5 Best Free Password Managers

Most computers and mobile devices have free password managers built into their operating systems or browsers. For example, if you have a PC with a Mac operating system, you will have the Keychain password management system built into your computer. If you have an Android smartphone, you will have the Google password manager built into the default Chrome browser, and if you use Microsoft Edge on any device, that too has a built-in free password manager.

What built-in password managers have in common is the capability to securely store passwords, credit card details, and other sensitive information so they can autofill credentials when you visit a website or use an app for which the credentials have been saved. Unfortunately, they tend to be operating system or browser specific inasmuch as you cannot synchronize credentials across devices unless all your devices use the same operating system or browser.

One further drawback with built-in free password managers is that they don´t automatically log you out at the end of each session. Consequently, if somebody has access to your PC or your mobile device, and it is not protected against unauthorized access via PIN-lock or biometrics, they could have access to all your accounts and the passwords to access them. Even if you use multi-factor authentication, the probability is the authentication (PIN) code gets sent to the same device.

Alternatives to Built-In Password Managers

In today´s multi-device world, built-in password managers are at best inconvenient; and, at worst, unsecure. You can´t use them to share passwords – if, for example, you wanted to send your partner the password to your Netflix account – and they are useless in the corporate world because businesses are unable to enforce password policies or check remotely for weak, compromised, or re-used passwords – even though built-in password managers provide this service for users.

An alternative to built-in password managers is commercial vault-based password managers. Commercial vault-based password managers work by providing web-based vaults in which users save passwords, credit card details, and other sensitive information. The vaults are password-protected by a master password (created by the user), the data saved in them is protected by encryption, and users can access them from any device via the web or an app.

The reason they are called “commercial” password managers is that vendors provide a feature-limited version of the software for free with the option for personal users to upgrade to a better level of service for a small monthly cost. However, the feature-limited versions can vary in their capabilities depending on the vendor. Consequently, we have provided a description of the 5 best free password managers below and included links to each for further investigation.

The 5 Best Free Password Managers

McAfee True Key

It is not surprising that one of the best-known names in online security offers a password manager; however, it is surprising how feature-limited the free version of the software is. Personal users can only save up to 15 passwords without paying for more capacity; and although McAfee True Key has some redeeming features such as Windows Hello sign-in and a user-friendly interface, this free password manager will only be suitable for an individual with a very limited online presence.


NordPass is a free password manager developed by the team responsible for Nord VPN. The free version of the software has plenty of features, good support for Multi-Factor Authentication, and allows users to save an unlimited number of passwords. If you pay a small premium, you also get access to secure password sharing, simultaneous multi-device login, and alerts when passwords have been compromised. NordPass also offers a reasonably priced family plan for up to 6 users.


Prior to March 2021, the LastPass free password manger was as good as any. However, since then, the vendor has withdrawn multi-device synching from the free plan, so you have to choose whether to use the software on your phone or on your PC. The free service also lacks any storage, password monitoring, or support; and although LastPass offers premium and family plans with multi-device synching, neither plan is competitively priced compared with Bitwarden.


Bitwarden is unique among the five best free password managers inasmuch as it is built on open-source software – generally a sign it is very secure. Furthermore, Bitwarden offers free plans for individual users and two users with features such as Multi-Factor Authentication and the ability to send encrypted messages to people who don´t have Bitwarden accounts. For more advanced features, you can upgrade to a premium plan for less than a dollar per month.


In some ways, Dashlane is both the best and the worst of our free password managers. Dashlane provides a free service which identifies weak, re-used, or compromised passwords and alerts you if any account you store in your vault have been affected by a data breach. However, the free version of the software limits you to 50 passwords on one device. If you want to increase the number of passwords or use the service across multiple devices, you have to pay a hefty premium.

Free Password Managers: Conclusion

While it is unlikely there will ever be a one-size-fits-all password manager, risks to personal data continue to increase. Therefore, readers are encouraged to take advantage of whichever service suits them best to protect passwords, credit card details, and other sensitive information when they engage with online accounts. If it means paying a premium to access advanced features, the cost could be a sound investment in your online security.

Author: Maria Perez