When you set up sync, Google Chrome uses a cryptographic key generated from your Google Account password to encrypt your synced data. This is to ensure all your personal information is kept private. For added security, you can choose to use a sync passphrase instead of your Google Account password. This passphrase is stored on your computer and isn’t sent to Google.
Choose an encryption method
These steps apply to Google Chrome on Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS.
- Click the spanner icon on the browser toolbar.
- Select Options (Preferences on Mac and Linux; Settings on Chrome OS).
- Click the Personal Stuff tab.
- In the “Sync” section, click Customise (sync must be enabled already).
- Choose what you’d like to encrypt:
- Encrypt passwords: This is the default option. Select this if you want to encrypt your saved passwords only.
- Encrypt all synced data: Select this if you’d like to encrypt all the data that you’ve chosen to sync.
- Choose how you’d like to generate the cryptographic key:
- Google Account password: This is the default option. Your passwords are encrypted on Google’s servers with your Google Account password.
- Customise password: Select “Choose my own passphrase” option and provide the passphrase that you’d like to use. The passphrase is stored only on your computer.
- Click OK.
When you’ll need your sync passphrase
If you decide to pick your own passphrase, you’ll need to provide it every time you sync your passwords on a new computer. If you change your encryption options on one computer, make sure that you make the same change on any other computers to continue syncing.
Forgotten your sync passphrase?
If you forget your passphrase, you’ll need to reset sync via the Google Dashboard. This will delete all sync data from Google’s servers, but not the data that’s on your computer. So your current preferences, bookmarks and passwords will remain available in the browser. You can then reenable with a new sync passphrase.
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