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At the moment my browser of choice is Opera, a suprise for the hordes of those website designer/Firefox lovers out there I’m sure.

My reasons are primarly for the interface, the clever speed-dial and the fact that it doesnt have the same memory hogging problems of the resource hungry Firefox. Granted that Opera, especially in v9.x, is by no means lite on resources either but in comparison - my computer is less resource crippled when using Opera with multiple open tabs for extended periods of time.

One of the other main features I like about Opera is the Wand, which stores all your login details (usernames and passwords) and with a click of the Wand (or shortcut, CTRL+Enter) fills in the fields for you. The single biggest problem I have come across with Opera and the Wand is the fact that while my passwords are stored, they are not viewable as they are in Firefox. To me it’s unclear whether or not this is a security feature or a means by which to keep the user “safe” – either way it seems to insult the users intelligence somewhat.

What I discovered from a quick trip to Google was that all passwords are stored in an encrypted file, the wand.dat. As it is encrypted you wont be able to just open the file in any text editor. Lucky for you I found the solution to this minor hurdle too.

There is a helpful little application/script that can do all the hard work for you, courtesy of Speedman.sk. You can download the whole file/package right here.

All you need to do is find your wand.dat which can usually be found in the following location on your computer:

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C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Opera\Opera\profile\

Just make sure you change the USERNAME to your current username/profile name you are using on your computer.

Copy the wand.dat to the same folder you extracted the Speedman package to and click on the retrieve.bat, which should check if it can find the wand.dat and automatically output all your details to pass.txt in the same folder.

With your sensitive information now decrypted, you should be careful as to what you do next with that file.