How to Use KeePass to Share Passwords Async

Password management is a common problem for small teams with limited budgets.  This workflow will allow you to easily and securely share passwords within a team for free, using open-source, cross-platform (Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android) software, KeePass.

KeePass is open-source software which uses an encrypted file to store your passwords.  This file can be decrypted using a password or key file, and can be stored on a shared file storage system (like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, etc).  This combo allows you to share many passwords with others conveniently (on the cloud) and securely (encrypted).

Create a Password File

  1. Download a KeePass client
    1. I suggest KeePassXC for Windows, MacOS, or Linux
    2. I suggest Strongbox for iOS
  2. Create a New Database
  1. Enter the Database Name and Description.
  2. Use default values for Decryption Time and Database Format
  3. Enter and confirm a password:
    1. In general try to use something long, but easy to remember. An example would be “Making_KeePass_super_100!”
  4. Save the file

Share a Password File

At this point**,** you should have a password file which can be opened using a secret password.

  1. Upload the file to a shared file storage system
    1. If you use Dropbox or Google Drive, your team can share password additions and changes automatically using their offline sync mechanisms
    2. You can also upload to a system like Notion, but will have to manually upload the file when you make changes and download the file when someone else makes changes
  2. Share the password with your team via a voice chat or
    1. Do NOT share the password via text chat or email
  3. Now that you have shared the password, delete/swallow the password you wrote down above

Use a Password File

  1. Download a KeePass client
    1. I suggest KeePassXC for Windows, MacOS, or Linux
    2. I suggest Strongbox for iOS
  2. Download the shared database file
  3. Open a Database File
  1. Unlock the database using the shared password
  2. Add a New Entry by right-clicking on the main window
  1. Enter the Title, Username, Password, and login URL
    1. You can also use the notes for things like security questions, one-time unlock keys, or anything else
  2. Save the entry - it should show up under Root
  3. You can now copy the username or password by right-clicking on the entry you just created (or using keyboard shortcuts)
  1. If you are using an automatic storage system like Dropbox or Google Drive, you don’t have to do anything else - your team should have access to the new entry you created
    1. If you are using a system like Notion, be sure to re-upload the file to share it with your team

Cover photo by olieman.eth on Unsplash

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