Browsers

So you can export and import passwords from any browser

Saving our passwords in the browser is really convenient when browsing the Internet and having to log in to the web pages we visit. However, having all our data in one browser is one of the reasons that prevent us from changing browsers and trying other options. Luckily, the password managers that are included in the browsers allow us to export all our keys easily so that we can import them into other programs, such as other password managers or other different web browsers.

Before continuing, we must make one thing very clear. The function of exporting passwords from web browsers saves all our passwords in plain text, without encryption. The browsers export us a plain text file (CSV) within which are the URL addresses of the webs, the username and the password. Any user who has access to this file can have access to all of our passwords. For this reason, it is advisable to carry out this activity on a safe computer and, when we finish, destroy the TXT file with our passwords to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.

Reasons why browsers save our passwords

Like many different types of data, today’s Internet browsers store a good deal of user data. This is something that is carried out largely in order to improve the user experience with the program. Thus, it will be of great help to us when it comes to automatically accessing the online platforms and services in which we registered in the past. Otherwise, every time we try to enter any of these that need credentials, we would have to enter them, which is somewhat cumbersome.

But of course, these data are sometimes very sensitive and we do not want them to fall into the wrong hands, hence the care we must take with them. Say that browsers as such have their own built-in protection systems. However, if we extract all of this to a file, the security of what is stored in it will depend on ourselves, as is the case that we are going to deal with below.

Export passwords to CVS from the browser

All web browsers will offer us this function, although in some of them they may be deactivated or be more hidden than it should, for security reasons. Next we are going to see how we can easily get the passwords of any browser.

Chrome

The function of exporting passwords from Google Chrome has been available in the browser for a long time, and it is also activated by default. To do this, what we have to do is type the following in the address bar, to go to the Chrome passwords section:

chrome://settings/passwords

Here we can see a list with all the passwords that are saved in the browser. We must click on the button that appears above the list of passwords to bring up the menu from which we can choose the possibility of exporting the passwords.

We choose the option to export, and the browser will warn us that, if we do so, anyone will be able to see the passwords. We accept the message and then we will have to authenticate in Windows with an administrator password or Windows Hello.

Now we will only have to choose the name and the directory where we want to save this password file and that’s it. Chrome exports the passwords in a CSV, which we can easily open with Excel.

Firefox

The function of exporting passwords is available from Firefox 78 in its Lockwise password manager. In order to export these passwords, what we must do is open the browser’s password manager by typing in the address bar:

about:logins

Once here, we will open the password manager options menu and choose the option “Export logins”.

Firefox will warn us that the passwords are going to be saved in plain text. We accept the message and then we will have to authenticate with the Windows password or with Windows Hello.

Clever. Like Chrome, Firefox will export the passwords in a CSV file, which can be perfectly opened with Excel

Edge

Since Microsoft Edge is based on Chromium, the way to export passwords from this browser is practically the same as for Chrome. What we must do is type the following in the address bar to go directly to the Edge password manager section:

edge://settings/passwords

Here we will click on the button with the 3 dots that appears next to the saved passwords and we will choose the option to export passwords, as shown in the image.

Like the other browsers, Edge will warn us that the passwords are going to be exported in plain text and that anyone could see them. We accept, and we will have to authenticate with Windows Hello or with a password to continue.

Edge will export the passwords in a CSV file, which we can open with Excel, or a similar program, to see all the passwords.

Opera

Opera is also based on Chromium, therefore the process for exporting passwords is identical to that of Chrome or Edge. We must access the section “opera: // settings / passwords” from the address bar and export the passwords in the same way as in the other two browsers.

This browser also exports them in a CSV file.

Import passwords from CSV

Now that we have our passwords exported, what should we do? We can save the CSV file as a backup copy of them, although if we have synchronization with the cloud (something that all browsers offer us) it is actually unnecessary.

The most interesting thing for passwords is to be able to import them into other browsers so that, if we change browsers, the passwords always come with us. Next we will see how it is done.

Chrome

In Google Chrome, this feature is disabled by default. Therefore, if we want to use it, the first thing we will have to do is enable it from the flags. To do this, we will write the following in the address bar and activate this experimental function.

chrome://flags/#PasswordImport

Once the experimental function is enabled, we go to the Chrome passwords section and, when we click on the button with the 3 dots, a new option called “Import” will appear.

We select the CSV file that we want (it does not matter if it is from Chrome, Firefox or any other browser, it is compatible) and all these passwords will appear instantly in the browser.

Firefox

In Firefox, the option to import passwords from a CSV file is not available. Therefore, it is not possible to add passwords from this plain text file to the browser. What Firefox does allow us to do is directly import all the passwords of any of the browsers that we have installed on the computer. To do this, we just have to go to the password manager, select the option to import from another browser and follow the wizard that appears.

In case of having to import, yes or yes, the passwords from a CSV file, we will have to resort to third-party tools that allow us to do so, such as ffpass .

Edge

Although the new Edge is based on Chromium, there is no possibility to import the passwords from a CSV to the browser. There is also no flag that allows us to enable this feature.

Opera

Opera does have this feature, just like Chrome. In order to use it, we will have to activate the corresponding flag, as in Google Chrome, and follow the same steps in this alternative browser.

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