No more LastPass: How to use iCloud as a password manager on Windows

iCloud for Windows can become your new password manager.

Image: Maria Diaz/ZDNET

An Apple ID gives you access to many perks within the Apple software ecosystem, and one of them is Keychain: iCloud’s password manager.

Whether you already use keychain or are looking for a new password manager for your Windows computer LastPass free trial has expired, iCloud can be used as a password manager not only on MacOS devices, but also on Windows PCs.

If you’ve been at it for the past 10 years or more, you know that most services require accounts to be set up in order to access them. This means that we end up with dozens of passwords that we somehow have to remember for each of these accounts.

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But how can I remember all those passwords when half the time I can’t even remember my significant other’s phone number?

Here’s how to use iCloud as a password manager on Windows

iCloud is highlighted in a green box with an arrow pointing to it on a Windows laptop.

Go to the Start menu and open iCloud for Windows.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Once you’ve logged into your account – if you haven’t already done so – you can access your account, add another account and make any necessary changes.

Go to Passwords and click Apply.

iCloud password login page.

Sign in with your Apple ID and password.

Image: Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Make sure Passwords is selected in the iCloud window, then click Apply to make the changes.

You can also install browser extensions at this point.

Passwords highlighted in a green box with an arrow pointing to it on a Windows laptop.

Make sure Passwords is checked and click Apply.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

You can also add a browser extension to Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge at this point by following the instructions in the iCloud for Windows app.

iCloud Passwords Chrome extension.

Once you click Install extension in iCloud you can add them iCloud Passwords Extension in Chrome.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

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Since I added the Google Chrome extension, the next step is Enable autofill to grant Chrome permission for my iCloud passwords.

To do this, click the keychain button on the toolbar (marked with an arrow in the image below).

If you enable AutoFill, 2FA will be prompted with your Apple device. You can see that my phone (second image below) asks me to allow another PC to access my account and then provides a verification code to enter on the Windows PC.

Green arrow pointing to where to turn on autofill.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET
iCloud two-factor authentication.

Enter the confirmation code.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

After you’ve set up iCloud for Windows as your password manager and your browser extension, you can try it out by going to a website and trying to log in.

LinkedIn login page with iCloud password icon enabled.

The iCloud passwords icon is enabled and you can have your passwords filled in automatically.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Like LastPass, the browser extension allows you to enter your credentials.

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How do you get iCloud for Windows?

To get iCloud for Windows, simply download the app to your Windows PC, then sign in with your Apple ID. You’ll be prompted to follow the steps for two-factor authentication by entering a verification code on an iPhone with iOS 14 or later, an iPad with iPadOS 14 or later, or a Mac with macOS 11 or later.

How do I set up iCloud Keychain?

iCloud Keychain is available for your Apple devices: iPhone, iPadand Mac. To set it up, go to your iPhone’s Settings and tap your name at the top of the screen to access your iCloud settings. Then select iCloud. Look for Passwords and Keychain and select it. Then tap Sync this iPhone to turn it on.

If you want to add iCloud Keychain to your Windows computer, you can download iCloud Passwords.

Can I use LastPass for free?

LastPass changed the terms of its free option, so someone with a free account can only use the password manager on one device. That means you’ll need a subscription to use LastPass on both your iPhone and Windows PC, for example. So while you can use LastPass for free on your iPhone and iPad, the free version isn’t also available for your Windows PC. That is why using iCloud passwords for Windows is the best free option.

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