KeePass Password Safe – The Ultimate Encrypted Password System [Windows, Portable]

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keepass password safeSecurely store your passwords. Complete with encryption and a decent password generator – not to mention plugins for Chrome and Firefox – KeePass Password Safe just might be the best password management system out there.

If you read our password management guide you will know the importance of having diverse passwords. Sure, using one password for all of your online services is simple…until someone compromises one of your accounts. If all of your passwords are identical your online life is a house of cards.

KeePass Password Safe is a completely offline approach to password management, though you can combine it with cloud services like Dropbox if you want.

Using KeePass

Before you can use KeePass you need to create a database. You’ll be prompted to do so the first time you run the program, and the main thing you need to do is specify a password.

keepass password safe

Take this password seriously – it’s going to be the one thing protecting your various passwords from anyone who gains physical access to your computer. It’s the key that will encrypt your database, so the longer – and the harder to crack – the better.

Once you’ve set up your account you’ll see the main interface of KeePass – essentially, a list of user accounts.

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keepass password keeper

Creating a new entry is simple – just click the new entry button in the toolbar (I, after years of using this, frequently hit the button that creates a new database, but whatever). When you do, you can enter everything you need to know in order to access a particular account:

keepass password keeper

Give the account whatever “title” you want – that’s there for your purposes. You’ll obviously want to include the Username and password, but including the URL can also be helpful – especially if you plan to use browser plugins. More on that later.

Your password will be rated for security, and if you’re having trouble thinking up a secure password there’s a generator. Relying on such services is sometimes not recommended – no such software is perfectly random, meaning hackers could potentially exploit a pattern – but the optional entropy option can help.

keepass password keeper

If you currently use one password for every online account…stop. While you’re setting up KeePass, it is a good time to lock things down, and the password generator can help you make secure passwords. Adding your accounts, one at a time, while changing your passwords, can take a while – but real security takes work.

KeePass doesn’t just store your passwords – it also makes it easy for you to retrieve them. Right-click any entry and you’ll see the option to copy your username, password or URL immediately:

keepass password manager

Learn the keyboard shortcuts indicated here for quick access – you’ll like it.

It’s also worth noting that there’s a search function. If you only use KeePass to store a few passwords this isn’t a big deal, but believe me, when your collection grows to 200 or 1,000 you’ll be thankful this feature is here.

KeePass Plugins

Do you like the idea of offline, encrypted password management, but also want browser integration? KeePass has you covered. A large collection of plugins allows you to automatically fill in forms on Firefox, Chrome and even Internet Explorer – and do a lot more.

keepass password safe

Check out the KeePass plugins here. There’s a lot to explore here, and it goes well beyond browser integration. Be sure to explore if you want additional functionality.

Download KeePass

Ready to check out KeePass Password Safe for Windows? Head to the download page at KeePass.info. You’ll find both an installer (EXE) and a portable version (ZIP). You can also download a portable version at PortableApps.com, if you want.

Other Operating Systems

Are you not a Windows user? Then you should check out KeePassX, which works on Linux and OS X. There are some incompatibilities, so be sure to check out our KeePassX review to work all of that out.

There are other versions of KeePass, including KeePass Android. Check out the download page at KeePass.info for a complete list.

More Tips

Do you love the idea, but wish you could sync your database to other devices? You can easily use Dropbox to sync your database, and because it’s encrypted you’re protected from vulnerability. Any syncing service will do, too – you’re not limited to Dropbox.

Do you know of any other good KeePass Password Safe tips? Share them below, so everyone can benefit. I’m looking forward to reading your ideas.

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Comments (29)
  • Kelsey Tidwell

    Guys, I know this is a very old thread, but what the hay…I’ve been using Dashlane for a month, and it’s great, but KeePass suddenly jumped out at me with FREE. Such great ratings, and apparently a variation for every interface I own (Android, Windows Chrome, ChromeOS).
    But getting into it on Android, I suddenly remembered why I didn’t go with it a year ago…
    Dashlane has this super cool way of scanning and entering all of your present passwords and then offering you security ratings on each. Does KeePass do any of this? At the minimum I’m looking at the auto-scan feature. Entering several hundred passwords and their minutiae isn’t very appealing.
    And if KeePass doesn’t offer this…is there a free app that does?

    • Justin Pot

      Kelsey, it’s been a long time since I wrote about KeePass and I don’t know about an import tool, but I don’t think there’s one that does what you’re looking for.

    • Tinkicker

      Actually, Justin, immediately after finishing my last comment I dove into KeePass and found that the import from Dashlane is baked right in now.
      Mission accomplished!

    • Tinkicker

      And I don’t know why sometimes it shows my real name here and sometimes my gaming name lol.

    • Justin Pot

      I’m really glad it worked out! And I don’t fully understand the comments system here either, I think it’ll be replaced soon though.

  • David Moreira

    I’ve always thought that KeePass was kind of hard to work with. So I’ve always used LastPass.

    • Justin Pot

      Choice is great! I’m glad you found something that works for you.

  • Eric

    I’ve used KeePass for years to generate strong passwords and store them. I have never found the need for a browser plugin because of the built-in “Auto-type” support: http://keepass.info/help/base/autotype.html. I also use PassDrop on iOS and KeePassDroid on Android.

  • Rudi Pittman

    Lastpass if you want to use it on android requires you to have a PAY account….for no apparent reason other than greed…..so if you want password management on desktop and phone keepass seems the way to go…the problem I have is I currently use lastpass for form filling on desktop and I’m not sure the two are going to co-exist nicely in browser.

    • Justin Pot

      I feel bad for services like LastPass. Not only are they offering a free piece of software, they’re paying to run web servers for it…and when they ask a user to pay for something, it’s called greed. This is why we can’t have nice things. :)

    • Rudi Pittman

      Justin Pot…kinda like “On the Pot” and in both cases….talking alot of crap. People will always choose a free alternative given the choice. Keepass is open source and free. If a company wants to profit in the modern world it has to provide a unique product or service and in this case lastpass doesn’t. Funny, when I want nice things I buy them..maybe you need a better job?

    • Justin Pot

      Keepass is free, and the article I wrote above obviously points to the fact that I love it. It’s what I use, personally.

      But Keepass does not offer cloud syncing, meaning you have to set that up yourself, meaning they don’t need to provide cloud space. Lastpass does – they aim to provide a service that syncs easily – and many feel it’s worth paying for. You’re not among them, fine. But don’t just say there’s no reason for this outside greed – there are reasons.

      Oh, and hilarious wordplay with my name. Seriously. Pretty clever. Not sarcastic. Seriously.

  • Chris Marcoe

    It’s never a bad idea to use this.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.