You forget the password to your password vault. Now what?

It could happen to all of us: you have installed a password manager. It has come up with strong passwords for all you accounts. You have changed all those passwords. But then you forget the main password of your password manager. Now what?


“If you forget your main password, you have a problem”, says Rob Musquetier of IT security company Navaio. “Password managers are so well-secured that even your software supplier cannot help you if that happens. Your main password is the key to your vault. There are password managers that offer alternative ways of access, like your fingerprint. But you have to set that up before you lock the vault." If you have not done that, there is only 1 thing to do if you forget your main password: destroy your vault and start over.


When you install a password manager, also set up a reset method. "Some password managers work with reminders that you can set up yourself. If you forget the password, you will receive that reminder in your email to help you remember the main password", says Kelvin Klijnsma, security expert at KVK. Other password managers provide reset codes. "Do not lose those!", Klijnsma warns.


So how do you remember the main password of your vault? Musquetier gives 2 tips:

  • Use a song you know well for your main password. Choose 1 line from it, and take the first letters of the words of that line to form your password.
  • If you do not rely on your memory, write the password down on paper, and store it in a physical vault. "Make sure the people closest to you know about it. Should you come to pass away, they will still be able to access the main password and your accounts."

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