How to use RoboForm to create and secure your website passwords

RoboForm is an effective tool for creating and managing your website passwords. Learn how to use this password management tool.

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You need a way to create, store, and apply complex passwords for all the secure websites you use. A variety of password managers can fill this role, and RoboForm is one solid choice. With RoboForm, you can generate complex passwords for all your websites and then apply them across the board. Your main challenge lies in devising a strong master password to secure your account. Find out how to best use RoboForm to take the pain out of managing your passwords.

RoboForm is available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. To keep things simple, I'll focus on the Windows version since that offers a good starting point. After you've set up the desktop edition, you can always segue to the mobile app on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. To learn how to use RoboForm on iOS, check out my TechRepublic article on How to use a password manager on your iPhone or iPad. On the desktop, RoboForm's extension can attach to Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Edge.

SEE: Password managers: How and why to use them (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How to use RoboForm

First, browse to the RoboForm website to download the Windows version of the software. RoboForm offers four tiers for the product. A free edition is available if you just need it for a single computer. For $1.99 a month, RoboForm Everywhere lets you sync your passwords across different computers and devices. For $3.98 a month, the RoboForm Family Plan supports up to five users. Sold at various price points, RoboForm for Business is an option for small, medium, and large companies. Download and install the appropriate version.

Set up your RoboForm account and make sure to install the extension for your browsers. At one point in the setup process, you're prompted to create your master password. A strong master password is vital because it protects your account and all your other passwords on your computer (and in the cloud if you use RoboForm Everywhere). Follow the usual guidelines for creating a complex and unique password. As you create your password, RoboForm tells you if it's weak, medium, good, or strong (Figure A).

Figure A


After you complete the RoboForm setup, open your favorite browser--RoboForm should be accessible through the extension. Browse to a site for which you have an existing username and password and sign in to the site. RoboForm should prompt you to save your login credentials (Figure B).

Figure B


The next time you return to that site and need to enter your credentials, click the RoboForm icon on the toolbar and select the Login name for that site to automatically enter your username and password (Figure C).

Figure C


Next, browse to a secure website for which you don't yet have an account name and password. Click the RoboForm icon and select the Generate button. At the window with the generated password, click the arrow for Advanced Settings. You can now customize the password by specifying the length, types of characters, and other options. Make sure the password is rated as Strong. Click the Copy button and then paste the password into the necessary field on the webpage (Figure D).

Figure D


Next, you can set up and customize specific features and settings in RoboForm. Right-click the RoboForm System Tray icon and select Options. Let's say you installed a brand new browser after you set up RoboForm. Click the option for Browsers. A green checkmark indicates that the RoboForm extension for that browser is already installed. Click the Install link for any new browser in which you want to use RoboForm (Figure E). That action takes you to the browser you selected with the RoboForm extension ready for you to install.

Figure E


Next, you can tell RoboForm to display an AutoFill window in your browser when you surf to a saved website. Then from the AutoFill window, you can simply click the Fill Forms or Fill & Submit button to enter your login credentials. To set this up from the Options window, click the setting for AutoFill and click the checkbox for AutoFill On (Figure F). Clicking the Save button saves your settings and then closes the Options window.

Figure F


You can also edit your saved website logins. To do this, right-click the RoboForm System Tray icon and select Editor. Right-click a specific login--you can now rename it, delete it, and run other commands on it (Figure G).

Figure G


To modify a login, select it from the editor and click the Pencil icon--you can change the URL, the username, or the password. When you're done, click the disc icon to save your changes (Figure H).

Figure H


Also see

By Lance Whitney

Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.