If you currently use a password manager to store your many online logins and need to switch to a new one, the process doesn‘t have to be difficult or time-consuming. Most popular password managers allow you to securely export the data from your current vault and import it into a new service in just a few steps.
In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll walk through how to seamlessly migrate your passwords from one password manager to another. You‘ll learn:
- Step-by-step instructions for exporting passwords from managers like LastPass, Dashlane, 1Password, and more
- Easy processes for importing your passwords into new services like NordPass, Bitwarden, RoboForm, and others
- Tips for replacing the Google Password Manager and choosing the best alternative
- Answers to common password migration questions
- The importance of maintaining strong password habits even when using a password manager
With over 45 million Americans now using password managers to handle their many online logins, it‘s likely you may need to switch services at some point as you evaluate new features, security, and pricing. By following the advice in this guide, you can effortlessly transition to a new password manager without losing any of your saved passwords.
Why Switch Password Managers?
Before we dive into the step-by-step processes for exporting and importing passwords, let‘s discuss some common reasons you may want to transition to a new password manager:
- Better features or interface: You may prefer certain features or workflows offered by other password managers over your current solution. For example, some provide better password generation or mobile apps.
- Increased security: If your current password manager has experienced security issues or lacks important security protections, you may want to switch to a more secure option. For instance, open source password managers may undergo more frequent auditing.
- Price changes: If your current manager raised prices, you may want to evaluate more affordable alternatives. Many top password managers offer free tiers.
- Switching devices or browsers: If you are transitioning from Mac to Windows for example, or Chrome to Firefox, you may want a password manager that integrates better into your new ecosystem.
- Team password sharing: Some managers like 1Password Business or Passbolt Pro offer dedicated team plans for secure company password sharing.
According to a 2021 SpyCloud report, around 20% of consumers switch password managers each year. With implementation of just a few simple steps detailed below, you can painlessly switch services while migrating all your existing passwords.
How Americans are Using Password Managers
Before we get into the step-by-step details for exporting and importing passwords across managers, let‘s look at some data around how password managers are used:
- 45 million Americans use password managers as of 2022 (Statista)
- 78% of password manager users only use one manager, while 22% use multiple (SpyCloud)
- The most popular password manager is Google Smart Lock used by 53% of password manager users (SpyCloud)
- Other widely used options are Apple iCloud Keychain (45%), LastPass (37%), and 1Password (28%)
- 20% of people switch between password managers each year, most commonly replacing LastPass (SpyCloud)
- Only 55% of password manager users have a master password that is unique and strong (Security.org)
This data shows that while password managers are widely adopted, many people are only using the basic tools built into their browser or device operating system like Google Smart Lock. And end users often reuse the same weak master password across services.
In the following sections, we‘ll cover how to properly migrate your passwords to take advantage of more secure, full-featured managers with strong master passwords.
Step-by-Step: Exporting Passwords from Your Current Manager
The first step in migrating your password data is exporting your existing passwords from your current manager.
Here are detailed steps for some of the most popular password managers:
Exporting from LastPass
- Log into your LastPass account at lastpass.com
- Click "Advanced Options" and select "Export" from the menu.
- Choose a file format like CSV or XML. CSV will work for most other password manager imports.
- Enter your LastPass Master Password when prompted. This encrypts and protects the exported data.
- Save the exported password file that downloads to your computer.
Exporting from 1Password
- Sign into your 1Password account and click on your profile picture.
- Choose "Settings" and select "Advanced"
- Go to "Export 1Password Data" and pick CSV or JSON format.
- Save the exported password data file that downloads.
Exporting from Dashlane
- Log into your Dashlane account and click the profile menu at top right.
- Select "Settings" and choose "Import/Export" under "Data."
- Pick "Export Data" then "Export to CSV" or "Export to XML."
- Enter your account password when prompted to encrypt your data.
- Download and save the exported password file.
Exporting from Bitwarden
- Login to your Bitwarden account and click "Tools" then "Export Vault."
- Choose "CSV," "JSON," or "XML" format. And pick encrypted or unencrypted file.
- Enter your Bitwarden master password to encrypt your password data.
- Download and save the exported password vault file.
Exporting from RoboForm
- Log into your RoboForm account and click the "RoboForm" menu.
- Select "Accounts" then "Sync & Export."
- Choose "Export" then pick "RoboForm Data (RFW)" or "Comma Separated (CSV)".
- Enter your RoboForm master password when prompted.
- Download and save the exported password file.
Exporting from Enpass
- Login to your Enpass account and click the main menu.
- Go to "Settings" and choose "Data Transfer."
- Select "Export Data" then choose CSV, JSON, or XML format.
- Save the downloaded password data file.
Exporting from Keeper
- Log into your Keeper account and click "Settings."
- Go to "Data Transfer" and pick "Export Data."
- Choose CSV or XML format and click "Export."
- Download your password data file when prompted.
For any password manager, the steps involve accessing an export or backup function, selecting a file format like CSV, and downloading your password database. The CSV file format will work for most password manager imports.
Now let‘s look at how to bring your exported passwords into a brand new password manager.
Step-by-Step: Importing Passwords into a New Manager
Once you‘ve downloaded your password data from your previous manager, it‘s easy to transfer it into a brand new service.
Here are step-by-step instructions for importing into some top password managers:
Importing into NordPass
- Create a NordPass account at nordpass.com
- Log into the NordPass web vault or browser extension
- Click on "Settings" and select "Import Items"
- Choose "CSV" file format and select the exported CSV from your old manager
- Review the passwords to be imported and click "Confirm"
Importing into 1Password
- Sign up for a new 1Password account
- Log into the 1Password browser extension or mobile app
- Click on your profile picture and choose "Import"
- Select the CSV file exported from your previous manager
- Pick which 1Password vault you want the passwords imported into
- Click "Import" and wait for the upload to complete
Importing into Bitwarden
- Create a new Bitwarden account at bitwarden.com
- Login and click on "Tools" then "Import Data"
- Choose CSV as the import file format
- Select the CSV file exported from your old password manager
- Pick the folder or collection to import your passwords into
- Click "Import" to upload your password data
Importing into Dashlane
- Sign up for a new Dashlane account at dashlane.com
- Login to Dashlane on the web and click your profile picture > Settings
- Go to "Import Data" under "Data Management"
- Select your exported CSV file and click "Open"
- Review the passwords to import and click "Import"
For any new password manager, the process involves: creating an account, accessing the import tool, selecting the CSV file exported from your old manager, reviewing the data, and uploading the passwords.
Migrating from the Google Password Manager
If you currently rely on Google‘s built-in password manager accessible at passwords.google.com, switching to a standalone manager is straightforward:
- Go to passwords.google.com and click the Settings icon
- Choose "Export passwords" and download the CSV file
- Sign up for the new, independent password manager of your choice
- Follow the steps above to import the CSV into your new manager‘s vault
Some of the top alternatives to migrate away from Google Password Manager include:
- Bitwarden: Offers a basic free version with features like password generation and auto-fill.
- LastPass: Has a free tier that stores unlimited passwords. Includes password auditing.
- 1Password: Provides a 14-day free trial. Supports secure password sharing.
- Keeper: Offers strong security protections including encrypted password storage.
No matter which new password manager you choose, you can easily import your saved Google passwords using the exported CSV file.
Password Manager Migration FAQs
What are some secure alternatives to LastPass?
Some of the top secure alternatives to LastPass include 1Password, Bitwarden, RoboForm, NordPass, Dashlane, and Enpass. Each employs end-to-end encryption to protect stored passwords.
How do I transfer my passwords from LastPass to NordPass?
To move passwords from LastPass to NordPass, export your LastPass vault as a CSV file, create a NordPass account, and use the NordPass import tool to upload the CSV file. This will transfer all your saved logins.
What are the best 1Password alternatives?
If you‘re looking for an alternative to 1Password, some top options include Bitwarden, LastPass, RoboForm, Enpass, and Keeper. Each offers features like secure password storage, autofill, and password generation.
How can I import passwords into Firefox or Chrome?
You can import passwords into Firefox or Chrome by using a browser extension for your new password manager of choice. Alternatively, you can import passwords directly into Firefox or Chrome‘s built-in password manager using the imported CSV file.
How do I transfer passwords from Dashlane to Bitwarden?
To move your passwords from Dashlane to Bitwarden, simply export your passwords from Dashlane as a CSV file, create a new Bitwarden account, and use the Bitwarden import tool to upload the CSV data into your new vault.
Best Practices for Password Security
While using a password manager is convenient for managing logins, you should still aim for strong password habits:
- Use a randomly generated master password for your manager that is at least 12 characters. Avoid dictionary words.
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for both your password manager and online accounts when available.
- Generate unique, complex 12+ character passwords for each online account using your manager‘s password generator.
- Periodically audit your passwords and accounts for any involved in breaches using a manager‘s security tools.
- Update any compromised passwords immediately. Don‘t reuse passwords across accounts.
- Use your manager‘s password strength meter to identify and improve weak passwords.
Adopting strong master passwords, using your manager‘s encryption, and creating unique passwords for every account will keep your data secure as you migrate services.
Switching password managers doesn‘t have to be a major hassle. As this guide outlined, you can seamlessly export your passwords from any major manager and import them into a new service in just minutes using CSV files.
Follow the step-by-step instructions provided above to easily migrate your passwords from one manager to another. Taking advantage of dedicated password management services with robust feature sets can provide an upgrade over reliance on basic tools like Google Password Manager or Apple iCloud Keychain.
Just be sure as you migrate that you also implement password security best practices like long master passwords, two-factor login, and unique account passwords. Your passwords will transfer over with ease and remain protected.