DISCLAIMER: Following information should be used only if its your system and you have forgotten your email account password. Don't use this information to access a system which is not yours without permission.
Personally I prefer Desktop email clients to web-based interface provided by email service providers. Using dedicated Desktop mail client is easier and better than web interface as you can use them offline and type and save emails to send later. Also you always have a backup of your emails in your Desktop client.
When we add an email account in a Desktop email client, we save our email ID and password in the client so that it can automatically log into our email account and send/receive emails.
Today I faced a very unique problem! I use a few extra email IDs to register at online forums, websites, etc. I added one such Gmail ID in my Desktop email client "Windows Live Mail" long time back. Today I needed to log into that Gmail ID using a web browser. When I tried to enter the password, it was reported as incorrect by Gmail. I was sure that the password was correct but Gmail server was not accepting it.
Then I tried to reset the password using forgot password link provided by Gmail server but I was unable to reset the password as I didn't enter any mobile number or alternative email ID at the time of registration of that Gmail ID. Gmail server asked a few tricky questions such as date of account creation, last access time, etc but I couldn't remember any of them so I was unable to reset the password.
I didn't note the password of that Gmail account anywhere so I was clueless. I couldn't think of any way to retrieve the correct password of my Gmail account.
Then I thought of retrieving the correct password using my Desktop email client. Since the password was stored in my email client, there were chances that I could retrieve the password from it.
I tried a few freeware which claim to show the characters behind those asterisks (*) present in a password field but none of them worked.
At last I searched in AskVG archive and found "Password Recovery Tools" kit which was posted long time back here at AskVG website.
This toolkit contains several password recovery tools to recover passwords from messengers, email clients, browsers, dialup connections and many other software.
I tried the "Mail PassView" and it retrieved and showed the correct password instantly without any problem.
So if you forget your email account password in future and if its saved in your Desktop email client such as Windows Live Mail, Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Outlook Express, Windows Mail or other 3rd party software, you can use Mail PassView to retrieve your password without any hard work.
The tool can be used in almost all Windows versions from Windows 98 to Windows 7. It should also work in Windows 8.
Have you also forgotten your email account password ever? How did you retrieve it? Feel free to share your experience or feedback about this tool in your comment...