Later, LastPass: How to switch to a new password manager
If you don't want to start paying LastPass now that it's no longer free, we'll show you how to export your data and take your passwords to another manager.
Jason CiprianiContributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
LastPass has gone rogue. All right, maybe that's a bit dramatic, but the company has all but ditched the free version of its password manager as of March 16. Now, LastPass users who want to avoid paying will have to choose whether they want to access their passwords on a mobile device, like your iPhone or Android phone, or on a computer. You can't access your login credentials on both platforms without paying the company $36 a year for a personal account, or $48 a year for a family account.
If you thought you could survive with accessing your credentials on just your phone or computer, or the idea of paying for LastPass is too much for you, don't fret; you have options. It will take some effort, but you'll save yourself time and money by switching to a new password manager.
The easiest way to move from one password manager to another is to first export your LastPass information and then import it into your new tool. Below, I'll show you a couple of different ways you can get your information out of LastPass, and then walk you through importing it into another app. I've chosen Bitwarden for this example, a completely free password manager.
Exporting your passwords out of your LastPass account
After testing the LastPass export tool, I recommend using the browser extension and not the website. I'll include instructions for both, but trust me, the extension is faster and easier to use.
Open your browser and click on the LastPass extension. Enter your master password if prompted. Next, select Account Options from the drop-down followed by Advanced > Export > LastPass CSV File. Enter your master password when asked.
Your browser will download a file called lastpass_export.csv. I suggest moving the file from your Downloads folder to your Desktop so it's easier to find when importing it to a new service.
If you'd rather use the website to export all of your information from LastPass, the process is similar, but instead of downloading a CSV file, you'll have to create one of your own. After signing into your account on LastPass.com, click on Advanced Options in the bottom left corner of the page. Click Export then enter your master password when asked.
LastPass will generate a CSV list with all of your info and display it in your browser tab. Depending on which password manager you're moving to, you can either leave that tab open and copy/paste the information into the import tool, or you'll need to create a CSV file of your own.
To do that, you'll need to copy the text that's displayed in the browser, and then paste it into an app like Numbers on a Mac, or Excel on a PC (or Mac). If you don't have access to Excel on a PC, you can use the Notepad app. No matter the app you end up using, make sure you save or export the file as a CSV file. In Notepad, for example, that means you'll need to go to File > Save As and add ".csv" to the end of the file name. Save the new CSV file to your desktop, and give it a name like "Lastpass_export.csv" that makes it easy to identify.
It's important to remember that this file now has all of your account logins in plain text. Don't share it with anyone, and I'd even go so far as to recommend deleting the file after you import and verify that all of your information is accurate in your new password manager account.
Importing your information to another service
The import process will vary based on the new password manager you'll use. There are plenty of paid options available, and we have a roundup of the best password managers that break down the differences and details of each. It's in the process of being updated based on the LastPass news, but the information about services like 1Password will still be accurate.
Realizing that LastPass users are looking to jump ship, most of the password managers have published blog posts with instructions showing how to import your information. For example, 1Password has a guide, as does Dashlane and Keeper Security.
To stay with a free password manager, Bitwarden is the way to go. CNET Senior Editor Rick Broida explains his reasons for going with Bitwarden now that LastPass is moving to a paid service.
To get started, create an account at Bitwarden.com. Once you're logged in, click the Tools button at the top of the page and then select Import Data (image above).
Use the drop-down menu to select your file's format, which if you're coming from LastPass will be LastPass (csv). Next, select the file LastPass created and download to your computer, or you can copy and paste the text in the LastPass export tab if you used the website. Finally, click Import Data.
If you're not using a password manager, you really should start. It creates, stores and fills complex passwords in apps or websites without forcing you to remember or hand type them in. Another way to boost your account security is to enable two-factor authentication for any and all accounts that support it (most password managers support storing your one-time passwords and will even enter those, too.)