KeePassDroid for Android

Posted10 August 2016

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    KeePassDroid is a secure and easy-to-use password management tool for your Android device.

    Required reading

    What you will get from this guide

    • The ability to save all your passwords in one convenient and secure database.
    • The ability to create and store many strong passwords without having to remember them.
    • The ability to share your KeePass password database files between your mobile device and computer.

    1. Introduction to KeePassDroid

    KeePassDroid is an easy-to-use tool that helps you store and manage all your passwords in a highly secure database. You can copy your existing KeePass database file from your computer to the KeePassDroid application on the mobile device (or other way around: from the mobile device to your computer).

    Note: Before copying your password database to a mobile device and opening it, consider that security and the protection of the mobile device may not match the security on your computer and your password database may be more at risk. Instead of copying the database from your computer, you could create a unique database for your device which will only have the passwords you need on it.

    The database is protected by a 'master password' that you create. This password is also used to encrypt the entire contents of the database. You can store your existing passwords in KeePassDroid or have it generate one for you. KeePassDroid does not require any prior configuration or specific installation instructions. It's ready to go when you are!

    By using KeePassDroid all the time, you never actually have to see or know what your password is. The copy/paste functions take care of moving it from the database to the required window. For example, if you use KeePassDroid's Random Generator to create a password for a new account, you will be using a strong password that you would never have to remember!

    1.0 Other tools like KeePassDroid

    Equivalents to KeePassDroid are also avail is also available for GNU Linux, Mac OS, Windows and iOS:

    • KeePass for Windows and GNU Linux
    • KeePassX for Windows, OS X and GNU Linux
    • MiniKeePass available for iOS devices
    • 1Password available for Mac OS, Microsoft Windows, iPhone and iPad

    2. Install and configure KeePassDroid

    2.1 Install KeePassDroid

    Step 1. On your Android device, download and install the app from the Google Play store by pressing .

    Figure 1: KeyPassDroid download page

    Step 2. Before the installation process begins, you will be prompted to review the access the application will have on your phone. Review this carefully, once your are happy with the permissions that will be granted, press and the installation will complete. If you do not agree with the permissions that will be granted, press the back button and the installation will be cancelled.

    Figure 2: Permissions necessary for KeyPassDroid

    NOTE: KeePassDroid can also be downloaded directly or from the third party F-Droid store.

    2.2 Create a new password database

    In the sections that follow, you will be taught how to create a master password, save your newly-created database, generate a random password for a particular program and create a backup copy of the database.

    Step 1. To open KeePassDroid you tap the application's icon.

    Step 2. To create a new password database, tap create.

    Figure 3: Open/create database screen.

    This will activate the Enter database password screen as below:

    Figure 4: Enter database password screen.

    Step 3. In this step you will create a single, unique and strong master password, which you must remember, that will be used to lock and unlock your database of passwords.

    Type in the master password you have invented into the password and confirm password fields as shown below:

    Figure 5: Enter a master password

    Tip: Have a look at How to create and maintain good passwords for more information on how to create a strong master password.

    Step 4. Tap OK to create and open your Keepass database.

    Figure 6: KeePassDroid home screen

    Congratulations! You have successfully created your secure password database. Now you can use it to safely store all your current and future passwords.

    Note: If you use KeePass on another mobile device or computer, you can copy its database to your device and then open it with KeePassDroid or KeePass.

    3. Use KeePassDroid to manage your passwords

    3.1 Add a group

    KeePassDroid stores passwords entries in groups to keep your information organized, the default groups are Email and Internet, but you can create your own group by tapping , typing the name of the group and then .

    Figures 7 and 8: Adding a new group

    Tap your newly created group to open it and begin adding password entries.

    3.2 Add a password entry

    The Add entry screen lets you add account information, passwords and other important details into your newly-created database.

    Step 1. Tap to activate the Add Entry screen as follows:

    Figures 9: Adding a new password entry

    Note: The Add Entry screen presents you with a number of fields to be completed. None of these fields are mandatory; information submitted here is largely for your own convenience. Filling them in may prove useful in situations where you are searching for a particular entry.

    A brief explanation of these different text boxes is presented as follows:

    • Name: A name to describe the particular password entry. For example, your twitter account.

    • Username: The user name associated with the password entry. For example, TherobotONO.

    • URL: The internet site associated with the password entry. For example, https://twitter.com.

    • Password: The password for your account. This section also allows you to generate a random password if you do not want to come up with one your self.

    • Confirm passwords: The confirmation of the password.

    • Comments: This is where you type in descriptive or general information about the account or site for which you are storing information. For example: Mail server settings: POP3 SSL, pop.gmail.com, Port 995; SMTP TLS, smtp.gmail.com, Port: 465.

    Note: Creating or modifying the password entries in KeePassDroid does not update your account password! Think of KeePassDroid as a secure electronic address book for your passwords. It only stores what you write in it, nothing more.

    Step 2. Tap save to save your changes.

    Your new entry now appears in the group.

    Figure 11: New entry appearing in the newly-created group

    3.3. Copy a KeePassDroid password

    Given that a secure password is not easily memorized, KeePassDroid lets you copy it from the database and paste it onto whatever account or website requires it.

    Step 1. Open the password entry you wish to use and tap the menu icon ():

    Figure 12: Password options

    Step 2. Tap .

    Step 3. Open the related account or site and paste the password by tapping and holding on the appropriate field and selecting Paste:

    Figure 13: Text edition options

    3.4 Edit an entry

    You can change your password or modify other details stored in the entry. It is generally considered good security practice to change a password every three to six months.

    Step 1. Tap the Group that contains the entry you wish to edit and then tap the entry to view its contents.

    Figure 1: Entry Contents

    Step 2. Tap to start editing the information.

    Figure 2: Edit information

    Step 3. When you have finished, tap to save all changes.

    3.5 Generate a random password

    Long, randomly-generated passwords are strong and secure as their generation is based on mathematical principles and cannot be simply guessed by someone who is trying to break into one of your accounts. KeePassDroid supplies a Password Generator, to help you with this process.

    Figure 3: Edit password entry screen

    Step 1. Tap the button from within either the Add Entry or Edit Entry screen (Fig. 3 above), to activate the Password Generator screen as follows:

    Figure 4: Password Generator

    The Password Generator screen automatically gives you a random, short 8-character password. However, we recommend that you use a longer password. You generate a longer, more secure password by selecting the following options as in our example:

    • Length at least 16-characters
    • Check Upper-case Letter
    • Check Lower-case Letter
    • Check Digits
    • Check Minus
    • Check Underline
    • Check Brackets

    Note: To generate passwords longer than 16-characters, replace the number in the field with your desired figure.

    See Fig. 4 above.

    Step 2. Tap to have KeePassDroid generate a new random password.

    Step 3. Tap to copy the generated password into your account entry and bring you back to the edit screen.

    Figure 5: Entry information

    Step 4. Tap to accept the password and return to the Entry screen as follows:

    Figure 6: Entry screen

    3.6 Lock your password database

    Step 1. Tap on the Lock icon () which is at the top of the main screens while KeePassDroid is open. This will instantly lock your database. You will be presented with the following screen requiring you to enter your master password to unlock.

    Figure 7: Locked Database

    4. Manage your password database

    4.1 Create a backup of your password database

    The KeePassDroid database file on your Android device is denoted by its .kdb file extension. You can copy this file to your computer or your USB memory stick. No one else will be able to open the database without the master password.

    By default, the database is stored in a folder named keepass on your phone. The exact location is /mnt/sdcard/keepass.

    Note: You need to have KeePass installed on your computer, or a portable version of KeePass located on your USB memory stick, to be able to open your database which you copied from your Android device.

    Please see KeePass chapter for more information.

    4.2 Reset your master password

    You can change the Master Password at any time. This can be done once you have opened the password database.

    Step 1. tap the menu icon () found on the top right of the main screens.

    Figure 8: Menu options

    Step 2. Tap to activate the following screen:

    Figure 9: Enter a new password

    Step 3. Type in your new master password in the Password and the Confirm Password fields, Then tap OK.

    Figure 10: Enter a new password

    4.3 Change your clipboard timeout

    For greater security, the password is copied to the clipboard for a limited duration before it is automatically cleared from the clipboard. You have the option to change this duration to 30 seconds, 1 minute or 5 minutes.

    There is also an option Never but we recommend that you do not select this.

    You can see these options in the following screen by going to: Menu () > Settings > Application > Clipboard timeout

    Figure 11: Clipboard timeout options

    4.4 Set your database lock timeout

    You also have the option to lock your database when the application is inactive for a specific time. Your database will automatically lock after 5 minutes of not being used. If you wish to shorten this, tap: Menu () > Settings > Application > Application timeout.

    Figure 12: Application timeout options

    Select 30 seconds, 1 minute or, the default 5 minutes. As before, there is an option to Never timeout, but we recommend against using this.

    FAQ

    Q: On the outside chance that I forget my master password, is there anything I can do to access KeePassDroid and retrieve my password databases?

    A: No. There is nothing you can do in that situation. On the bright side, at least no one else will be able to access your password database! To prevent this from happening, you could use some of the methods for remembering a password that are described in the How-to Booklet chapter How to create and maintain good passwords.

    Q: And if I uninstall KeePassDroid, what will happen to my passwords?

    A: The program will be deleted from your computer; however, your database (stored in a .kdb file) will remain. You can open this file at any time in the future if you install KeePassDroid again.

    Q: I think I accidentally deleted the database file!

    A: Hopefully, you made a backup beforehand. Also, make sure you haven't simply forgotten where you stored the file in the first place. Search your computer for a file with a .kdb extension. If you really have deleted it, take a look at the Hands-on guide to Recuva. It could help you to recover the file.