How to automatically clear the Bitwarden clipboard for better security

    Published on:

    Thanakorn Rapattaranan/Getty Images

    Bitwarden has been my favorite open source password manager for many years. Not only is it highly secure, it’s easy to use and available on all platforms (Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows, web). Bitwarden has a lot of tricks, but there is one particular trick that I don’t know if I need or even want.

    The trick is the ability to clear the clipboard. Copying the password from Bitwarden will automatically copy it to your desktop clipboard. Let’s think about it. Here’s the scenario:

    again: The best password manager that saves you the trouble of logging in

    1. Open Bitwarden.
    2. Find the password you need.
    3. Copy your password.
    4. Paste the password if desired.
    5. Get away from your desktop.
    6. someone is sitting at your desk
    7. Suppose someone opens a clipboard manager to view the last password.
    8. The same person can open the document, press Ctrl+V, paste the password, and be able to view the document.

    Keeping these entries on the clipboard can lead to disaster. Also, if you have a clipboard manager on your desktop, someone could see a list of all the passwords you’ve copied. Of course, the next challenge for that person is knowing which app or service each password is associated with…but you get the idea.

    Luckily Bitwarden has a feature that solves that problem. This feature allows you to set an expiration time after which the clipboard is cleared. For this, you can set a time as short as 5 seconds, as long as 5 minutes, or not set at all. My recommendation is to set it to clear after enough time so that you can successfully paste the copied password. Sometimes 5 seconds is enough time, sometimes it takes a minute.

    In any case, with this feature, you don’t have to worry about anyone else knowing the password you copied from Bitwarden.

    The only caveat with this feature is that some clipboard managers may not have the ability to dump passwords from memory. For example, CopyQ (on Linux) dumps a Bitwarden entry after a set amount of time, but (for some reason) keeps a duplicate copy of it in history. Some clipboard managers allow you to blacklist their software to prevent certain app passwords from being cached. Due to issues like this, you may need to remove your clipboard manager or use one that works more seamlessly with Bitwarden’s ClearClipboard feature.

    again: How to Enable Bitwarden Biometric Unlock (and Why You Should)

    Ignore this warning and let’s see how to configure Bitwarden to clear the clipboard in a reasonable amount of time.

    Set Bitwarden clipboard clear time

    Things necessary: Here’s what you need for this: Bitwarden App and a valid Bitwarden account. This feature is available on both desktop and mobile apps.I’ll walk you through this with the desktop app, but the mobile app options are[設定]>[オプション]Please know that in From then on it will be configured the same as on the desktop.

    Open the Bitwarden app on your desktop. Once open, unlock the safe.

    again: How to export and store your Bitwarden vault

    In the Bitwarden window,[ファイル]>[設定]Click.

    Bitwarden file menu.

    This is a familiar menu for Bitwarden users.

    Jack Warren/ZDNET

    Scroll down until you see the “Clear Clipboard” entry under Preferences. By default, the time is set to None.[クリップボードをクリア]Click the dropdown and select the shortest amount of time that you believe will work. After setting the time, scroll down and click Close.

    Bitwarden clipboard clear option.

    Make sure there is enough time to paste the item and no longer.

    Jack Warren/ZDNET

    new clear time test

    Go to one of the vault items and click the copy password icon. Wait for the allotted time you set, then try pasting the item into a document or note. Using the Ctrl+v keyboard shortcut prevents the password from being pasted into the document.

    again: How to protect and secure your password manager

    Note that you should consider whether your operating system has a clipboard manager. If so, you should consider whether you can set it so that when Bitwarden clears its cache, it also clears the clipboard manager’s stored entries. If there’s no way to do that, look for another clipboard manager.


    Leave a Reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here