How to use KeePass on iOS (iPadOS)
KeePassium is a part of the whole ecosystem of apps compatible with the KeePass password manager.
The key idea is that your passwords are stored in an encrypted file (database). This file can only be decrypted with the correct master password. This way, only people who know the master password can access the stored passwords.
The master password is not stored anywhere. There are no backdoors or cheat codes, so if the master password is lost or forgotten, there is no way to restore it. You may want to write your master password on a piece of paper and keep it in a safe just in case.
In general, you can think of KeePassium as a specialized viewer/editor for password databases. Pretty much like Microsoft Word can view and edit .doc files, KeePassium can view and edit .kdbx files (“kdbx” stands for “KeePass database extended”). The app itself does not contain your passwords, everything is in the database.
You can store your password database either locally on your phone, or in a cloud storage:
- Local (offline) mode offers somewhat higher security, since your database is never exposed to the Internet. However, you will need to regularly backup your phone: in case the phone is lost, you will still have all your passwords in the backup. Moreover, if you want to access your passwords from other devices (such as your laptop or PC), you will have to copy the database from the phone to the other devices manually. This might become annoying quite quickly.
- Cloud-stored database makes it much easier to synchronize your passwords across different devices. You just need to save your database in a cloud-synchronized folder (such as Dropbox, iCloud Drive, or similar). Some people are concerned about saving their database in a cloud, however they tend to forget that the file is very well encrypted (if your master password is reasonably complex).
Create your first database
Ok, now that we’re done with the theory, let’s get to the practice.
- If you want to use cloud storage, install and setup your cloud provider’s app. In this tutorial we will use Dropbox, but it can be any of the supported sync sources.
- Launch KeePassium and press Create New Database
- Make up a master password for your database. (Ignore the “No Key File” field.)
- Tap Save Database
- Now, select where to store the file: either locally (On My iPhone / KeePassium) or in the cloud storage. (If Dropbox does not show among the available locations, turn it on.)
- Tap Save
- In the next screen, unlock the newly created database using your master password.
Congratulations, you are in your password database!
Create new entries
You can organize your entries in folders (groups). The new database already includes a few groups for your convenience.
To create new groups and entries, tap the Plus button in the top-right corner. To remove them later, just swipe them to the left.
Protect your passwords
To protect your passwords from unauthorized access, make sure to secure the app with Face ID / Touch ID. Open the settings → App Protection, and turn on the Enable App Lock switch. The app will ask you to setup a PIN (passcode). This way, you will be able to access your passwords when the fingerprint/face scanner fails to recognize you for some reason.
Setup Password AutoFill
Now that you have a few passwords in your database, let’s see how to use them. One option is to switch between apps to copy-paste the username, then the password — but this is a lot of actions that take a lot of time.
Luckily, you can make KeePassium quickly fill in login forms for you. This is a great convenience feature that works in all apps and websites. However, it needs some initial setup:
- Open device settings
- Scroll down to Passwords & Accounts and tap it
- Select AutoFill Passwords
- Turn on the AutoFill Passwords switch
- Select KeePassium in the list
- Now, open any webpage with a login form
- Tap on the password input field. You will see your keyboard, with a Passwords button above it.
- Press the Passwords button. This will open the KeePassium AutoFill screen.
- Press Add Database button, navigate to your database in Dropbox and select it.
Now, whenever you press the Passwords button above the keyboard, you will see a list of accounts related to the current app. Press the account you need, and it will be automatically filled into the login form.
This guide is a work in progress. If you feel something is missing or could be improved — let us know.