With a 4.6 rating out of over 13,000 reviews and with over half a million installations, it is no wonder that KeePassDroid founds its way into our coveted list of Best Android Apps. If you are not yet using this fantastic, free, cross-platform password manager, right now is the time to start. I mean, today, right after you finish reading this post. Seriously.
Before You Begin
Let there be no doubt – I am not just trying to get you to use KeePass on your smartphone. I am trying to convert you over to using KeePass for managing all of your passwords, both on your computer and on the go. So, if you are not yet using KeePass, go ahead and read our post about it from way back in 2008. The application looks a bit different these days, but it’s the same concept.
The other application you’ll need to be using for this to work is Dropbox. If you are not yet familiar with Dropbox for any reason, we have a whole Dropbox tag chock-full of MUO goodness for you to digest. Even though Dropbox has a very good native Android client, you may also want to look at Dropsync, an application offering tighter Dropbox syncing for Android.
Assuming you’ve got KeePass and Dropbox set up, we’re good to go!
KeePassDroid On Your Phone
First, launch Dropbox (or Dropsync) on your phone and locate your KDBX file. That’s the database containing all of your passwords, and tap it:
The file will then open in KeePassDroid, asking for your password:
This is just a one-time operation. You can check the box that says “Use this as my default database”, and KeePassDroid will just open that file in the future. Now enter your password and tap OK. The following view will open:
Here, you can see all of your groups, as well as any password you have at the root folder of the KeePass database. And yes – I’ve set up a sample database for this post. You didn’t really expect to see screenshots of my actual KeePass database, did you?
If you don’t want to tap your way into the entry you need, you can always search for it:
An individual entry looks like this:
You may now be thinking, “Gee, that’s not very helpful: The password is hidden!” Well, if you want to see the password, you can always tap menu and hit “Show password” to reveal it. Then again, this is almost never necessary, thanks to a bit of KeePass magic. As soon as you tap into a record (like the one you see above), two new entries are added to your notification list:
They’re at the bottom of this screenshot. I can now go to any application (say, my web browser) and tap the entries to copy either the username or password to the clipboard. So it’s usually just a matter of tapping into the entry I need, and then switching over to the application or website I need to log into and copying/pasting the credentials. Very slick.
KeePassDroid is a very simple application, but it does have a few settings:
First, you can set the application to remember or forget where your keyfiles are. I recommend leaving this at default, so you can always easily access the database (you will still need to enter your password). You can also set how long the user/password remain in the clipboard, and if you’re convinced nobody ever watches over your shoulder, you can even unmask passwords by default (don’t do this!).
KeePassDroid may not offer a whole lot in the way of bells and whistles, but it is very effective. Combined with Dropbox and KeePass on your PC, it makes for a complete and secure password management system. Highly recommended.
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