By Dan Moren
July 15, 2020 11:21 AM PT
Quick Tip: Easily share stored passwords via AirDrop
Note: This story has not been updated since 2020.
Yes, you should keep your password secret and secure as much as possible. That said, almost all of us have people in our lives who we’d like to share a login with, whether it’s a partner with whom we’ve pooled our newspaper subscriptions or a roommate with whom we share a streaming service.
But we also want to maintain good password hygiene by using complex, unique passwords for all our logins, hopefully with the help of a password manager. And that can make it tricky to share passwords, since it often either means sending them over another medium (hopefully one that’s encrypted, such as an iMessage) or using a low-tech method like just reading them to the other person and hoping they don’t accidentally make a typo or you don’t mistake a zero for the letter O.
Fortunately, Apple’s got a clever way to make sharing passwords easy. On your iOS device, go to Settings > Passwords & Accounts > Website & App Passwords1 and look for the login that you want to share.
Once you’re viewing the password, tap and hold the username or password and you’ll see a popover appear with options to Copy and AirDrop. Tap AirDrop and you’ll get the standard UI, which will let you send it to another device nearby. When that user accepts it, it will automatically be added to their stored passwords, meaning that the next time they go to log in to that service, it will be autofilled.
Even better: this works not only with iPhones and iPads, but also with Macs. If you AirDrop a password to a Mac, it’ll open it in Safari and add it to your AutoFill passwords there. Likewise, if you go into Safari > Preferences > Passwords and select a login, you’ll see that there’s a Share button there as well, to let you AirDrop the login to another device.
So you can make your passwords as complex as you want and maintain your security, all while sharing them with the other people in your life who might need access to them—well, as long as they’re using Apple devices, anyway.
- Or, much simplified on the iOS 14 beta, Settings > Passwords. ↩
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at @firstname.lastname@example.org or reach him by email at email@example.com. His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]
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