Add essential keyboard shortcuts & navigation

Taken from Keyboard shortcuts / hotkeys · Issue #26 · bitwarden/desktop · GitHub. Please comment if I forgot anything.

At the moment there are nearly no keyboard shortcuts defined and keyboard navigation does not work at all.

  • Navigate items with arrow keys (optionally also with VI like j/k navigation)
  • Copy login and password from selected item
  • Edit item
  • Save and cancel (while editing)
  • Generate password from entry (a variant which uses the current settings to generate the password and automatically stores it without even showing the popup would be even better)
  • Focus menu tree (types, folders, …) and item list

Nice to have:

  • Ctrl+U to delete the text in front of the cursor (this is a standard feature on Linux for single line text entries and should really exist on all platforms - at least as an option)
  • Being able to configure the shortcuts in a config file (support for keyboard layouts which have j/k keys in other places)

I’d like to add to this one based on the related github issue #361:

There, a proposed keyboard navigation workflow was something like:

  1. User defined keyboard shortcut to open the extension (this already exists).
  2. On the extension, the default focus is search (this is already done as well).
  3. Pressing UP/DOWN should navigate the items list (the first item should automatically be highlighted)
  4. Pressing ENTER on an item should visit the site (or autofill if already open)
  5. Pressing RIGHT on an item should open the details pane for that item.
  6. Pressing ESC should close the popup.

On the details page:

  1. Pressing UP/DOWN should navigate the items for that entry.
  2. Pressing ENTER on an item should copy the value to clipboard.
  3. Pressing LEFT should navigate back to the search pane.
  4. Pressing ESC should close the popup.

I’d like to increase the visibility of this request as I believe it would be extremely useful to many people. To be honest, this is my most sorely “missing” feature since leaving Lastpass. I used to navigate Lastpass entirely by keyboard, and it was very quick and efficient. Now I have to constantly grab my mouse to open the logins I want.

If all the ideas mentioned above are too much to implement at once, let me suggest at a minimum:

After pressing Ctrl-Shift-Y to open the extension and typing a search term, PLEASE allow me to use UP/DOWN the arrows to select a login and press ENTER to open the site. Then I could use Ctrl-Shift-L to fill the login and wouldn’t have to touch the mouse for MOST day-to-day authentication tasks.
I have multiple logins for several sites (me or my wife, or home/work, …) and pressing Ctrl-Shift-L a couple of times to reach the one I want would be FAR simpler than having to mouse around and click what I want.


I very strongly agree with this.

Much as I like the ethos of BW, and some of its features, I am seriously considering reverting to LP for reasons of usability. I’ve been relying on BW for a few months now, so this is not a knee-jerk reaction, but a serious assessment of overall UI functionality.

Applies to both browser extension and Android app. I also haven’t detected any significant enhancement updates during this time.


As mentioned here.

While this is not implemented I’d like to share that it’s possible to copy passwords by tabbing into the search bar, filtering down, selecting your wanted item, tab to the copy password icon and pressing the enter key on your keyboard.

Yes, it’s possible to reach the various icons via keyboard but just copying a password takes at least 10 keypresses. Using that as a workaround is infuriating (I’ve tried…). But if your mouse is broken or missing, it’s an option.

That said, I’ve considered writing an AutoHotkey script to automate the multiple keypresses to grab a password but haven’t done so yet. To be honest, I figured this feature request would be addressed more quickly.

Having keyboard access is essential to accessibility for the disabled.


My main wish for a keyboard shortcut is to ‘open the vault’ so I can quickly go to a saved site. Failing that it would be nice to have a setting so that the vault was the default view in the dropdown.

@perkin5, at least on Chrome/PC, Ctrl-Shift-Y should open the extension, and then you can immediately type to search your vault (perhaps you meant something different?).

The PROBLEM is that once you have found something in this way, there is no simple way to select/launch it except by hitting Tab a bunch of times to highlight the icon you want to select. That’s (among other things) what this thread is about.

This remains my biggest frustration with bitwarden. By vote count, the most important feature requests are things like “vault modification history” and “detect password changes”. But I honestly believe that a proper implementation of some basic keyboard shortcuts would have a much greater daily impact on users.

I really miss how quickly I could get around in Lastpass, mouse-free.

Although it shouldn’t have to be the reason for pushing this forward, @bit makes a good point about the need for keyboard navigation from an accessibility viewpoint.

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Agree with everything you say but I was thinking, short of that, a simple opening of the vault would help. Searching is a way but if you count the key depressions it’s not that efficient.

I guess I really don’t understand what you mean. Which vault are you talking about? Perhaps you can describe how to get to what you’re talking about using mouse. I don’t understand how you can get to an entry in your vault faster than Ctrl-Shift-Y then typing the first character or two of what you want. That is your vault, isn’t it??

OK, here’s an example: I want to get to a website whose name begins with FVS so what do I do?
Ctrl-Shift-Y, then F (which finds nothing), then V (and it pops up), then Tab, then I click the Launch button, by which time my fingers are sore! What I want is a hotkey to pop open my favourites and then a click the Launch button of the one I want.

I guess a hotkey to get to a favourites list might be handy, but if the navigation scheme suggested here were adopted I don’t know if it would really be much faster for anything. Using your example, I’d want to just be able to do:

Ctrl-Shift-Y, F, V, <Enter>

That’s 4 keystrokes, and NO mouse clicks, and the same workflow works whether a site is a favourite or not. It’s the way I used to navigate Lastpass. My muscle memory is still programmed and ready to go…just need the feature to be implemented. :slight_smile:

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That would do for me!

I’d love to see an evolution of keyboard usage within the browser plugin (and desktop).

One such improvement might be using ESC as a backout key, seeing as it is used in many other apps.

ie. if i open browser extension with CTRL+SHIFT+Y and don’t see what I am after, in a single keystroke -ESC - I can get back to browsing … and far more natural/easier than CTRL+SHIFT+Y to close the extension.

EDIT: Of course I see that by default the first field in focus when the extension loads is the search field, so I appreciate the ESC key may not work because of that.

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:+1: for having an auto-fill shortcut

It would be great to have a few basic shortcuts in the desktop version:
Ctrl+B - Copy username
Ctrl+C - Copy password
Ctrl+T - Copy TOTP
Ctrl+U - Copy URL


I’d like to add another key here for macOS:

CMD - to display passwords for as long CMD is pressed

1Password does use that and I dit use it a lot. Missing it now with Bitwarden.

I’ve created a smaller scoped feature that focuses only on copying username, password, totp and URL, issue #3176. My goal was to make it digestible in a short period of time for the product team and developers, if you’re interested I’d appreciate your votes.