Best Password Managers for Mac in 2021
If you're using an Apple device, you're also using a built-in password manager. iCloud Keychain has been a part of Apple's suite ever since Mac OS 8.6 release. Now it's a fully-fledged system that can hold passwords, certificates, secure notes, and sync them across your other Apple devices.
This also makes it a prime target for cyberattacks. In 2019, a KeySteal hack was revealed that could extract passwords stored in the Keychain.
So, if you want to enhance your online security, and add cross-platform syncing between Apple and non-Apple devices, a password manager is an excellent idea. In this Best Password manager for Mac list, I've picked those that should keep your credentials secure.
Best Mac password managers
- NordPass – most versatile password manager for macOS
- Dashlane – most feature-rich password manager for Mac
- 1Password – one of the best password managers for iOS
- Keeper – one of the most customizable password managers on the market
- Enpass – minimalist password manager with numerous benefits
A compromised credential's vault means that your every account is in the public domain. Not to mention the potential repercussions with your payment data or private files. Our recommendation is to choose the best service for the job, which doesn't come for free. The best password managers have subscription prices, but you'll find that they're well worth the investment for the peace of mind that they bring.
1. NordPass – market-leading password manager for Mac
|Cloud storage:||3 GB (with NordLocker app)|
|Browser plugins:||Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Brave, Vivaldi, and Edge|
|Current deal:||Get Nordpass, now 70% off|
NordPass entered the market the same year that the Keychain hack was discovered. Naturally, many Apple users found it to be a more secure substitute for keeping your credentials safe and synchronized.
This password manager is equipped with many features that make your life easier. Each time you log in to some account, it automatically adds it to the password vault – you won't have to go through each entry manually. It also uses optical character recognition to scan documents, ID cards, and bank cards. You won't have to type those out, either.
There's support for biometric authentication, so you'll be able to log in with the FaceID. It also includes a safe password generator that creates not only unintelligible strings of characters. It also comes up with password phrases.
To protect your vault, NordPass is relying on XChaCha20 encryption, a cipher that's even harder to break than AES-256. Not to mention, your passwords are decrypted only on your device. They are stored in NordPass servers only in an encrypted form, it's a much safer approach.
Plus, NordPass cross-device compatibility means that you can have the same credentials on all your devices, even if they aren't all Apple-made.
- Next-gen XChaCha20 encryption
- Multi-factor authentication
- Powerful free version
- Anonymous payment options
- Data breach scanner
- No built-in cloud storage
2. Dashlane – plenty of features to power-users
|Cloud storage:||1–5 GB|
|Browser plugins:||Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge|
|Current deal:||Get Dashlane, save up to 20%!|
Dashlane is counting a decade of being in the password manager's business. This makes it one of the longest-running services in the market.
Over time, they have expanded their features list to venture beyond what you'd expect to find in a password manager. So, for example, it's one of the few password managers that also includes a Virtual Private Network. There are 26 countries to choose from, and it's not a gimmick. It does encrypt your online traffic.
Not all of their additions are so otherworldly, though. Dashlane also includes a secure password changer – you can easily replace weak passwords with more secure ones. Their integrated password generator takes care of the part where you have to come up with a secure password.
This tool can also capture your login details every time you log in to some service. This extends to web forms, as well. So, whenever you're registering somewhere, you won't have to type in your name or address, either.
Every entry in your vault is protected with a military-grade 256-bit AES encryption. Plus, all the data is stored only on your device and doesn't leave it in non-encrypted form.
- Includes VPN
- Great autofill
- Dark web monitoring
- Free version
- Isn't very cheap
|Cloud storage:||1–5 GB|
|Browser plugins:||Chrome, Brave, Firefox, Edge|
As you could guess from their name, 1Password aims to create one password solution for all your other passwords. Yet, this password manager does so much more besides keeping them safely locked away.
First of all, you can have multiple vaults with different credentials and different permissions. Though, in practice, it works like many password manager's folder sharing options. If you're frequently traveling, you can activate travel mode. It's a feature that removes access to some vaults for some family members that could expose their vaults when in transit. This can be relevant if you're passing high-censorship areas.
There are more simple quality of life additions, too. Their browser extension recognizes address, payment information fields and gives suggestions from a dropdown list. This saves a lot of time from your registration time, leaving fewer obstacles to having a separate account.
If any of your emails or password got exposed in a data leak, there's a Watchtower to warn you about it. You can learn about the security of the website and whether your passwords are safe enough.
1Password uses AES 256-bit encryption to lock your data out for everyone who doesn't know your master password. This also includes their staff, so they won't be able to reset your password if you forget it.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 24/7 email support
- No free version
- No live chat support
4. Keeper – perfect password manager for tinkerers
|Cloud storage:||5 GB|
|Browser plugins:||Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, Internet Explorer|
|Current deal:||Get Keeper, now 30% OFF!|
While Keeper is just as old as Dashlane, it doesn't seem to be that well known. This really isn't justified when we look into the service that they provide.
This password manager adds pretty much everything that you would expect from a quality service. When you add your passwords to the vault, you're told which ones are reused and need to be changed. It also tells you which were detected in data breaches so that you could take appropriate steps.
Keeper offers additional modules that you can buy separately to enhance your experience. Though, you can fully ignore them and not lose too much. This allows you to cut down the price if you don't feel like you need to have every feature included. The possible add-ons are data breach monitoring, secure messaging app, and deleted passwords recovery.
In terms of security, Keeper doesn't disappoint, either. It's advertised as a zero-knowledge service. Your vault is encrypted locally with the AES-256 bit cipher. Plus, Keeper went through a couple of audits and added a vulnerability disclosure program. All of this contributes to their transparency, which is great news for the end-user, as well.
- Highly customizable
- Private messaging app
- Deleted password recovery
- 24/7 live chat customer support
- No free version
- Few export options
5. Enpass – one of the most flexible password managers
|Browser plugins:||Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi|
|Current deal:||Get Enpass, now 25% OFF!|
While Enpass is a very minimalist password manager, it's a case where less is more. It's one of the best password managers whether you're looking for cross-platform capabilities or simply planning to use it offline.
Like many similar tools, Enpass can include any number of vaults. You can
name them separately and store different sets of credentials there. This not
only helps to be tidier but also increases your overall safety, as you can set up passwords per vaults.
While its approach is pretty lightweight, Enpass also includes a password generator and auditor. It even places your bad passwords into categories like Pwned or Weak. This is a quite entertaining way to force you to take action against your compromised credentials.
Let's not forget that Enpass can hold not only your passwords. The service can also save your payment cards, addresses, and contact information. If you're tech-savvy, you can also store data templates and web hosts.
Needless to say, Enpass doesn't leave your data safety to chance. It uses a 256-bit AES cipher for the first layer and SQLCipher for the second. To make getting into your account even harder, you can add multi-factor authentication. That pretty much makes your vault impenetrable.
- Cloud or self-hosted
- Data is additionally protected with SQLCipher
- Two-factor authentication
- Password generator
- Limited free version
- Mobile apps are paid-only
6. RoboForm – decent tool for users on a budget
|Browser plugins:||Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera|
|Current deal:||Get RoboForm, save up to 42%!|
RoboForm can be best compared to freeze-dried rations given to the troops in the front lines during World War II. It may not be the best meal, but it does serve a specific function. Similarly, RoboForm might not be the best-looking app you'll use, but it nails down everything essential for a password manager.
No matter what's your subscription plan, you can store an unlimited amount of passwords and form information. It offers a range of templates that you can fill out once, to later have RoboForm fill them out when you're registering. Sadly, this doesn't apply to document storage – RoboForm provides no option to store important files.
Though, it's not all bad news. RoboForm does include a password generator, and it assesses your credentials for weak or compromised passwords. Like with many password managers, you can also share your credentials via email, provided that the recipient also uses RoboForm.
Your vault will be secured with an AES-256 bit cipher, which is a de-facto standard for modern cryptography. After encryption, it's possible to store it locally or upload it to the RoboForm cloud. This gives you more flexibility than you'll likely find. However, it also depends on whether you want to tinker around with settings.
- Self-hosted or cloud-hosted
- Password sharing
- No live chat support for free users
- Can't completely disable reminders to manually sync
7. LastPass – safe and versatile suite
|Cloud storage:||1 GB|
|Browser plugins:||Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Edge, Edge Legacy|
LastPass name is another spin of an idea that the only password that you'll ever need is the one for your password manager. Which may not be that far from the truth.
You can access your passwords online or offline. There are no restrictions. Premium users are also getting 1 GB of file storage for their important documents or scans. In a nutshell, LastPass will have no problems keeping your passwords, notes, payment information, or any other sensitive data.
Then, there are opportunities to make access to LastPass even safer. While most services are adding 2FA, with LastPass, you can have multiple-factor authentication. You can add additional verification steps on top of 2FA. While this elaborate method can backfire, it makes the chance that someone will gain access to your vault very slim.
There are features like password generator, and their security challenge. The latter goes through your vault and finds which password you should change as soon as possible.
The service uses AES-256-bit encryption to secure your vault. It would take millions of years to brute force your private key, so you can rest assured that even when the world looks like it's taken from the episode of the Jetsons, your data will still be safe.
- Powerful free version
- Plenty of browser extensions
- Easily customizable
- No live chat or phone support
- No anonymous payments
- Was hacked
8. RememBear – the password manager with the best design on the market
|Browser plugins:||Chrome, Firefox, and Safari|
RememBear is one of the most casual-friendly password managers. So, if you're looking for a tool for a Mac user who isn't too tech-savvy, it's a perfect find.
This service ditches highly technical and lifeless menus to something more colorful and with many cute renderings of bears. This unique approach is something that makes RememBear stand out from its competition. Never has a password manager been so pretty to look at.
despite its light-hearted approach, they do provide a decent service. Their
browser extension takes care of all the essentials: generates new passwords and auto-fills them when you're browsing. It also has Safari
support, so you won't have to change your browsing habits.
There are some additions like Backup Kit. It works as an emergency measure to get into your vault with a new device key that you can print out or save elsewhere. Just like with their competition, you can become locked out of your vault if you lose it.
The tool can be criticized for the lack of features like breach monitoring. It won't be able to share passwords between the users securely. There's also no encrypted storage, it's only for passwords.
Though, safety-wise, it uses the same 256-bit AES cipher to seal your vault. It's just as strong for keeping it safe.
- Unlimited password storage
- Master password recovery
- Few import options
- Free version is a lackluster
- No anonymous payment options
How we selected and tested these password managers
While there isn't too much to test with password managers, there are still a couple of things that you should consider when choosing one. Here's what we focused on when separating the best ones from the not-so-great ones.
- Encryption. The minimum bar of entry is AES 256-bit cipher, which is considered unbreakable. Though the service is using something more advanced or harder to break, it's a definite upside that increases its place in the list.
- Additional features. Basic password manager functions aren't something worth of spotlight. However, some developers add functions that complement the basic features set. This is definitely worth your attention and adds more value to your purchase.
- Multi-factor authentication. It's never a bad idea to add several layers of protection, especially when talking about a vault that holds all your other credentials. If you're on iOS, you can conveniently use confirmations via Apple Watch or FaceID.
- Ease of use. Whether it's importing your vault from a different password manager or generating and storing passwords, your experience should be fluid. If it's not, you might want to look for other password managers.
- Apps and browser extensions. You should be able to take your passwords no matter what combination of devices you're using. For that, you need the widest possible array of extensions and devices.
- Price. Money doesn't grow on trees, so you should be picky when choosing the password manager. Don't just go with the most expensive, believing that you're also getting the best product. There are some amazing opportunities to get the best value for the lowest price.
- Customer support. While most providers won't retrieve your password, that doesn't mean that you should forget about customer support altogether. If you want to make the most out of your tool, you'll need guides. In some cases, a consultation with a customer support agent might be useful, as well.
Why do I need a password manager for macOS?
Since iCloud Keychain is such a vital part of the Apple ecosystem, using a third-party password manager might seem redundant. However, third-party password managers can do more things than the one that you've got built-in.
First of all, iCloud Keychain works only for passwords. Its UI will be a pretty generic vault, where your passwords are added when you're browsing. With third-party providers, you can add fill-in information, payment information, and files. This greatly extends the scope of how the tool can be used.
Secondly, if you have at least one non-Apple device, Keychain access is off-limits to you. Third-party password managers work cross-platforms to have a macOS app and an Android app with the same vaults. This makes it easy to pick up where you left off, even when switching devices with no loss for productivity.
Finally, if you want, you can avoid your data being stored in the cloud altogether. Most password managers are completely fine with you self-hosting or accessing your data in offline mode. So, if you're looking for hackproof solutions, keeping your vault off the grid in an encrypted form might be one of the safest ways to protect your credentials.
Is it safe to use a password manager on Mac?
While the idea of a password manager might sound like putting all your eggs in one basket, it's actually a much safer approach.
Creating and remembering a unique password for all your accounts is no small task. That's why most people simply use the same password everywhere. This puts them at risk when data breaches happen, as the same email/password combo can be used to get into other accounts.
A password manager lets you use a unique password for every one of your accounts, with an autofill that you don't have to type in. It's a much safer solution, and your data is encrypted. So, even if someone retrieved the encrypted blob of your vault, it would still take them a million years to get it open.
What is the best free password manager for Mac?
A case could be made that for some users, a free password manager could be good enough. While it's true that most password managers are available for free, you don't want to keep your most important credentials in an insecure location.
On the other hand, some premium password manager providers also have free versions that you can get with no risk involved. Surely, they may have all kinds of restrictions and don't include all the features. Though, the benefit is that you're getting a reliable and safe tool for free.
If you're serious about your usage and want to use the same password manager on multiple devices, it's best to pick a paid password manager provider. That way, you'll be getting the most features and versatility out of it. Our list of the best password managers for Mac should help you out.
While iCloud Keychain may be an okay solution, that doesn't mean that it couldn't use of some improvements. A dedicated third-party password manager can solve most of them, and add additional benefits for your cybersecurity.
With these best password managers for the Mac list, you'll now have an easier time choosing which service to pick. There's something for everyone, and depending on your preferences, you can choose the one that would work best for you.
Still, if you have any questions left, don't hesitate to ask them in the comment section below.
Other password manager reviews from CyberNews
Dashlane vs 1Password: which is better for you?
NordPass vs LastPass: is there a winner?
LastPass vs 1Password: choosing the best out of the two
What is the best password manager for Mac?
Based on our reviews, NordPass seems to be the best password manager for macOS. It provides easy-to-use applications with browser extensions that are compatible with Safari.
Do you need a password manager on a Mac?
While Macs get a built-in password manager, using a dedicated one can give you a much better experience. Plus, it doesn't lock you into the Mac ecosystem, giving you more flexibility.
Does Apple have a built-in password manager?
Yes, every Apple device comes with an iCloud Keychain. This serves as a built-in password manager for Apple devices.