Exporting passwords from multiple Chrome profiles (to LastPass, ChromePass, et. al.)

Update 1 at the end.

Note: this post applies to multiple utilities with this use case, such as NirSoft’s ChromePass and LastPass. This also applies only to Windows (though it may have similarities to workarounds for other OSes). Finally, BEWARE: this involves carefully fiddling with some folder names. There be dragons!

So, I recently decided to look at better password solutions than what the various browsers afford. I looked at KeePass, RoboForm and LastPass. Your mileage may vary, but for now I’m trying out LastPass.

In the course of this I stumbled on the fact that it’s surprisingly cumbersome to import passwords from Chrome (a browser I’ve come to like but which is at times cryptic). I ended up  turning to NirSoft’s ChromePass in an attempt to get the passwords exported from Chrome for later import. That failed, in the same way LastPass failed: it was happy to import one set of passwords only, no matter which Chrome profile was active. Note that the Windows login is the SAME in each case, thus there are multiple Chrome profiles visible at once.

Turns out, the only profile ChromePass, LastPass and others ever refer to for password data is:
C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

If you have multiple profiles you’ve used under this Windows login, you will have folders such as:
C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default
C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1
C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2
etc.

However, if you’ve removed and re-added profiles you may not even HAVE a profile folder called “Default” here! (Resulting in an empty password list when you attempt to use LastPass or ChromePass to get to them.)

Thus, if your current Chrome login happens to be in that profile folder, you’ll get the info from that, but if you have another Chrome login (or for other reasons no longer have the Default profile folder) you’d be outta luck – until now.

What to do? It’s surprisingly simple! If what you see when importing or exporting passwords is NOT what you expect to see (that is, you are seeing the Default profile only), do this:

  • Close Chrome (clear your cache first – always a good idea)
  • Temporarily rename the profile of interest to “Default” by renaming its folder accordingly (if Default already exists, rename it to something else temporarily before doing this). You may exercise some trial and error for multiple profiles.
  • Now, do what you need to do – whatever profile is in a folder called “Default” is the one that’ll open up in your utility/plugin. You can open Chrome and import passwords to LastPass, leave Chrome closed and use ChromePass to dump your passwords, etc.
  • Done? Close Chrome!
  • Rename the folders back to the way they were

Again, BE CAREFUL! Would that it be simpler, but at least it works. Hope you find this helpful! 🙂

PS: When importing passwords to LastPass from Firefox or Chrome do be careful: I’ve already run into cases where not all passwords get imported. It’s a bit of a pain, but it should be worth the benefit of being better organized.

UPDATE 1: While this worked for ChromePass, LastPass (as a browser extension) can be a little more tricky: after renaming the Default profile (if necessary), COPY the profile of interest to a folder named “Default”. THEN open Chrome, do your import to LastPass, close Chrome, and remove the copy you made. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.