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Tips to transfer your passwords from Google Chrome

Tips to transfer your passwords from Google Chrome

Tips to transfer your passwords from Google Chrome

You might be surprised to find out how difficult a task exporting saved passwords from Google Chrome is. In fact, as we'll learn in a minute, without additional tools, it's nearly impossible. Nevertheless, we'll now give you a few tips that should work.


The question of why transferring data from Chrome is such a tricky task is not easy to answer, but it's fair to say that Google has received quite a lot of heat for its policy in that respect. If you're a fan of Chrome, this shouldn't be too much of a problem. As long as you sign into Chrome with your Google account (using the button next to Minimize, Restore, and Close in the top right-hand corner), your saved passwords will be uploaded to the cloud and will be synced across all your devices. If you want to use Chrome on one computer and another browser on a second device, however, things are a little bit trickier.


During our tests, we tried to migrate passwords from Chrome to Edge, Opera, and Firefox. The Firefox experiment was a success. Here's how you can do it as well.


STEP 1: Open Firefox and type "about:preferences#privacy" in the address bar. Press Enter and click on the Saved Logins button.


STEP 2: Click the Import button to launch the Import Wizard, select Chrome from the list, and click Next.


STEP 3: Select the type of data you'd like to import in Mozilla Firefox. If you want to transfer your passwords the checkbox next to Saved Passwords must be selected. Click Next.

 Firefox will inform you about the items that were successfully imported. Click Finish to close the wizard.


With Opera and Edge, things are a bit different. We tried the import tools on both Opera and Edge, and for some reason, Chrome just didn't appear in the list of installed browsers. Technically, it might turn out to be a temporary glitch, as others have reported that the import was successful, but it goes to show that the feature might not be 100% reliable.


Speaking of unreliability, Chrome has had its own built-in export tool for a while now. The problem is, it's still in the experimental phase, and it's not available in the menus you normally use. To turn it on, you need to go to chrome://flags, the page that hosts all the Chrome tools and features that are not quite ready yet. As you can see, a warning says that if you're not careful, you might end up losing data, so make sure you don't get too excited about the mouse's left button.


Search for "Password import and Export" and choose the Enabled option from the drop-down menu. A Relaunch Now button should appear in the bottom right-hand corner. Click on it to restart Chrome. Now go to chrome://settings/passwords. You should be able to see a list of your saved passwords, and above it, there should be an Import and an Export button. Click Export to save your passwords in a CSV file. At least that's the theory.


In practice, when we tried to use the export function, the CSV file ended up blank. Other users have complained about the same thing in the past which goes to show that the tool still needs some work, and the Google Chrome team won't reveal how far down the to-do list it is.


People have been looking for workarounds. There's a free tool for Windows called ChromePass that lets you export and back up your passwords from Chrome. Since it's a password recovery tool, however, it can be used by the bad guys, and many antivirus programs display alerts about it.


Using Chrome's developer console and a few dozen lines of code, you can also export your passwords in a text document (link: https://gist.github.com/ryanpcmcquen/cee082bff514f8849a29c409fe3571ff). For some people, however, this may seem like too much of a challenge.


The good news is, most of the dedicated password management applications can automatically take the passwords you've saved in Chrome and transfer them directly to your vault.


You can, for example, import your passwords to Cyclonis Password Manager shortly after the creation of your account. The application is designed to scan the browsers you've installed and check for saved login credentials. Once it finds them, it asks you which of them you'd like to add to your vault. That way, you can use your data immediately after finishing the initial wizard.


LastPass and Dashlane can also import your passwords from Chrome automatically. One of the few password managers that don't automate the process is 1Password. If you're using it with the Chrome browser extension, however, it will ask you whether you want to save your usernames and passwords as soon as Chrome fills them in. One by one, your accounts could be transferred to 1Password without the need to copy and paste all the usernames and passwords.


All in all, experts agree that using your browser for hosting your login credentials isn't the best idea. A dedicated password management solution is a much better choice. As it turns out, password managers also provide you with the simplest way of migrating your data.

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