Top Password Managers for Windows
Take a minute and try to estimate how many apps you use and the number of digital accounts you've got; dozens, hundreds, thousands? Each has its own password that you need to remember. Maybe you write them down or save login data in your browser. You probably use the same passwords on multiple sites - one of the worst things imaginable so far as security is concerned.
The good news is that you can forget everything you thought you knew about passwords, usernames, and digital accounts. No more spreadsheets, no more post-its, and no more using the same password over and over again, all thanks to a type of software called password managers. These securely save and store login information, placing it at your fingertips when you need it, without you having to remember anything more than a single master password.
In this article, we'll take a look at which password managers are best for those using Windows.
Most password managers are compatible with Windows and macOS, however, a few are designed strictly for Linux or other, more obscure operating systems. On occasion, it becomes clear that a developer prefers one OS over another, with features, interfaces, or functionality being markedly better in that version than for other operating systems. This article lists our top 3 password manager picks for Windows users, saving you the time and trouble of trying all of them out on your own.
Top 3 Password Managers for Windows
The list of available providers is long, and selecting the right one isn't easy. Most password managers offer similar features and functionality at comparable prices, however, small differences here and there can make a sizable impact on your individual user experience. Like most things tech, each platform has developed its own fanbase, members of which swear by the superiority of their platform over those of its competitors. We've taken a more objective approach here, providing you with a list of our top 3 password managers for Windows.
Dashlane's strong showing during our evaluation of password manager secured it the top spot overall, and its Windows app cuts a mighty fine figure. The app is easy to install, intuitive, user-friendly, flawlessly designed, and comes with an unparalleled array of features. Making things even better, Dashlane's browser extension is one of the best on the market, brilliantly complementing its big brother on the desktop.
One area where Dashlane really shines is in terms of its features, offering many which other providers simply don't have. The most memorable of these? Its convenient Password Changer that automatically changes passwords with a single mouse click. The app's newest version even comes with a VPN.
Dashlane also makes a strong showing when it comes to features that are common to password managers, with its security dashboard and password generator some of the best we encountered.
Most features are reserved for premium users, however, a Dashlane subscription is, at least in our eyes, the best option for a Windows user not afraid to pay for quality.
Should you be on the hunt for a cheaper (or free) alternative, LastPass, our second-best password manager for Windows is just for you!
Bad news first: You will have to make do without some of the great features Dashlane offers, such as its Password Changer. On the flip side, you'll get a comprehensive package that does all of the basics rights, without straying off too far into the jungle of bonus features and add-ons.
LastPass doesn't offer a desktop application but works instead entirely through your browser. There, you'll find the user-friendly vault, a straightforward security test, and the unexciting, but functional browser extension.
If you don't want to pay for a password manager, you'll be happier with LastPass's free version than those offered by any other app we tested. Almost nothing of importance is behind a paywall, making the free version more than adequate for bargain hunters.
At first glance, 1Password seems an unlikely contender for any top three list of the best password managers for Windows, since it was initially developed for macOS only. And while some of the version's features for Windows do lag behind those of its macOS counterpart, 1Password made a very good impression on us.
The service comes loaded with features, including a Watchtower that provides users with a comprehensive overview of their general password security and a Travel Mode that, we think, other apps would be wise to include. Travel Mode allows you to set which vaults should be made available on which device when you're away on a trip.
However, penny-pinchers beware! 1Password wants you to show them the money for access to its functions: No free version of the software is offered.
During our review of 12 of the most popular password managers, we found a lot of great options, and truth be told, it was a very tight race to call. Compiling a top three list of anything is always subjective and password managers for Windows are no exception. Although we try to be as objective as possible, we don't discount the possibility that our ratings might skew in a certain direction, giving one provider the edge over another. For that reason, we highly recommend taking a look at the other 9 platforms we didn't include here, since every application has strengths and weaknesses. What was important to us during evaluation might not matter to you, and something that we overlooked could be a deal-breaker on your end. In short, don't just take our word for it!
You can find an in-depth comparison of all 12 password managers we evaluated, including the three listed here, in our comprehensive review and comparison.