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Google Chrome: How to view, backup and restore your passwords?

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How to view passwords in Google Chrome?

In the address bar type: chrome://settings/passwords to view locally saved passwords. You can also type: http://passwords.google.com to view the passwords in your Google account. If you can’t find any passwords in your Google Account, that usually means that the sync option in your browser is inactive and the passwords are stored locally in your Chrome browser.

You can also click your way to view the passwords by opening the Chrome browser settings.

  • Open the Chrome browser.
    • Click three dots in the top right corner.
    • Select Settings from the menu.
    • Select Autofill section.
    • From the Autofill section, choose Passwords.

You can also watch my YouTube video below where I`m showing three different ways to view your passwords in the Google Chrome browser.

How to backup passwords in Google Chrome?

Export passwords from Chrome to .csv file.

You can backup and restore your passwords in Chrome by exporting them to .csv file but keep in mind that the file is in plain text so everyone can read it. 

As before, use one of the Chrome commands to view locally stored passwords:

  • Open Chrome browser and type in the address bar: chrome://settings/passwords
  • Under Save Passwords section, click the More Actions button (three dots).
  • Press Export Passwords.
  • Type your Windows Account password if required and press OK.
  • Save the .csv file.

Now you have a backup of your Chrome passwords in the form of the .csv file. Please remember, however, that the file content is in plain text and everyone can read it. I would suggest encrypting the file with the tool you probably already have if you are using an AntiVirus software.

Nowadays, most modern AntiVirus software offers what is called a File Vault. There is a big chance that you have a similar option available in your AntiVirus software.

Import passwords to your browser from .csv file.

After exporting your passwords to .csv file, you can use the file to import them back to Google Chrome browser on a different device. 

As of writing this article, the import option is not available in the Chrome browser by default. But luckily we can enable it in what is called Flags settings. 

Once again, we will use Chrome commands.

  • Open Chrome browser and type in the address bar: chrome://flags/#PasswordImport
  • Under Password Import option change the Default state to Enabled.
  • Google Chrome will prompt you to Relaunch the browser – press Relaunch.

After you restart your browser, view your passwords by typing chrome://settings/passwords in the address bar and pressing enter.

Under the More Actions button, you will now have Export Passwords and Import option available. From here you can select previously exported .csv file and import your password back to the browser.

Remember that the passwords you have just exported are in the plain text and everyone can read them. Make sure to either delete this file or keep it in the safe place.

And again I think the video below showing how to import and export passwords from Google Chrome will be more helpful.

How to restore passwords in Google Chrome?

I must be honest with you; there is no silver bullet for recovering lost passwords from the browser, and there is a big chance that you have lost them forever.

There is, however, one option available when it comes to recovering lost or deleted passwords in Google Chrome.

Unfortunately, the configuration of your browser or Google Account you had before deleting the passwords will dictate the recovery effort.

Google Chrome browser offers what is called Syncing. When this feature is active, selected profile information like Bookmarks, Passwords or browsing history are saved to your Google Account.

Your Google Account works like a middle man between the browsers on your devices.

If you log in to your Google Account on another device using Google Chrome browser, you will have an option to synchronise the latest profile information from your Google Account by enabling the syncing option.

Remember that the syncing feature works both ways.

Deleting the passwords on the device, you are currently using will update the profile information on your Google Account. That means that all browsers where the syncing feature is active will synchronise that data seconds after you open them, resulting in the loss of the passwords on all devices.

Restore lost passwords using another device.

There is a way, however, to recover accidentally deleted passwords using another device. But there are few requirements for this to work.

  • You have another device with Google Chrome on it, which you have synchronized with your Google Account before deleting the passwords.
  • You haven`t opened the browser on that device since the deletion of the passwords on the original device.

If the answer to the above statements is TRUE, then you have a chance to recover the passwords.

Recover lost passwords using Windows device.

So let see how we can do this:

  • Turn off the internet access on the other device BEFORE OPENING THE BROWSER.
  • Open the Chrome browser on that device.
  • Click Settings in the browser menu.
    • Assuming that you have synchronized your profile data before deleting the passwords, you should now be able to see them. You can either export your passwords to .csv file using steps described earlier in the article. Or, you can follow the steps below to synchronize them again with your Google Account.
  • Disable the syncing feature in the browser settings.
  • Switch internet access back on.
  • Enable syncing feature in the browser settings.
  • Now go back to the original device the passwords were deleted from and open the browser.
    • Assuming that the syncing option is active, you should now be able to see all your passwords again. If this is not the case, make sure that you have logged in to your account and that the syncing feature is active in the browser settings.

Recover lost passwords using Android device.

The process of recovering lost passwords using Android device is slightly different due to the differences in browser design.

  • Turn off the internet access on the other device BEFORE OPENING THE BROWSER.
  • Open the Chrome browser on that device.
  • Click Settings in the browser menu.
    • Assuming that you have synchronized your profile data before deleting the passwords, you should now be able to see them. You can either export your passwords to .csv file using steps described earlier in the article. Or, you can follow the steps below to synchronize them again with your Google Account.
  • Sign Out from the browser using Sign out and turn off sync feature.
    • Leave Also clear your Chrome data from this device option unchecked.
  • Switch internet access back on.
  • Enable syncing feature in the browser settings.
    • Press Yes, I`m in on the Turn on sync screen.
  • Now go back to the original device the passwords were deleted from and open the browser.
    • Assuming that the syncing option is active, you should now be able to see all your passwords again. If this is not the case, make sure that you have logged in to your account and that the syncing feature is active in the browser settings.

1) Disable WiFi on the device before opening the Chrome browser.

Android phone quick settings menu

2) Open the settings.

Chrome browser menu options on Android
Chrome browser menu options on Android

3) Make sure to select your account not the Sync and Google services option.

Chrome account settings on Android device
Chrome account settings on Android device

4) Select Sign out and turn off sync option.

Chrome sign out and turn off sync option
Chrome sign out and turn off sync option

5) Click Continue and leave Also clear you Chrome data from this device unchecked.

Chrome sign out and turn off sync confirmation dialog
Chrome sign out and turn off sync confirmation dialog

6) Turn you WiFi back on.

Android device WiFi option enabled
Android device WiFi option enabled

7) Press Continue as (your Google Account).

Chrome login using your Google account
Chrome login using your Google account

8) Confirm to activate the synchronization.

Chrome turn on synchronization
Chrome turn on synchronization

Now go back to the device the passwords were deleted from and open your Chrome browser. You should now be able to view your passwords again.

As much as I like the convenience of Google Chrome Password manager, I prefer stand-alone software.

You may think that I`m using one of the most popular, like 1Password or LastPass, but no, I choose an offline Password Manager with a lifetime license which is called Sticky Password.

It is a simple yet highly secure software which can store much more than only passwords. You can check my other blog post where I`m comparing the free and premium version of the Sticky Password software.

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Thomas Wzorek

I’m a Systems Applications Developer writing software in C# and .NET with interest in Cyber Security and Systems Administration. I divide my time between my family and passion for programming using .NET Technology and my favorite language, C#. If I’m not in Visual Studio, I’m probably trying to catch up with the continuously evolving Tech-World, researching Online Security & Privacy, and chasing the latest Data Breaches.