As we’ve mentioned, anyone can use the KeePass code and get started building their own password manager. We’ll walk you through the basics, below, but you could also consider popular applications like KeePassium for iOS or KeePassDroid for Android users.
Step 1: Download
We tested KeePass 2.48 on Windows 10, and the download and installation took less than a minute. Once you’ve downloaded KeePass to your platform, you can instantly set up your master password. Your email address is not required to set up your account.
Step 2: Create a Database
After downloading the program, if you’re less tech-savvy, you may feel confused. There are no popup instructions for setup like most other password managers. There is a helpful First Steps online tutorial you can use, but the tutorial looked outdated to us and didn’t line up with our setup process.
Step 3: Save the Database
KeePass is unique from other password managers in that you have to decide where you will manually save your new password database. Once you save the database file somewhere, which will save as a KeePass KDBX File (.kdbx), you’ll see another window to create your master password.
Step 4: Create a Master Password
KeePass will judge the quality of your master password as you type it. Once your password is strong enough, you can customize the database name, description, color, encryption model and key derivation.
KeePass then gives you the option to print an emergency sheet. In case you forget your master password, the emergency sheet can easily get you back into your database. You can skip printing the emergency sheet and jump into adding passwords.
We were impressed with how easy it was to customize key transformation iterations you want to apply to your master password, and you can test how long KeePass will take to run through all those iterations. There are even more settings you can customize, but for most people, this will be enough.
Step 5: Add Passwords
Adding a password entry is easy, and KeePass’ built-in password generator securely stores each password for you. There’s a wide range of advanced options you can dig into, such as setting expiration dates and string fields, but you also don’t have to do this.
As a default, KeePass will allow you to double-click an entry to copy that data into your computer’s clipboard. You’ll then have 12 seconds to paste your password into the login form before KeePass automatically clears the clipboard. While the copy-and-paste method isn’t nearly as convenient as autofill through a browser extension, we really like KeePass’ process for security and for combatting hacking or keystroke logging.