7 Best Password Managers for Mac in 2021
- Compare top Mac password managers – free + paid
- Optimized security for macOS
- High encryption, autofill, multi-OS sync, and more
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- Best overall - intuitive + high security
- Advanced autofill for complex forms
- Sync bookmarks and notes
- Multi-OS sync for desktops, tablets, phones
- Good family plan
- High-powered macOS password manager
- Strong password generator and autofill
- Dark web monitoring, encrypted chat, 10 GB storage
- Good security, easy-to-use app
- One-click password changer for over 300 sites
- Free VPN included (with unlimited data)
- Secure + easy-to-use Mac password manager
- Strong password auto-fill on all macOS devices
- Intuitive “secure notes” feature
- Simple + secure password Mac manager
- Good macOS auto-login feature
- Strong, high-complexity password generator
- Very intuitive Mac password manager
- High-security macOS features + easy to use
- Dark web monitoring, local data storage
What is a password manager?
A password manager is an application which remembers passwords, autofills login information, and generates complex passwords for login security. Many password managers also include different features to help increase cybersecurity, such as two-factor authentication (2FA), password auditing, password sharing, and dark web monitoring.
What can a password manager do?
There’s a ton of variety between each password manager, and all of them offer something unique. In general, a password manager can:
- Store + autofill passwords and login info
- Sync passwords across different devices and browsers
- Generate secure passwords for logins
- Autofill various web forms
- Share passwords with family and friends
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Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a password manager?
There are two main reasons why you need a password manager:
- Huge time saver
- Better security
Hackers break into online accounts every day, mostly by guessing weak passwords. If you use the same password on multiple sites or if your passwords are relatively easy to guess, your accounts are vulnerable.
Password managers solve these problems by generating very complex passwords and filling them into login fields so you don’t have to remember them. Password managers not only make your life easier, they’re also the safest way of using the internet.
Many password managers include even more advanced security features, like Dashlane — which scans the dark web for breaches.
Are password managers safe?
Yes, very safe.
Password managers implement some of the most advanced security technology to ensure that user passwords are safe and protected on their servers.
All the password managers on this list have:
- Strong encryption. Most third-party password managers like Dashlane use 256-bit AES encryption or better. This is a virtually unbreakable level of encryption.
- Zero-knowledge protocols. This strong encryption is done “end-to-end”, so there’s never anyone, not even the password manager company, who can see your un-encrypted passwords.
- Two-factor authentication (2FA). If your passwords got into the hands of a hacker, they still wouldn’t be able to access your account unless they also had more proof that they were you.
- Password auditing. Some programs like RoboForm help you identify which passwords are strong, which ones are weak, and which ones have been used more than once. Dashlane even lets you change many of them with one click!
Isn’t my browser’s built-in password manager good enough?
No, it’s really not. While most browsers now include some kind of built-in password storage tool which can remember and auto-fill your passwords, password managers from Chrome and Firefox just aren’t as secure or as useful as the best third-party password managers.
Browser-based password managers have:
- Low encryption
- No cross-browser sync
- No password auditing
- Sub-standard functionality
In short, they’re not fulfilling the two main purposes of a password manager:
- Be more convenient
- Be safer
What’s the best free password manager?
NordPass is my favorite free password manager.
- Unlimited password storage
- Autosave and autofill
- Biometric logins
- Password generator
- Easy password importing
How does two-factor authentication (2FA) work with password managers?
Two-factor authentication makes it so you can’t log into an account without another form of verification — it can be a one-time password, your fingerprint, or a written key on a USB stick.
There are two times where 2FA is good:
- When you’re entering your Master Password into the password manager.
- When you’re logging into 2FA-compatible websites.
A good password manager will give you the following 2FA options:
- Temporary one-time password (TOTP) — these become invalid after one use.
- Biometric login — proving your identity with a face scan or fingerprint (Dashlane and RoboForm are both compatible with biometric framework).
- USB key — authentication is made by a written key on a USB stick from companies like YubiKey and Duo.
Are there recovery options if I lose my Master Password?
First of all, you should never, ever, forget your Master Password. Since password managers use zero-knowledge protocols to protect your data on their servers, they can’t recover your Master Password for you if you lose it.
This high security is great for user privacy, but mistakes do happen. Most password managers like Dashlane and RoboForm include an emergency access feature to help users get back into their accounts or let friends and family access your account if you’re unable to.