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7 Best (REALLY FREE) Password Managers in 2022

Tim Mocan Tim Mocan
Updated on: May 1, 2022
7 Best (REALLY FREE) Password Managers in 2022

Short on time? Here’s the best free password manager in 2022:

  • 🥇 Dashlane: Despite having a limited free plan (50 passwords on 1 device), it still provides excellent security, including 256-bit AES encryption and zero-knowledge architecture, and a good set of extra features, like a password generator, auto-save and auto-fill, password sharing, and password auditing. Dashlane is the best overall password manager in 2022, and you can test all of its premium features with a 30-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

After testing every free password manager I could find, there are only a few that I think are actually decent.

A lot of free password managers are really bad — some of them are super buggy, some of them are ineffective, and some of them are actually just spyware designed to steal all of your passwords. And built-in password managers from Apple and Chrome might be convenient, but they don’t have high levels of security and they don’t offer multi-platform support.

Many of the best password managers offer free versions, but most of them hit you with so many paywalls that they basically become useless. The unfortunate truth is that if you’re looking for the best features, the strongest security protections, and the most helpful customer support, you’ll have to spend a little bit of cash.

Personally, I would never leave my sensitive data on a free password manager. If you’re like me and don’t want to deal with the hassles and limitations of a free password manager, a low-cost premium password manager like Dashlane is always the better choice.

However, there are some really good free password managers which offer powerful password security, good user interfaces, and some nice extra features. I spent the last month testing out free password managers on my PC, iPhone, MacBook, and Android to find the best free password managers in 2022.

Quick summary of the best free password managers:

🥇1. Dashlane — Best Overall Password Manager in 2022

🥇1. Dashlane — Best Overall Password Manager in 2022

Dashlane is my favorite password manager in 2022. It’s secure, comes with more features than most competitors, and is easy to use across all devices, operating systems, and browsers. Its free plan has many of the features included in the premium plan, but it only lets you store up to 50 passwords on 1 device.

However, Dashlane Free includes a better set of extras than most competing password managers, including:

  • Autosave and auto-fill. Dashlane securely auto-fills both login forms and payment information.
  • Password sharing. Allows you to share up to 5 passwords with other Dashlane users.
  • Password auditing. Shows which of your saved passwords are weak, reused, or compromised. I especially like that you can exclude some of your passwords from the overall password security score, which is useful if you want to only audit specific logins.
  • Breach notifications. Provides immediate alerts if any of your saved logins show up in a data breach.
  • Emergency access. Grants a trusted user access to your account in case you lose your master password or are unable to log in for any reason. Dashlane is the only password manager on this list that includes full emergency access on its free plan.
  • TOTP authenticator. Generates and stores time-based one-time (TOTP) passwords for accounts with two-factor authentication (2FA).

Dashlane’s free plan is very good, but upgrading to Dashlane Premium brings you unlimited password storage, multi-device sync, dark web monitoring, an automatic password changer, and even a virtual private network (VPN). Dashlane is the only password manager on the market with a bundled VPN, which is secure, fast, and works with streaming sites like Netflix.

You can get Dashlane Premium at a 25% discount if you enter SAFETYD25 at checkout, so it’s only $4.99 / month, which is a pretty good deal for such a functional password manager. Families should check out Dashlane Family, which adds up to 6 users for $7.49 / month. All of Dashlane’s premium plans include a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Dashlane is the best password manager in 2022. While its free version is limited to 50 passwords on a single device, it still provides more features than most other brands include in their paid versions, including password sharing, emergency access, and breach notifications. Dashlane Free comes with a 30-day free trial of Dashlane Premium, and all purchases are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Download Dashlane Free

Read our full Dashlane review >

🥈2. 1Password — Feature-Rich & Great for Families (But It’s Not Free)

🥈2. 1Password — Feature-Rich & Great for Families (But It’s Not Free)

1Password has a ton of high-security features, an intuitive dashboard, and affordable plans for both individuals and families. Unfortunately, 1Password doesn’t actually have a free version like Dashlane or the other password managers on my list. But it has a 14-day trial, so you can test all of its features risk-free and see if it’s right for you.

1Password is one of the most feature-rich password managers on the market, and all of its features are easy to use and work as promised.

I really like 1Password’s Watchtower feature, which analyzes the entire password vault for weak or repeated passwords and also monitors the dark web for breached logins. I also like 1Password’s unique Travel Mode, which lets you hide one or more of your logins when crossing borders.

And I think 1Password has some of the best 2FA options on the market — it integrates seamlessly with one-time password apps like Google Authenticator and USB keys like YubiKey, it’s compatible with biometric scanners, and it has a built-in 2FA authenticator.

At $2.99 / month, 1Password for individuals is a really good value, costing less than what most top competitors charge for fewer features — but it’s a shame the plan lacks emergency access, an advanced security feature Dashlane includes in its free plan. And 1Password Families is one of my favorite family password managers, covering up to 5 members for $4.99 / month and allowing you to add as many new members as you want for a really small fee (no other password manager offers this kind of flexibility for families).

Bottom Line:

1Password has a ton of high-security features inside an intuitive user interface, but it’s not free. However, 1Password is one of the best-value password managers on the market, and it offers very affordable plans for individuals and families. You can try out all of 1Password’s features with a risk-free 14-day trial and see if it’s right for you.

Download 1Password Free (14 Days)

Read our full 1Password review >

🥉3. LastPass — Unlimited Passwords on Either Desktop or Mobile

🥉3. LastPass — Unlimited Passwords on Either Desktop or Mobile

LastPass is one of the rare password managers that provide unlimited logins and unlimited devices on its free plan — but you have to choose between syncing passwords on computers or mobile devices. If you want to sync all of your passwords across all of your desktop and mobile devices, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version.

That said, you get lots of good features with LastPass Free. It has good auto-filling capabilities, a built-in authenticator, and 2FA compatibility. I especially like its built-in authenticator (called LastPass Authenticator), which lets you log into accounts with 2FA instead of having to sign into a separate authenticator app.

It’s also great that LastPass’s free plan comes with one-to-one password sharing, which allows users to share passwords, notes, and credit card information with one other LastPass user. There’s also password auditing, which lets you check how secure your stored passwords are.

Unfortunately, LastPass Free doesn’t come with emergency access — Dashlane includes it in its free plan, and 1Password includes it in its 1Password Families plan (which comes with a 14-day free trial).

While LastPass Free provides just about everything you could want in a password manager, upgrading to LastPass Premium adds some pretty good features. For just $3.00 / month, you get unlimited access across all devices, biometric MFA, one-to-many sharing, emergency access, and dark web monitoring.

Bottom line:

LastPass’s free plan provides unlimited password storage on unlimited devices, but you have to choose between device type (desktop or mobile). It also includes a wide range of extra features, including one-to-one password sharing, 2FA, a built-in authenticator, and password auditing. Upgrading to the premium plan gets you syncing across both desktop and mobile devices, one-to-many password sharing, and emergency access.

Download LastPass Free

Read our full LastPass review >

4. Avira Password Manager Free — Unlimited Password Storage Across Unlimited Devices

4. Avira Password Manager Free — Unlimited Password Storage Across Unlimited Devices

Avira Password Manager Free allows users to sync unlimited passwords across unlimited devices — so it’s perfect for people with tens or hundreds of passwords and tons of devices. The free plan also has 2FA compatibility (including biometric logins), and there’s also a good built-in authenticator.

While Avira Password Manager’s free version is pretty limited when compared to Dashlane or LastPass, it’s one of the most intuitive options on the market. During my tests, the app was able to generate passwords, save logins to my vault, and auto-fill saved logins with just a few clicks. I was able to easily import my saved passwords from Chrome to Avira, and the app automatically synced all of my passwords between my desktop and mobile devices.

Users looking for additional security features can upgrade to Avira’s paid app, which also includes data breach monitoring, password vault auditing, and priority customer support, for just $2.67 / month. If you also need a good antivirus, you can bundle Avira Password Manager with Avira’s premium antivirus software. All yearly purchases come with a risk-free 60-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Avira Password Manager Free is secure, intuitive, and provides unlimited password storage across multiple devices. Avira has 256-bit AES encryption, a zero-knowledge policy, and offers biometric login for mobile devices and a built-in TOTP authenticator. Upgrading to the paid version of the app brings you vault security auditing and data breach monitoring.

Download Avira Password Manager Free

Read our full Avira Password Manager review >

5. RoboForm — Easy to Use with an Excellent Form Filler

5. RoboForm — Easy to Use with an Excellent Form Filler

RoboForm Free is secure, intuitive, and comes with the best form filler on the market — most password managers store and fill simple web forms, but RoboForm’s form filler is able to fill out even the most advanced web forms with perfect accuracy.

RoboForm Free also offers unlimited password storage and includes password auditing, bookmarks storage, and emergency access. But, unlike Dashlane, RoboForm’s emergency access only lets you receive emergency access, not grant it to others.

Unfortunately, RoboForm Free only covers a single device, and it’s missing 2FA options. To get access to multi-platform support, 2FA, cloud backup, and a secure folder for sharing logins, you need to upgrade to RoboForm Everywhere ($1.16 / month). Families should take a look at RoboForm Everywhere Families that covers up to 5 users for $33.40 / year. Both of RoboForm’s paid plans are significantly more affordable than competing brands with a similar set of tools.

Bottom Line:

RoboForm is easy to use and it has the best form filler around, which consistently auto-fills both simple and complex web forms without errors. It’s also got password auditing, bookmarks storage, and unlimited password storage — but only for a single device. It’s a great choice for new password manager users looking to cover a phone or a laptop, but I’d like to see RoboForm offer multi-device sync in its free version, like LastPass and Avira Password Manager do.

Download RoboForm Free

Read our full RoboForm review >

6. Sticky Password — High Browser Compatibility + Portable USB Version

6. Sticky Password — High Browser Compatibility + Portable USB Version

Sticky Password Free offers unlimited password storage on unlimited devices, but it doesn’t sync between devices, like LastPass and Avira Password Manager do. That said, unlike most password managers that are only compatible with the most popular browsers, Sticky Password works on 10+ browsers, including specialized ones like Pale Moon and Seamonkey.

On Windows, Sticky Password Free also includes USB portability — you can download your vault to a USB drive to access Sticky Password on any Windows PC. This is especially valuable for students and travelers who need to access their online accounts on different computers.

I also like that the free plan includes biometric logins, so you can use a fingerprint or face scan to access your password vault on any device that supports biometric scanning.

On the other hand, Sticky Password’s free plan doesn’t include password sharing. Dashlane’s free version lets you securely share 5 logins with friends, family, or work colleagues.

Upgrading to Sticky Password Premium ($29.99 / year), adds syncing between multiple devices, password sharing, secure cloud backup. Plus, a portion of every purchase goes to a non-profit dedicated to saving manatees!

Bottom Line:

Sticky Password Free offers unlimited password storage on unlimited devices. It also supports 15+ browsers, comes with biometric logins, and includes USB portability on Windows, which is perfect for travelers and students. But it doesn’t provide emergency access and secure password sharing. Upgrading to Sticky Password Premium gets you multi-device sync and password sharing for a pretty low price.

Download Sticky Password Free

Read our full Sticky Password review >

7. Bitwarden — Open-Source Option with Unlimited Password Storage

7. Bitwarden — Open-Source Option with Unlimited Password Storage

Bitwarden Free provides unlimited password storage and covers an unlimited number of devices. Avira Password Manager is the only other 100% free password manager on this list that also does that (LastPass also lets you store unlimited passwords, but only on mobile or desktop devices).

Bitwarden is open-source, which means that its source code is freely available online, so anyone can inspect it to make sure it’s free of vulnerabilities. It’s also great that Bitwarden has been independently audited and verified — it makes it easy to trust this provider.

But Bitwarden isn’t very user friendly, so it’s not great for beginners. While it’s much harder to use than competitors like Dashlane and 1Password, it may be a good option for tech-savvy users looking for a highly customizable password manager.

That said, Bitwarden’s auto-save and auto-fill are pretty inconsistent. I spent a lot of time editing my password vault and manually entering new logins because Bitwarden had trouble properly saving and auto-filling my passwords.

Upgrading to Bitwarden’s premium version, which costs just $10.00 / year, gives you access to some great security features — biometric 2FA, password auditing tools, and encrypted storage.

Bottom Line:

Bitwarden Free is a secure, open-source password manager that provides unlimited password storage on unlimited devices. It’s definitely the least easy-to-use password manager on my list, and its auto-save and auto-fill can be pretty inconsistent. However, if you don’t mind getting into the nuts and bolts of your password manager, Bitwarden is a great choice.

Download Bitwarden Free

Read our full Bitwarden review >

Comparison of the Best Free Password Managers in 2022

Password Manager Starting Price Free Trial/ Money-Back Guarantee Number of Passwords Number of Devices Password Auditing Emergency Access
1.🥇Dashlane $3.99 / month 30-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee 50 1 Yes Yes
2.🥈1Password $2.99 / month 14-day free trial Unlimited (paid version) Unlimited (paid version) Yes (paid version) Yes (paid version)
3.🥉LastPass $3.00 / month 30-day free trial Unlimited Unlimited (either desktop or mobile) Yes No
4. Avira Password Manager $2.67 / month 60-day money-back guarantee Unlimited Unlimited Yes, but it’s limited No
5. RoboForm $1.16 / month 30-day money-back guarantee Unlimited 1 Yes Yes, but you can only receive it, not grant it
6. Sticky Password $29.99 / year 30-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee Unlimited 1 Yes No
7. Bitwarden $10.00 / year 30-day money-back guarantee Unlimited Unlimited No No

How to Choose the Best Free Password Manager for Your Needs in 2022

  • Security. I only recommend free password managers that use 256-bit AES encryption, have two-factor authentication (2FA) support, and provide zero-knowledge architecture.
  • Features. Password managers usually hide their best features behind a paywall, but all of the password managers on my list have free plans that include basic password management features like secure password generation and auto-save and auto-fill. And some even have extra features like password auditing, password sharing, and biometric logins.
  • Ease of use. If a password manager is hard to use, then it’s not good. The products on my list make it easy to detect and save new passwords, auto-fill saved logins, generate passwords, and edit password vault settings.
  • Customer support. All my top picks provide friendly and responsive support through email or live chat and come with helpful support guides.

Risks & Disadvantages of Using a Free Password Manager

I usually recommend avoiding free password managers because most aren’t safe to use — they usually lack strong encryption, have exploitable security flaws, and don’t have zero-knowledge protocols (which means the password manager could access your password).

But there are also good free password managers out there, like the ones on my list. They all provide industry-standard features like bank-grade encryption, auto-save and auto-fill capabilities, and secure password generation.

But most of them also lack important extra features like password sharing (lets you securely share logins with trusted contacts), password vault auditing (checks how strong your passwords are and if they were leaked), and dark web monitoring (alerts you if your accounts were leaked in a data breach).

While all of the free password managers on this list are good, they still have noticeable limitations — for example, Dashlane Free only stores 50 passwords on 1 device, and Avira Password Manager Free doesn’t include comprehensive password security audits or account breach alerts.

If you’re looking for the best protection for all of your passwords, you’ll need to pay for a premium password manager. But the good news is that high-quality password managers are pretty affordable — for instance, Dashlane Premium is available for only $4.99 / month, and 1Password Personal only costs $2.99 / month. Plus, most top password managers come with a free trial or a generous money-back guarantee (Dashlane has a 30-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, and 1Password provides a free 14-day trial).

Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • RememBear. RememBear is very secure and easy to use, but I don’t like how bare-bones its free plan is — you get unlimited password storage on 1 device and a password generator, but that’s it. And upgrading to the paid plan won’t get you extra features like data breach monitoring and password auditing because RememBear doesn’t have them.
  • True Key. True Key is a decent password manager, but its free plan only lets you store 15 passwords, which is not enough for me (or anyone, really). I also don’t like that True Key is missing a password sharing feature.
  • KeePass. KeePass is free and open-source, but its official version is only available on Windows and I found its app very difficult to use. Also, you need to use additional plugins to use KeePass with your browser, which is extremely inconvenient.

Doesn’t my device/browser already have a free password manager?

Browsers like Chrome and Firefox as well as mobile operating systems like Android and iOS have free built-in password managers, but they just aren’t as useful as third-party password managers. All third-party password managers provide better features and security than the ones already built into Chrome, iOS, and Android.

Free third-party password managers include a variety of unique features that aren’t on built-in password managers, like:

  • Password auditing. If your passwords are simple and repetitive, it’s super easy for a hacker to crack your logins. Password auditing scans your entire vault for simple and repeated passwords — Dashlane has a password auditing tool that works as promised and is very intuitive.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA). Many password managers, like Dashlane and 1Password, are compatible with third-party authenticators which use a one-time password to verify your identity. This means that your password vault stays secure, even if your Master Password gets stolen.
  • Secure encryption. Password managers use 256-bit AES encryption, which is the same encryption used by banks and militaries around the world. Many built-in password managers don’t have as good encryption.
  • Built-in authenticator. Products like LastPass and Avira Password Manager include a built-in authenticator, saving time when trying to log into 2FA-enabled websites.

Are free password managers good enough?

Free password managers have a lot of great features, but every free password manager has some limitations that will affect your user experience and security.

For example, Dashlane Free limits you to 50 passwords, which might not be enough for everyone. And LastPass Free doesn’t include emergency access, which means that no one else can access your account in the event of a crisis.

Paid password managers aren’t very expensive, and the best ones include dark web monitoring, encrypted chat and storage, unlimited password sharing, and emergency access in case you’re unable to access your account. Dashlane Premium even provides a surprisingly fast VPN!

Free password managers may be good enough for some people, but I still recommend paying a few bucks a month for a high-quality premium password manager.

Are third-party password managers safe?

Password managers are designed to protect all of your passwords, as well as credit card information and private notes. It can be scary to trust all of this sensitive information to one program, but password managers actually make you safer online. Here’s how:

  • Secure encryption. Most password managers store your vault on their servers, which makes it easy to sync between devices. Before your data leaves your device, it’s encrypted using end-to-end 256-bit AES encryption, which scrambles your data so thoroughly that it’s impossible to decipher.
  • Zero-knowledge architecture. Good password managers are built using zero-knowledge architecture, meaning only you can access your stored data. Not even the password manager company or its developers can view your stored passwords or payment card details, which means even if the password manager company’s systems were hacked, no one could view or steal your information.
  • Auto-fill. Hackers often steal user passwords using screen logging and keylogging spyware — this dangerous malware can record what’s happening on your screen, as well as every keystroke on your keyboard. By auto-filling your passwords, password managers keep your login data from being seen on your screen or entered into your keyboard.
  • Password generators. If you aren’t using a password manager, then your passwords are probably easy for you to remember and easy for a hacker to crack. Password generators are built into every password manager, and they create completely random and complex passwords with tons of symbols, numbers, and letters that your password manager can easily remember, but which are super difficult to crack.

Password managers increase your security by protecting you from screen loggers, generating hyper-complex passwords, and protecting your data behind secure encryption. It’s much safer to use one of these password managers than to try and juggle all of your passwords on your own.

How do accounts get breached?

Password breaches most frequently happen because of user error. Passwords can be stolen using keylogging malware or cracked through brute force attacks — which throws thousands of passwords in the login field until one of them clicks.

LastPass allows you to protect your password vault using authenticator apps like Authy, which generate a temporary one-time password — you need both the one-time password and your Master Password to log into LastPass. This means that anybody using your Master Password to hack your vault remotely can’t do it without also having your physical device with the authenticator app on it.

Large websites can also succumb to data breaches — hackers will break into a company’s servers and release all of their users’ login information to the dark web. Hackers can then access your account on the breached site and use the information from your account to crack into more and more of your accounts. This is why it’s so important to use a password manager that provides breach notifications — like Dashlane, 1Password, and LastPass.

About the Author

Tim Mocan
Tim Mocan
Lead Contributor
Updated on: May 1, 2022

About the Author

Tim Mocan is a cybersecurity journalist who has been writing about the VPN industry for the past 5 years. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, eating good food, video games, using VPNs (yes, really!), and watching anime.