KeePass: 6 Basics of Getting Started with KeePassXC for Mac

KeePassXC for Mac OS

Are you searching for a free and secure password manager that is compatible with your Mac and other devices? Do you want a password manager that can assist you in generating strong passwords automatically?

Look no more. Your search ends here with KeePass XC!

KeePassXC is a popular and well-regarded password manager that offers a high level of security and flexibility for managing your passwords and other sensitive data.

It stores your passwords and other sensitive information in an encrypted database that can be protected by a master password, a key file, or both. It also features an automatic password generator, which can help you create strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts.

Getting Started with KeePassXC

In this article, we’ll guide you through the basics of using KeePassXC on MacOS. We’ll start by explaining how to download and install it. Next, we’ll walk you through the process of creating a new database, adding passwords, and organizing them into groups.

We’ll also explore the powerful features of the password generator and passphrase generator, which can help you create complex and secure passwords with ease. By the end of this article, you’ll have a good understanding of how to use KeePassXC on MacOS to manage your passwords effectively.

#1: How to download KeePassXC for MacOS?

KeePassXC is a free and open-source password manager that is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is a community-driven fork of the original KeePass Password Safe application, and it aims to provide a cross-platform, modern, and secure password management solution.

To download KeePass XC on MacOS, visit the website and click on the ‘Download for MacOS’ button.

Download KeyPassXC for MacOS
Download KeyPassXC for MacOS

Once the download is complete, you will need to execute the DMG file and follow the prompts to move it to the applications folder. To open KeePass XC, you can follow these steps:

  • Go to Launchpad.
  • See the KeePassXC icon.
  • Click to open it.
KeePass XC in Launchpad
KeePass XC in Launchpad

You may refer to the following article for using KeePassXC on other devices running on Windows, Linux, Android, or iOS.

#2: How to create a new database?

Once launched, you’ll be presented with the following interface where you have the options to create a new database, open an existing one, or import passwords from any exported file.

  • To create a new database, click on the ‘Create New Database’ button.
Create new database in KeePassXC
Create New Database
  • Enter a name for the database.
  • Provide an adequate explanation that clearly defines the type of login credentials that will be contained within this database.
Name the Database in KeePassXC MAC
Name the Database
  • In the next step, you will be prompted to configure encryption settings.
  • By default, the simple settings menu will appear.
  • However, an advanced settings menu is also available, which allows you to select the encryption algorithm, key derivation function, transform rounds, memory usage, and parallelism.
  • If you’re unfamiliar with these options, it’s best to stick with the default settings.
  • Click Continue.
Encryption settings
Encryption settings
  • The final step in creating a new database is to set a password for it. This password will be required every time you open the database in KeePassXC.
  • You can either choose your own password or use the built-in “Password Generator” feature by clicking on the icon next to the eye icon.
    • The Password Generator creates a strong and secure password that you can modify to make it easier to remember.
    • As you create your password, you’ll see a bar underneath that shows the strength of the password.
    • If the bar is red, the password is poor quality; if it’s orange, it’s weak; if it’s green, it’s good; and if it’s excellent, it’s strong and secure.
  • Be sure to choose a password that is at least “good” or “excellent” to ensure the security of your database.
Set Password for Database

#3: How to add an entry to the database?

Once the database is created, the next step is to start adding records. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Click on the ‘+’  icon in the toolbar.
  • It will open the ‘Add a new entry ‘ dialog.
Add an Entry in KeePass
Add an Entry
  • Add Basic Details: In KeePassXC, you have the ability to include several details when creating an entry. These include the title, username, password, and URL of the login page.
  • Assign Tags: Moreover, you can assign a tag to an entry that allows you to efficiently categorize your passwords and group them by specific themes or criteria.
    • By assigning tags, you can easily locate entries that share common characteristics or are associated with a particular project or task.
    • This can save you time and effort in managing your password database and help you stay organized.
  • Set Expiration: Additionally, you can set an expiration date and time for the entry. By specifying an expiration date for your passwords, you can improve the security of your accounts and confidential data.
    • When you set an expiration date, the password will only be valid for a limited period, reducing the risk of unauthorized access by someone who might have acquired the password through a data breach or other means.
    • It also encourages you to use strong and unique passwords by regularly updating them. Furthermore, KeePassXC can alert you when passwords are about to expire, simplifying the process of maintaining good password practices.
  • Enter Notes: The Notes section provides a space to input additional details. This may include any miscellaneous information you wish to include, such as instructions for accessing the account, such as the receipt of an OTP on the device.
Add an Entry in KeePassXC
Add an Entry

In KeePassXC, there are several additional sections available for customization, including Icon, Browser Integration, and Properties.

  • Icon: The ‘Icon’ section lets you assign a custom icon to your password entry for easy recognition.
  • Auto-Type: The ‘Auto-Type’ feature allows you to automatically fill in login credentials for websites and applications, without the need to manually copy and paste them from the KeePass database. This can save you time and effort by eliminating the need to switch back and forth between KeePass and the login page. Additionally, Auto-Type helps improve security by reducing the risk of typing errors or accidentally copying sensitive information to the clipboard.
AutoType for Add Entry KeePassXC
  • Browser Integration: The ‘Browser Integration’ feature allows you to configure settings related to the program’s integration with your web browser. For example, you can choose to have KeePassXC automatically fill in login information when visiting a website, or prompt you to approve each login attempt.
  • Properties: Properties section displays additional details about the entry, such as its creation date, modification date, access date, and unique identifier (UID).

#4: How to add groups in KeePass XC to organize effectively?

In KeePassXC, you can add password entries directly to the root folder and assign tags, but this may not be the most effective way to organize your passwords.

A better approach is to create different folders, called ‘Groups’, to categorize your entries by type or purpose. By doing so, you can keep your passwords better organized and easily find the entry you need when you need it.

For instance, you could create groups such as ‘Work’, ‘Social Media’, ‘Learning Resources’, and ‘Personal’ to group related passwords together. Additionally, you can assign icons and tags to further organize your entries within each group.

Here is how to add a new group in KeePassXC:

  • Go to the KeePassXC menu bar.
  • Select Groups.
  • Choose ‘New Group’.
Add New Group
Add New Group

This opens up the ‘Add Group’ dialog.

  • Group Name: Enter the name of the new group.
  • Notes: You can add comments or notes about the group, but this is optional.
  • Expiration Date: You can set an expiration date for the password in the group. This means that after a certain time, the password will no longer work, which can make your information more secure.
  • Search: You can choose whether or not to include entries from this group in your search results. You can either enable, disable, or inherit settings from the parent group.
  • Auto-Type: You can set up automatic typing for entries in the group. This means that KeePass XC can automatically enter your login information for you when you go to a website or application. You can choose to inherit settings from the parent group or customize the auto-type settings and sequences for this group.
Add Group in KeePass
Add Group

KeePassXC offers various customization options, including Icon, Keeshare, and Properties sections.

  • Icon: You can select an icon for the new group by clicking on the icon button. This is optional but can be useful for visually organizing your groups.
  • KeeShare: This feature allows you to share a group of entries securely with other users. This can be useful in situations where you need to share login credentials with colleagues or family members, but you want to ensure that the information remains secure.
  • Properties: Properties section displays additional details about the entry, such as its creation date, modification date, access date, unique identifier (UID), and any plugin details.
Groups in KeePass
Groups in KeePass

#5: How to use the password generator to obtain secure passwords?

A password generator is a useful tool that can generate strong passwords for you. The password generator feature suggests complex passwords that include a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. You can even choose the length of the password and select which characters to include or exclude.

You can choose which characters to include or exclude from the password. The included characters will be highlighted in green while the excluded ones will be greyed out.

Referring to the screenshot in this instance, the KeePass password generator will exclude ‘A-Z’ and ‘Extended ASCII’ characters. It will only suggest passwords of length 15 that include characters such as ‘a-z’, ‘0-9’, and ‘/*+&@^`~’.

KeePass Password Generator with Simple Settings
Password Generator

The password strength is indicated by a bar, which tells you how strong or weak your password is. If you don’t like the recommended password, you can regenerate it until you find one you like. Finally, you can easily copy the recommended password by clicking on the clipboard icon.

Advanced Settings for KeePass Password Generator

If you feel comfortable with customizing your password, you may want to explore the advanced settings for the password generator. These settings allow you to expand the character set to include more symbols and special characters, and even provide additional characters manually. Additionally, you can explicitly define character exclusions to exclude similar-looking characters, such as “o” and “0”, which can reduce the likelihood of making typos.

Another advanced setting called “Pick characters from every group” enforces character selection from each set, making the resulting password much more secure. However, this can also increase the likelihood of making typo mistakes and forgetting the password.

KeePassXC Password Generator - Advanced Settings
Password Generator – Advanced Settings

#6: How to use KeePass Passphrase Generator?

Passphrases are a type of security measure used to protect sensitive information and are utilized by a range of tools and applications, such as password managers, encryption software, online services, operating systems, and digital wallets. The primary purpose of a passphrase is to ensure that sensitive data is kept private and secure and that only authorized individuals can access it.

KeePass passphrase generator can be used to generate strong and secure passphrases based on customizable settings. The KeePass passphrase generator provides options to customize the length, word list, word separator, and word cases to suit your security needs.

You have the option to click on the ‘Regenerate’ icon multiple times until you generate a passphrase that you are satisfied with.

The password quality can be determined by the color and the strength displayed in the underneath bar. A red bar indicates that the password is of poor quality, an orange bar indicates that it is weak, a green bar indicates that it is good, and an excellent, strong, and secure password will be indicated by a bar that is colored in green and labeled as “Excellent”.

KeePassXC Passphrase Generator
Passphrase Generator

Conclusion

In conclusion, KeePassXC is a secure and free password manager that can help you manage your passwords and sensitive information on MacOS. With its intuitive interface and powerful features, you can easily create a database, add passwords, and organize them into groups for easy access.

The password generator and passphrase generator features make it easy to create complex and secure passwords for all your accounts. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can get started with KeePassXC on MacOS and take control of your password management.

We hope this article has been informative and helpful, and we encourage you to explore the many features of KeePassXC to make the most of this powerful tool.

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