Jack Wallen shows you how to get the most out of Bitwarden on Android with the AutoFill feature.
Bitwarden is one of the best password managers on the market. Not only is it open source, but it also includes excellent features like physical security keys, so you don’t have to rely on the less secure two-factor authentication via SMS.
However, for many, one of the best features of most password managers is that they offer a mobile option. Such is the case with Bitwarden. And for the most part, all of these features are very user-friendly. You can add new items to your vault, work with folders and collections, generate random usernames and passwords, send items securely to people, import vaults from other password managers, and export your vault for backup or import into another app.
Bitwarden is so well designed and developed that anyone can use the app without any problems. But there is one feature that may need some attention so that you can understand how it is used. That feature is Auto-fill, which allows Bitwarden to automatically fill in passwords for sites and services without you having to open the app, copy the password, and then paste it into the appropriate site or service.
Let’s take a closer look at this feature so that you can take full advantage of Bitwarden on Android.
TO SEE: Mobile Device Security Policy (Tech Republic Premium)
What you need
All you need to follow with me is a Bitwarden account and the Bitwarden mobile app installed on Android.
What autofill looks like
When you try to log into a site or service on Android, with Bitwarden Auto-fill enabled properly, you should see a popup giving you the option to autofill with Bitwarden (Image A†
Now, here’s the problem. AutoFill is enabled by default for Bitwarden, but there is one option that is not enabled, which prevents some apps (like Chrome and Firefox) from using Bitwarden AutoFill. Instead, those apps use their own password managers to autofill your credentials.
To get the most out of Android security, I don’t recommend allowing web browsers to save your credentials, meaning those browsers need a little help.
Here’s what to do. Warning: Bitwarden doesn’t allow taking in-app screenshots, so you’ll need to monitor it closely.
Open Bitwarden and tap Settings at the bottom right of the window. On the resulting page, tap on Autofill Services at the top. Here you should see that the following options are already enabled:
- Autofill Service: Allows Bitwarden to use the Android Auto-fill Framework.
- Using Inline AutoComplete
- Using accessibility: Enable the Quick-Action autocomplete tile.
For most installed apps, those enabled options will work just fine. Like I said, with apps like web browsers, enabling those three might not be enough. For that, you need to enable the fourth option, Use Draw-Over. What this does is bring up a popup where you can select Bitwarden for autocomplete (as shown in Figure A).
If you tap the ON/OFF slider to use Draw-Over, another window will appear (Figure B), where you will see a list of all apps that may or may not be displayed above other apps
Tap on Bitwarden and in the resulting window (Figure C), tap the ON/OFF slider until it is in the ON position.
You can now get rid of this again and see that Draw-Over is now enabled for Bitwarden. You should have no problems with AutoFill in any app that requires you to enter a password that you have stored in your Bitwarden vault.
Other than this minor hiccup, you should have no problem using Bitwarden on Android to keep your passwords strong and secure.
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