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I have two servers that haven't been touched in ages. Their passwords have been forgotten and I have a Mac where Apple Remote Desktop has saved their passwords. Can I view those saved passwords? I'd prefer not to reset both these servers and start from scratch.

What I've checked so far:

Keychain Access - This appears to only store the ARD password. I presume this password encrypts the connection details separately (and I recall the password here being the one I used to setup ARD in the first place).

The documentation (for V2 anyway) suggests data is stored in three places, user library plist, /Library plist, and /var/db/RemoteManagement/: images.apple.com/remotedesktop/pdf/ARD_Admin_Guide.pdf

The data in /var/ seems to be an sqlite3 database with usage statistics

The /Library/ plist seems to be nothing eye catching.

~/Library/ plist (in containers nowadays) has all the machine details but I don't see anything resembling a password (encrypted or not). Oh, they're stored with the key name "accessCredentials". Time to learn how to decrypt.

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I suspect that Apple Remote Password doesnt store passwords, that they are instead stored in keychain on the target Mac. Search for 'remote' in keychain access, see if it is there

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  • That was the first thing I tried with no luck. The only entry is the ARD password. I presume it uses this password to encrypt the client credentials separately. The documentation (for V2 anyway) suggests data is stored in three places, user library plist, /Library plist, and /var/db/RemoteManagement/: images.apple.com/remotedesktop/pdf/ARD_Admin_Guide.pdf – The_Stewart Dec 3 '20 at 7:23
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I’ve finally found something that does what I need.

https://github.com/ygini/ARD-Inspector

ARD Inspector can open and view the details in the com.Apple.AppleRemoteDesktop.plist including the encrypted password(s). You must have the ARD “master password” in order to decrypt the information.

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