How to Repair Damaged or Corrupted Password List Files

Windows will re-create password list files if you delete them

What to Know

  • Select Start > Search (or Find) > enter *.pwl in the text box > select Find Now > right-click results, select Delete.
  • Next: Close search window and restart computer. New password list files will be generated automatically.

This article explains how to repair password list files, all of which end in the PWL file extension, that have been damaged or corrupted in Windows 95 and Windows 98.

How to Repair Corrupted Password List Files

Follow these easy steps to repair the password list files on your Windows PC.

  1. Click on Start and then Search (or Find, depending on your Windows operating system version).

  2. Enter *.pwl in the text box, and then select Find Now. In other versions of Windows, you may need to select All files and folders, enter the *pwl search criteria, and then choose Search.

  3. In the list of PWL files found during the search, right-click each one and choose Delete. Repeat this step to delete all of them that are found.

  4. Close the Find or Search window, and restart your computer. When you log back into Windows, the password list files will be generated automatically.

In some early versions of Windows 95, the password list files aren't automatically created when you log on. In these cases, Microsoft provides a tool to accomplish this. If the above steps don't work, and you suspect that you have an early version of Windows 95, download the mspwlupd.exe tool.

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