Passwords are a big deal. Don’t think so? Then try getting back into a vital account without one.
Sometimes passwords are easy enough to remember. But most people have so many accounts — and thus passwords — that it’s hard to keep track of them all. That is why the Chrome password manager is such a handy tool.
As long as this feature is on, Google will suggest saving a password whenever you enter one on a website. Then it will auto-fill that password whenever you want to log in again. It’s a simple but effective way of keeping track of passwords without having to remember them.
But sometimes, someone wants to see how many passwords they have saved on Chrome. Other times someone’s looking for a specific password that they need to enter on another browser or device. So it’s good to know where Google stores those passwords. Hence, this short guide to finding passwords you saved on Chrome.
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Where to Find Saved Passwords on Chrome
STEP 1: Open up the Chrome settings menu to access the list of usernames and passwords saved on Chrome. You can find the menu by clicking on the account picture in the top right corner of the screen.
STEP 2: Select “Manage Your Google Account,” and a new tab should open up.
STEP 3: On the new tab, scroll down to the bottom of the page and find the “Signing into other sites” bubble. It should list the password manager there.
STEP 4: Click on the password manager option, and a new page will load. The new page should show up with a list of all the accounts whose passwords have been saved to the logged-in Chrome account.
To view the passwords for each account, Chrome may ask you to re-enter your Google account password. Those who use Windows 10 and lock their computer with a password may also see Windows security window pop up. This window will ask for their Windows username and password before they can view the Chrome page.
STEP 5: To view the passwords in plain text, click on the eye icon.
Google syncs the passwords across every device you use Chrome on. So you can access them from anywhere.
You can also export and store them in a CSV file, but be wary of this as it means passwords will appear in plain text. So if someone opens the file, they’ll be able to see all your passwords.
BONUS STEP: To export passwords, go to the list of saved passwords and click on the three vertical dots on the right-hand side of “saved passwords.”
Why Saving Passwords on Chrome is Risky Business
Even though Google is working to improve the browser and its features, there are still security gaps.
Chrome is the most-used browser in the world, at more than half of the market share. That means it’s by far the biggest target for hackers who are always looking for weak points in its attack surface.
With so many people and criminal organizations focusing on one platform, they’re bound to find some security bugs now and then.
These bugs are pretty common too. More common than Google would like to admit, to be honest. In 2019, there were many security flaws, as well as zero-day attacks. January 2020 isn’t even over yet, and Google has already warned users about a Chrome speech bug.
For these reasons, Chrome isn’t all that safe to use as a password manager. The browser encrypts passwords, but they’re still too easy to find should any browser bugs be exploited. Moreover, anyone can find these passwords if they have access to the device with the browser installed on and your account logged in.
Use a Password Manager for Chrome as a Safer Alternative
The built-in password manager might not be the safest option, but there are plenty of other Chrome password managers out there.
Free options are usually tricky because you never know if you can trust them. Developers who create free software have to make money somehow, after all. Or they may neglect important security features because they don’t have the resources for it.
Look for a dependable and budget-friendly (free)premium password manager instead. Review sites are a good place to start, and the security subreddit r/AskNetsec is an excellent place to look too.
Passwords are a valuable part of your security, and you need to protect them. That is why you will hear over and over again not to reuse your passwords and not to use weak ones. But remembering every unique password is a massive undertaking — hence the need for password managers. But rather kick your habit of saving passwords to Chrome and get a password manager that you can trust.