PWGen is a professional password generator capable of generating large amounts of cryptographically-secure passwords—“classical” passwords, pronounceable passwords, pattern-based passwords, and passphrases consisting of words from word lists. It uses a “random pool” technique based on strong cryptography to generate random data from indeterministic user inputs (keystrokes, mouse handling) and volatile system parameters. PWGen provides lots of options to customize passwords to the users’ various needs. Additionally, it offers strong text encryption and the creation of random data files (which can be used as key files for encryption utilities, for example).
- Free and Open-Source software
- Full Unicode support
- Unobtrusive: easy to use, doesn’t install any weird DLL files, doesn’t write to the Windows registry, doesn’t even write to your hard disk if you don’t want it, can be uninstalled easily
- Uses up-to-date cryptography (AES, SHA-2) to generate random data for high-quality passwords
- Numerous password options for various purposes
- Generation of large amounts of passwords at once
- Generation of passphrases composed of words from a word list
- Pattern-based password generation (formatted passwords) provides nearly endless possibilities to customize passwords to the user’s needs
- “Password hasher” functionality: Generate passwords based on a master password and a parameter string (e.g., the name of a website), similar to “Hashapass”
- Secure text encryption
- Multilingual support
- In-depth manual (>50 pages)
- Runs on all Windows versions (32-bit and 64-bit; beginning with Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2)
PWGen 2.9.0 released
Version 2.9.0 features the new option “Specify length” for the “Include words” setting. It allows selecting passphrases according to a certain length specification: Passphrases not conforming to the specification will be discarded. The length can be specified as a single number (N), as a length range (M-N), or with one of the operators >, <, >=, <=. Moreover, PWGen checks on start-up if an instance of the program is already running.
PWGen 2.8.0 released
Version 2.8.0 features a brand-new, cube-shaped program icon (also available in “extra-large” size, 256x256 pixels), supports drag & drop of passwords to other applications (a drag & drop operation can be initiated by left-clicking on the “password quality” bar below the password box and holding the mouse button) and executes the check for updates in a separate thread to avoid latency times on start-up. Several bugfixes are provided, too.
The Translation Utility has also been updated (version 1.1.4).
PWGen 2.7.0 released
In version 2.7.0, most windows (including the main window of the program) can now be changed in size, and new options “Always on top”, which makes PWGen and its subordinate windows the top-most windows on the screen, as well as “Provide additional entropy / From file”, which allows incorporating entropy from any file into the random pool, have been added to the main menu. Besides, the “Quick help” window has been redesigned in order to enable copying text and scrolling with the mouse wheel. Also note that the Translation Utility has been updated to version 1.1.3.
PWGen 2.6.0 released
Version 2.6.0 features new options to generate passwords and passphrases in which each character or word, respectively, occurs only once; number ranges in formatted passwords; a new “Provide Additional Entropy” dialog, which allows entering or pasting any text in order to feed additional entropy into the random poool; and last but not least, some bug fixes.
PWGen 2.5.4 released
Version 2.5.4 features a much faster generation of unique password lists (i.e., lists where each entry occurs only once) and fixes a bug in the default word list (list contained an empty word due to the faulty encoding of a special-character string in C) as well as a bug in the generation of unique passphrase lists where each entry consists of multiple words (it just didn’t work properly).
PWGen 2.5.3 released
Version 2.5.3 introduces the new character set “<phoneticx>”, which allows for generating phonetic passwords consisting of mixed-case letters (in contrast to the “<phonetic>” set which generates phonetic passwords with lower-case letters exclusively), thus increasing the entropy by 1.0 bit per letter. Also note that the Translation Utility has been updated to version 1.1.2.
PWGen 2.5.2 released
Version 2.5.2 fixes a bug in the generation of random data files.
PWGen 2.5.1 released
Version 2.5.1 now supports running PWGen in (a) “portable” or (b) “installation” mode, where the configuration .ini file is stored (a) in the program folder or (b) in the %APPDATA% path. Mode (b) allows running PWGen without administrator rights as a normal/limited user.
PWGen 2.5.0 released
Rising from the depths of a finished PhD thesis, here is version 2.5.0! New features include a “Configuration” dialog with new options to check for updates automatically and to clear the clipboard automatically after copying sensitive data (passwords) to it. The new “Advanced” password option “Only include characters from custom character set” means that only characters from the user-defined character set will be used when the “Include at least one ...” (letter/digit/special symbol) options are activated. The context menu of password boxes has been extended by an “Encrypt & Copy” function, which encrypts the selected text before copying it to the clipboard.
PWGen 2.4.0 released
The main feature of version 2.4.0 is the new “MP Password Generator” which allows generating passwords reproducibly based on a secret master password and a parameter string. This “password hasher” functionality is similar to the website Hashapass. The new “deterministic random generator” is related to this feature, as it enables the user to make password generation in PWGen (almost) completely reproducible; it can be activated in the MP Password Generator dialog (click on the new “magic hat” button in the toolbar).
PWGen 2.3.1 released
Version 2.3.1 fixes a few bugs related to displaying Unicode strings in the GUI (relevant for loading translations of the program). Note that the Translation Utility has been updated, too (version 1.1.1).
PWGen 2.3.0 released
As of version 2.3.0—believe it or not—PWGen aims at providing full Unicode support! The transition to Unicode was certainly quite painful, because the entire source code had to be revised and partly even rewritten from scratch, but it was ultimately inevitable: ANSI (non-Unicode) appplications are a thing of the past nowadays. PWGen should be capable now of generating passwords containing all possible Unicode characters, and it can be translated in every Unicode-compatible language. Furthermore, I have implemented a feature which allows for generating phonetic (pronounceable) passwords such as “anceaturseve”. This function is accessible by entering “<phonetic>” into the “Character set“ field in the main window. The underlying algorithm is based upon trigram (3-letter) frequencies of the English language, but it is possible to create specific “trigram files” for other languages with Latin-derived alphabets (letters a..z). Note: The Translation Utility for PWGen has been updated, too.
PWGen 2.2.1 released
Version 2.2.1 fixes a bug which caused an error when clicking on certain areas in the main window.
PWGen 2.2.0 released
Version 2.2.0 features a new profile editor for managing password generation profiles, “hot key” options for quickly generating passwords, a new “Generate” button which allows the user to write the password list directly to a file, faster generation of password lists with less memory requirement, and more.
PWGen 2.1.0 released
Version 2.1.0 really deserves the title “major update”: Highlights are pattern-based password generation (formatted passwords), a new “password quality bar”, quality estimation of user-entered passwords, usage of a random seed file to preserve entropy, quick help buttons, specification of ambiguous characters in groups of similar-looking characters, command line switches, redesign of the random pool (towards more security), and much more. Try it out and let me know how you think about it!
PWGen 2.08 released
Version 2.08 has a new “Create Random Data File” dialog and allows the user to change the font of the password box.
PWGen 2.07 released
Version 2.07 essentially features easier handling of character sets in so far as the user does not have to “accept” the input any more by pressing a button. Instead, the character set is automatically updated now.
PWGen 2.06 released
Version 2.06 features a new option “Exclude duplicate entries in password lists” which allows you to create unique password lists. The maximum size of password lists has been extended to 1,000,000. Moreover, the generation of password lists runs much faster now.
PWGen Translation Utility 1.00 released
This small utility assists you in translating PWGen into another language, and can even be used to update an existing translation to a new version of PWGen (when the latest German.lng file serves as a template). Please note that the generated .lng files only work with PWGen version 2.05 or higher.
PWGen 2.05 released
Version 2.05 fixes an “access violation” bug which sometimes occurred when pressing hotkeys in the character set and word list file lists, and features a main menu, larger toolbar icons and further (minor) changes. NOTE for all translators: I will publish a translation utility soon which assists you in updating existing .lng files. So stay tuned!
PWGen 2.04 released
Version 2.04 essentially features two new settings, “Redefine ambiguous characters” and “Redefine special symbols” which should make the password generation more flexible. These options are accessible in the “Advanced Password Options” dialog.
PWGen 2.03 released
Version 2.03 features a new password option “Exclude repeating consecutive characters” which ensures that each character in the password will be different from the previous one. Furthermore, the word list field has been transformed into a drop-down list.
The new design should be cleaner, clearer and more structured than the old rudimentary one. And it’s good-looking, at last! Thanks to Alan for his support!
PWGen 2.02 released
Version 2.02 features some new “Advanced Password Options” as well as one major bug fix.