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Thursday, May 23, 2024

How to Export Your Passwords From LastPass

LastPass has a free tier, and that has helped make it one of the more popular password managers around. But that free tier is now getting some major limitations.

Starting March 16, LastPass users on the free plan will no longer be able to use the password manager on on their phone and laptop. They will have to choose one type of device.

The LastPass free plan now has two options:

  • Desktop only: If you choose the desktop option, you can only access your data from any Mac, Windows, or Linux PC, which includes desktop PCs or laptops.
  • Mobile only: If you choose mobile, you can only access your data from an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone/device (like a Samsung Galaxy phone).

What you won't be able to do is use LastPass for free on your computer and phone. That's not going to work for a lot of people, which means it's time to either upgrade to a paid plan ($36 per year for a single user, $48 per year for families) or move your data elsewhere.

There are several other password services we think are better than LastPass, and one of them is also free. If you'd like to switch, have a look at our updated Guide to the Best Password Managers. Once you've decided where you want to take your passwords, you will need to export your data out of LastPass and import it into the new service.

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How to Export Your LastPass Data

LastPass has two export options: a CSV file or an encrypted file. If you're switching to any of the services in our guide, CSV is the option to use. 

It's important to note that CSV is a plain text file, which means this file we're about to export will have all your password data unencrypted, in plain text. Be very careful with this export file. I suggest performing the export on your desktop or laptop, using the browser extension, but only on a network you trust. Once you've imported that data into the new password manager, be sure to delete the plain text file.

The easiest way to get your data out is the LastPass web browser extension, which you can get from the LastPass site. Once you have the browser extension installed, click the toolbar button in your browser to open the LastPass menu. Click on Account Options, then Advanced, then Export. You should then see an option labeled "LastPass CSV File." Click that link and your web browser will save the resulting file on your hard drive.

If you're on a phone or tablet (or already chose the Mobile plan), you'll have to use lastpass.com. Beware. Many browsers won't automatically download the generated file. To use the site, log in to your account and expand the sidebar menu on the left and click the Advanced Options menu item. Then click the Export option, enter your master password, and click Submit. This will then open a CSV file in your browser. Some browsers will automatically download this file. If yours does not, just select all and copy it. Then open Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (MacOS) and paste in the CSV data. Select File > Save As in Notepad or TextEdit and enter a name with the .csv extension at the end. Make sure to save it as plain text (not rich text).

If you used LastPass's Form Fill features, which let you auto-fill forms on the web, you can export that data as a CSV file too in these same menus, though not all password managers will be able to import it. (Bitwarden, which we discuss below, can import it, but 1Password cannot.)

That's it, your data is out of LastPass.

How to Import Your Data to Another Password Manager1Password—★ Our Top Pick

Our favorite password manager is 1Password. It isn't free, but it has some nice extras that free services do not. Plans start at $3 per month for a single user or $5 per month for a family of up to five users. 

Moving from LastPass to 1Password is a mostly seamless process, though the names of things may trip you up. What LastPass calls Sites will be converted into what 1Password calls Logins. LastPass Secure Notes will become different things in 1Password depending on the type of secure note. For example, if 1Password recognizes a note as your driver's license it will automatically be imported and stored in 1Password as a driver's license.

LastPass Folders will be converted to 1Password Tags, which is just a difference in naming. What you won't get are any saved form-fill data or plain documents.

To import your data, log in to your 1Password account and click your name in the top right corner of the screen. Choose Import and then click LastPass. You can select a vault or go with the default, and then upload that LastPass export file we discussed in the previous section of this guide. 

That's all there is to it; you should now have all your LastPass data in 1Password. Once you have confirmed it is all in there and everything works, and you can log into 1Password, please do delete the LastPass export file and empty your Recycle Bin or Trash on your PC.

Bitwarden (Another Free Option)

If you want to stick with a free service, I suggest Bitwarden. Bitwarden is free with no limits, and it's every bit as polished and user-friendly as competitors. There are two other plans: a premium option ($10 per year) with support for Yubikey and other extras, and a Family Plan that includes support for up to six users ($40 per year).

Bitwarden is open source, which means the code that powers Bitwarden is freely available for anyone to inspect, search for flaws, and fix. In theory, the more eyes on the code, the more airtight it becomes. Bitwarden was audited in 2020 by a third party to ensure that it's secure.

Bitwarden also has an option to import that LastPass export CSV file you saved—and your form-fills CSV file too, if you used that feature.

Now you can import all that data into Bitwarden. 

First, create a Bitwarden account. Then log in to your Web Vault, click the Tools option in the top navigation bar, and then select Import data from the menu. Chose the LastPass (CSV) option from the format dropdown and navigate to the CSV file you saved earlier when exporting your data from LastPass. Click Import Data and Bitwarden will do its thing. If you run into any problems, see Bitwarden's instructions for some helpful screenshots.

Now, It's Time to Delete LastPass

Assuming you have no plans to use LastPass anymore, and you're fully up and running on your new password manager (double-check this!), I suggest you delete your old account. 

To do that, click the LastPass browser toolbar and select Open My Vault. This will open the LastPass site in a new tab. On the left side of the page, near the bottom, click the Account Settings menu item. This will bring up a window within the window; click the link that says My Account

This will open a new tab where you should see a button that says Delete or Reset Account. This will open, yes, another new page, where there is another Delete Account button. Click and you'll finally get a page where you can enter your master password and delete your account. It'll take you saying, yes, I really want to do this several more times, but in the end your account will be deleted.

The final step is to remove any LastPass apps you have installed. On Windows open the Start Menu, and under Programs click LastPass, then Uninstall LastPass. In your web browser, head to the extensions page in your settings menu (usually accessible in the upper right of your browser window) and delete the LastPass extension. To remove LastPass from Safari on Mac you'll need to download this file, which contains an uninstaller.

Again, once you're sure all your data is in its new home and everything works right, be sure to delete the CSV file that you exported from LastPass and empty your PCs Recycle Bin or Mac's Trash bin.

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