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New Year's resolution: Protect your credentials with the Google Chrome password manager

Your Google browser will securely store your long, complex website passwords and login details. Here's how to set it up.

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Chrome comes with a handy password manager.

Graphic by Pixabay/Illustration by CNET

Happy New Year! If your list of 2020 resolutions includes finally using a password manager to keep track of your login credentials and passwords online, then good for you. If you use Google Chrome, like two-thirds of the world, you get a built-in password manager at your fingertips.

Like all password managers, the one in your Chrome browser can store the login information you use to access websites and services, and sign you in with a single master password.

Google Chrome's feature isn't as robust as password manager apps like Lastpass or 1Password that can handle your password chores. and also share your login info with others you trust and give you encrypted online space to store important documents. But if you're looking for an easy -- and free -- way to manage your login info across devices, the Chrome browser can handle the basics. Plus, it can alert you if you reuse a password or pick one that's too easy to guess.

Here's how to set up and use Google Chrome's password manager for Windows and MacOS.

How to manage your login information with Chrome's password manager 

You can use Google's password service to manage your login credentials in Chrome on  your Mac or PC.

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Tap the Passwords icon to get going.

Screenshot Clifford Colby/CNET

1. In the Chrome browser, tap your profile image up in the top right and then tap Passwords (it's the key icon below your name).

2. At the top of the page, toggle on or off whether you want Chrome to offer to save new passwords and automatically sign you in websites. 

3. Under Saved Passwords, tap the website name to see the site, and tap the Show password icon (it's the eyeball) to view the password for the site. You may need to enter your computer's password to view the site's login info. This is an extra security measure.

4. Tap the More actions menu to the far right of a site to view its login details (it's the one with the three vertical dots). Here, you can tap Remove to delete the site and its credentials from Google's password manager.

How to change your password with Google's password manager

If you ever need to change a password, like if you updated a site's password in a website outside of Chrome, then you'll want to do this.

1. Head to Google's password manager site on your phone or desktop device.

2. Scroll down to the Sites and apps section, and tap the website name that whose password you want to change. You may need to enter your Google account password before you can make the change.

3. Tap the Edit button, and click in the Password field to edit the password. If you want to view your written password instead of a series of dots that hide the characters, tap the Show password icon.

With Google's password manager, you can also check if your login credentials have been exposed as part of a data breach. See our guide for how to check.

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How to have Google's password manager create a password for you

Sure, having Google's password manager keep track of your login info is great. But even more handy, it can also quickly generate strong passwords for you that it can then automatically save to your account. Here's how. 

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Chrome can recommend a password for you.

Screenshot Clifford Colby/CNET

1. First, check that you have your Google account sync turned on by tapping your profile up in the top right corner and then tapping Turn on sync, if it's not already on.

2. Now on a site you want to create a password for, tap in the password field and then tap Use suggested password. 

Now, the next time you log in to that website, Google will autofill your password.

For more on staying secure with Google's browser, here how to help Chrome mind your privacy and how to have the browser check if your login credentials are on the dark web as part of a data breach.