Since this year, an app I bought from the Microsoft Store (All My Password) does not work properly because it is not able anymore to do a backup on a cloud (i.e. OneDrive) of its encrypted data. As you can imagine, an app for saving passwords that cannot allow neither to do a backup of its data nor to synchronize them among different devices (e.g. PCs, smartphone) is not useful at all!
All My Password was very basic also from the design point of view but till 12/2018 it worked as I expected. Instead, now the Windows 10 PC version crashes as soon as I try to access my OneDrive area to do a backup, while the Windows 10 Mobile version (for smartphones like Lumia 950XL) there are not displayed anymore the Upload/Download buttons (possibly shown only when there is an active connection with OneDrive). In both cases the result is the same: no backup and synchronization are possible anymore!! 😦
Note that that app was not a UWP one even though both have a similar user interface, so there are two different versions, one for mobile another for PC.
It is really a pity that the developer does not support that app and give no answer to people (like me) that bought it and ask for some help for this bug! Neither the support site nor the developer email shown in the page related to that app in the Store, are valid anymore!! I tried to post a message even in the Facebook site of EngAsh Digital providing information and screenshots of the problem … no way to get an answer!! 😦
I can understand that maybe that app in the Microsoft Store could be bought only by few users … but that does not justify the misbehaviour of that developer!! 😦
As usually happens, the more updated data were on my smartphone and I did the backup on the cloud only a few months ago: however, I did not update on my PC where I rarely use that app! So, the most updated data are on the Lumia 950XL, then on OneDrive, the data saved a few months ago, finally on the PC very old version of one year ago! The data are locally saved by the app in his storage and not externally the file system …
So how to proceed? How to recover the most recent data and manually insert them in another more serious app? How to access to the memory of the app to recover the locally stored data or, at least, substitute them in the PC with the more recent file available in OneDrive?
I think that similar situations can happen also in other cases, for an other app, … so the following procedure could be useful to someone else.
On a Windows 10 Mobile device, it is not possible to access to the app data available in the local storage because it is private for security reasons. In fact that private data are not exposed as it happens for other public libraries (e.g. Documents, Photos): only the developer can access them using specific tools that work only when the app is manually loaded by the developer for testing (so, it is not installed from the Store).
On the contrary, it is possible to access local data in the PC version of an app. In this site it is shown how to access where Windows Store Apps are installed & how to access that folder, showing hidden directories and modifying user rights for a specific one.
However, that is not the place where apps save their local storage. You need to go to the
folder to get the data for a specific <Package_Family_Name> app.
If you type the %localappdata%\Packages\ string in a PC File Explorer, it will valorize the %localappdata% system variable: in my case, it shows the C:\Users\conti\AppData\Local\Packages directory.
Then if you want to explore the data of a specific app, you have to search the associated subdirectory (e.g. 57908EngAshDigital.AllMyPasswords_wk8kf0avr0eee for the app AllMyPassword of EngAshDigital). For that specific app, the searched backup data are in the Do_Not_Delete_Or_Edit_Me.txt file, the file with the same name of the backup file on OneDrive.
Therefore, I substituted that old file with the one available on OneDrive (backup of the smartphone app data, updated only a few months ago), so now I can see that newer data running the app on the PC: from here it is easier to do a cut & past for saving that data somewhere else.
Once recovered the more recent data that it was possible, the matter was to choose another app for saving passwords: it is a hard choice because I do not want to have to copy again all my passwords any more in the next future!! So it is convenient to choose not a proprietary solution that again could not be supported in a few years and possibly one that has several cross-platform clients available, possibly a standard/opensource one.
I know that Enpass could be a good solution because it is cross-platform and on Windows, it is available in the Windows Store and it integrates well with Windows Hello: it allows to save data even on a different cloud provider, OneDrive too, so it is very flexible. Finally, you have to pay only once when you buy it.
1Password should be a good choice too, but it is more expensive because it uses a subscription model even though it gives a greater assurance to be supported in the future.
Unfortunately, both these apps are not UWP and are available for Windows 10 Mobile too and, because I still use my good Lumia 950XL (and I do not want to change it as far as I can!), I had to find another solution!!
So I opted for PassKeep that is UWP app that seems to have good support: there is an official website for this “free, open-source, light-weight and easy-to-use password manager“. PassKeep is a password manager that is interoperable with KeePass 2.x format for storing encrypted data and there are several clients that use that format.
A little at a time, using the cut&past feature, now I am going to copy data from All My Password to PassKeep …
See the following post, if you are interested in more information about saving keys and share them among your devices: How to save passwords securely and standardly, sharing them with all your devices