For the longest time, I’ve been shouting to the sun and moon that no one should allow Chrome to save passwords. Given that almost monthly Google releases an announcement saying that users are strongly urged to upgrade to the latest version of Chrome (to avoid security issues), why would you allow such an insecure browser to save your passwords?
SEE: Mobile device security policy (TechRepublic Premium)
In favor of saving such sensitive information to Chrome, I always suggest opting to go the password manager route. Not only is that a safer way to store your passwords, but it’s also more flexible, with far more features than the stripped-down tool offered by Google.
This is simple to do if you’re new to Chrome — you just don’t ever allow it to save your passwords. For that, you can go to Settings | Autofill and then set the ON/OFF slider for Offer To Save Passwords to the OFF position (Figure A).
If you’ve already saved your passwords in Chrome, fear not, you can still remove them and recover a bit of extra privacy when using that particular browser. How do you do this? Let me show you.
What you’ll need
To clear your passwords on Chrome, the only thing you’ll need is a running Chrome browser and some saved passwords. I will show you how to do this on both the desktop and mobile versions of the browser.
How to remove passwords on the desktop version
Open your desktop version of Chrome and click the three-dot menu button in the top right corner. From the pop-up menu, select More Tools | Clear Browsing Data (Figure B).
In the resulting pop-up (Figure C), click the check box for Passwords and Other Sign-In Data and then click Clear Data.
If you then go to Settings | Autofill, you’ll see your saved passwords are gone (Figure D).
How to remove password on the mobile version
Conveniently enough, the process is almost the same on the mobile version. Here are the steps:
- Open Chrome.
- Tap the three-dot menu button in the top right corner.
- Tap History.
- Tap Clear Browsing Data.
- Select the Advanced Tab (Figure E).
- Tap to select Saved Passwords.
- Tap Clear Data.
One final step
With Chrome, you also need to make sure that Password sync isn’t enabled — otherwise, as soon as you delete those passwords from the browser, they’ll re-sync with your Google account.
To do that on the desktop, go to Settings | You, then Google | Sync and Google Services | Manage What You Sync. Once there, click Customize Sync and then set the ON/OFF slider for Passwords to OFF (Figure F).
For the mobile version of Chrome, go to Settings | Sync. In that window (Figure G), move the ON/OFF slider for Sync Everything so it’s in the OFF position and then uncheck the box for Passwords.
And that, my friends, is all there is to removing your passwords from the Chrome browser and preventing them from re-syncing from your Google account. The good news is your passwords will remain saved in your Google Password Manager, so you can access them in the process of migrating to a real password manager such as Bitwarden.
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