How to prevent Android from displaying passwords

Don't let bystanders see your Android passwords as you type them. Find out how to disable this feature.

How to prevent Android from displaying passwords Don't let bystanders see your Android passwords as you type them. Find out how to disable this feature.

When you log into an account or service on your Android device, you briefly see each character of your password as you type. For most this is a good thing, as it shows you what you're typing so you don't mistype that password. Since many services only allow so many attempts to type a password before you're locked out this might be a good thing. 

However, for the really paranoid, the fact that those characters are visible—even if only for a second—is a security issue waiting to happen.

SEE: Windows 10 security: A guide for business leaders (Tech Pro Research)

It might be pulled from the page of a crime thriller novel or television show, but someone could be looking over your shoulder as you type. Should that be the case, they would take down that password and use it for malicious purposes. 

How do you prevent that? It's easy, but where the setting is located is a bit on the obfuscated side of things. 

Change the setting

Here's how you prevent Android from displaying your passwords. 

  1. Open Google Drive and tap the menu button in the upper left corner. 
  2. From the sidebar, tap Settings and then tap Backup & reset. 
  3. In the resulting window, tap to disable Show passwords. 

With this setting disabled, your passwords will always appear as dots, not actual characters. 

Congratulations. With this simple setting disabled, you can enjoy a slight bump in your Android security. No more worrying about nefarious ne'er' do wells looking over your shoulder and copying your passwords.

Also see

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Image: Jack Wallen

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.