Google Chrome’s password manager will soon get biometric authentication on desktop


Your laptop’s fingerprint scanner will now be useful for more than just unlocking Windows

Google has been paying a lot of attention to Chrome’s password manager lately. While many still prefer to use a dedicated password management solution, like Lastpass or Bitwarden, Chrome’s built-in solution has improved a lot lately. It recently got a more streamlined user interface and started allowing users to put a shortcut on their home screen. If further development is to be expected, it looks like Chrome’s password manager on your PC might get biometric authentication capabilities down the road.

The people at History of Chromium spotted an experimental flag on the Chromium Gerritwhich could allow computer users to use biometric authentication, such as their fingerprints, to view, change or copy a password.


Biometric authentication in settings: Enable biometric authentication in settings to view/modify/copy password

Currently, the mobile version of Chrome’s password manager already asks you for some form of biometric authentication to copy or view a password, which would just extend this functionality to the desktop version of the browser.

Certainly, although fingerprint scanners are present on the vast majority of Android phones, not all computers have them. It’s still considered a premium feature on laptops, while it’s practically non-existent on desktops, unless you want to buy an external USB scanner separately. Many Windows computers support Windows Hello for authentication, which not only supports fingerprint scanners, but also facial recognition. The functionality is not explicitly mention fingerprint scanners, instead of keeping it vague with a “biometric” description, so while we’re not saying it will support facial recognition to copy passwords, it’s not out of context.

Currently, Chrome asks you to enter your computer’s password before opening the manager. This improvement would therefore primarily serve as a more convenient method of authentication. This tool will likely appear in an upcoming Canary release, although we’ll have to wait a while for a final stable release.


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