Google Rolls Out Password Sharing Feature in Chrome Canary for Family Group Members

  • 15-11-2023 |
  • Jennifer Village

Google Chrome is enhancing user experience by rolling out the ability to securely share passwords within family groups, a feature that has been in the works since August. In the Canary 121 iteration of Google's browser, those who venture into the Chrome flags section can now activate a password-sharing capability with members of their Google family group.

To tap into this new feature, users need to first enable it through the chrome://flags/#password-sharing flag on both their own browser and the browsers of the intended recipients within their family group. Following this activation, a "Share" button becomes visible next to each entry within the Google Password Manager. Clicking on this button pulls up a list of family members, allowing password sharing with those who have also enabled the feature.

When a password is shared, the sender sees an on-screen banner indicating the ongoing transfer. A follow-up message confirms the successful sharing and the user is prompted to instruct the family member to visit the corresponding website to utilize the shared credentials. While the recipient won’t receive a notification or email regarding the new addition, the updated Google Password Manager will include the password, and a tooltip on the relevant site will inform them that the new login details are ready for use.

However, some aspects of the feature require careful consideration. Password sharing is a single event — any later changes to the password by the original owner won't automatically sync to the family member's end. Furthermore, there’s no current mechanism to withdraw a shared password, and recipients are free to alter the credentials with custom notes or new passwords and usernames at their discretion. To share several passwords, users need to go through the sharing process on an individual basis.

Compared to other password managers like 1Password, which allows you to instantly share entire vaults or folders of credentials, Google's approach may seem less convenient. 1Password even offers credential sharing with non-users through secure methods.

Nonetheless, Google's advancement in password sharing is an encouraging step, providing a foundation for a more integrated and secure method of managing digital credentials within families. As the tech industry moves towards broader adoption of passkeys that defy plain-text sharing, offering intuitive and secure sharing solutions is becoming paramount. Evidence of Google's efforts can be traced back to February 2022, and as technology evolves, tools like these will play a pivotal role in maintaining online security and usability.