If you’re moving from LastPass (or another password manager you’re not happy with), you may be tempted to opt for the password manager that comes with your browser or operating system. It is certainly an easy and reasonable solution, depending on your point of view. Until recently, third-party password managers were known to be more secure, but Apple and Google have been working to make their built-in password managers more secure, while Microsoft is adding one to its authentication app. Then it could be a viable option.
However, one way these built-in password managers don’t stand up to their independent competitors is how complicated it can be to get pre-existing passwords into their systems.
If you tend to hang out in the Google ecosystem and / or have an Android mobile device, that means you can use Google’s Password Manager to store and sync your passwords through the Chrome browser. Unfortunately, like Apple’s Safari, Google Chrome makes it extremely difficult to import passwords from a CSV file.
The only way I could find it was to try to enable a disabled Chrome feature that allows you to import passwords. After searching online, I found several methods to enable it, depending on the version of Chrome you are running. I am currently running version 88, and although I was able to use the following method to add the import command to Chrome (thanks to Guide technology for pointing me to this possible solution), my copy of Chrome was never able to import the CSV file I downloaded from LastPass.
Be that as it may, this is the process I used. Maybe you have more luck. I’ll let you know how I finally managed to enter my passwords in Chrome right after.
- In Chrome’s top address bar, type chrome: // flags. This will take you to the Experiments page.
- In the “Search indicators” box at the top, type “password import.” (It will probably be enough to just type “password”).
- Find “Password Import” and click on the drop-down menu on the left (it will probably be labeled “Default”). Select “Enabled”.
- Select “Relaunch”.
- Now that you’ve added the import feature, go to Chrome’s Settings (by selecting the three dots in the upper right corner and choosing “Settings”).
- Find “Passwords” (which will be in the “AutoComplete” category) and click the arrow to the right.
- Find “Saved Passwords” and click on the three dots to the right. You should see a drop-down menu that includes the “Import” selection.
- Click “Import”. You will be able to select a CSV file from your file manager and hopefully import your passwords.
If that works for you, great! If not, there is one last desperate way to enter your passwords in Chrome, which is the one that finally worked for me.
- Download Firefox (if you don’t have it yet) and start it.
- Click on the three lines in the upper right corner and select “Logins and Passwords”.
- Click on the three dots in the upper right corner and select “Import from file.”
- Select your CSV file and import it.
Now that your passwords are in Firefox, you can easily transfer them to Chrome:
- In Chrome, click on the three dots in the upper right corner and go to “Bookmarks”> “Import bookmarks and settings”.
- Select Mozilla Firefox from the drop-down menu, select “Passwords” (and “Auto-fill form data” if you had any), and click “Import.”
That (ugh!) Should do it! But if you don’t want to go through all that, there are always free alternative password managers that you can try.