How to Use the Chrome Password Manager

Plus, why you should encrypt with your Google Username and Password

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Google offers a password manager that can be easily accessed through the Chrome browser (or any browser, for that matter).

It's also fairly simple to view the the passwords you’ve stored through the Chrome browser with Google's built-in tools.

To be clear, Google Password Manager doesn’t allow you to generate random passwords or create/edit entries. Instead, what it allows you to do is view your passwords (that have been saved with Chrome) and copy them (so you can then, in turn, paste them as needed). So for those looking to make use of a full-featured password manager, you might want to look elsewhere.

Locating the Google Password Manager

At one time you could click on your Profile button in the top right corner of the Chrome browser, and then click Passwords from the dropdown. That is no longer the case.

Screenshot of the Chrome drop-down menu.

The resulting page will display a list of your Never Saved passwords, as well as what should be your saved passwords. If you click on any one of the Never Saved entries, it will only take you to the address of the site. There is, however, no way to view or delete passwords from this page. To manage your passwords, follow these steps:

  1. Screenshot of the Google Account link.
  2. When prompted, type your Google Account password and click Next.

    Screenshot of the password entry field.
  3. Locate and click the password you want to view or delete.

    Screenshot of saved passwords.
  4. In the resulting window, click the eye to view the password, the copy icon to copy the password, or Delete to remove the entry altogether.

    Screenshot of a password entry.
  5. Once you’ve copied the password, click the back button (left-pointing arrow) to return to the password manager.

Configuration Options

The Password Manager has a limited number of configuration options. In fact, there are only two: Offer to save passwords and Auto sign-in. To enable/disable these features, click the Gear icon to reveal the options window.

Screenshot of the gear icon.

Within the options window, click either On/Off slider to enable or disable one of the features.

Screenshot of the On/Off sliders for the password manager options.

If you opt to disable the saving of passwords, you will effectively no longer need to use the Chrome Password Manager. If you disable Auto sign-in, Chrome won’t automatically sign you into sites you visit. However, if you have the save passwords feature enabled, it will remember your usernames and passwords (you’ll only have to manually click the site sign-in button).

Why Such a Basic Tool?

You might be asking yourself why Google has created such a basic tool, especially when there are very powerful password managers available (such as Enpass and 1Password)? The answer is simple: Google wants to keep you within their ecosystem. That means you’re not using other browsers or other tools. Because of that, they assume the only browser you use is Chrome and you’re saving your passwords to your cloud account. Google also assumes the only reason you might need to view your passwords is so you can then use them in an app outside of the web browser.

To keep things simple (and locked into the Google system), the Google password manager will only allow you to view and delete a password. The deletion of a password is important. Why? Because if you delete a password for a particular login, your cloud account will no longer have a record of that login. That means you can change the password for that account and, the next time you log into that service with Chrome, Google will offer to save the password. If you save the updated password, it will then be reflected in your Google Password Manager.

A Word On Saving Passwords

Having your browser save your passwords isn’t always the best option. Why? Because if someone were to gain access to your Google account, they would also have access to all of your stored passwords. For those truly concerned about security, your best bet is to never allow your browser to save your passwords, and make use of a traditional password manager.

Is This Enough?

You should ask yourself if the Google Password Manager is enough for your needs. If you’re looking for a more traditional password manager, you should look at other, more full-featured options. If, however, you only need something simple (and want to keep all of your work within the Google ecosystem), the Google offering should do just fine.