.


Download demo project - 17 Kb
Download demo application - 112 Kb

About the Author

Tom Archer - MSFT

I am a Program Manager and Content Strategist for the Microsoft MSDN Online team managing the Windows Vista and Visual C++ developer centers. Before being employed at Microsoft, I was awarded MVP status for the Visual C++ product. A 20+ year veteran of programming with various languages - C++, C, Assembler, RPG III/400, PL/I, etc. - I've also written many technical books (Inside C#, Extending MFC Applications with the .NET Framework, Visual C++.NET Bible, etc.) and 100+ online articles.