Add option to disable automatic vault sync at unlock for Browser and Desktop App

I think it would be great if the sync of the vault would not automatically occur after unlocking the vault. It could still happen automatically by default, but it would be nice to have an option to disable this automatic sync.

The reason why this would be nice, is that in order to reach our private bitwarden server I have to connect to a VPN which is a bit of a hassle. This needs to be done essentially every time I want to retrieve a password from the browser app, since the browser app will automatically lock the vault after a while (one could disable this, but at the cost of diminished security).

When the server is unreachable, passwords which are locally cached are available after a while, but the timeout is long. I would prefer if they were instantly available. I can still manually sync the vault from time to time when I’m in the VPN.

Welcome to the community @bastianbeischer and thank you for the suggestion!

@bastianbeischer I’m not sure if I fully understand your use-case, but it sounds like you are requesting an option to open the Bitwarden client apps in an “off-line mode”, which I think would be an excellent feature.

Such an “off-line mode” would need to suppress not only synchronization of vault data, but also the ping/heartbeat that is sent from the client app to the server on app launch (before unlocking). Such an option could prevent the loss of locally cached vault data if a login session has expired or been deauthorized.

Yes, I think we understood each other :slight_smile:

Basically, the main issues for me is, that if I unlock the vault and want to access one of the passwords, I need to wait forever until the sync request (I assume) in the background times out. Unless I’m connected to the company VPN.

I will point out, that this has become a problem recently, at least in the browser app version. A few months ago I was able to unlock the vault and access my secrets right away in some locally cached form. I assumed an additional “sync vault after unlock” step was added to the code, which doesn’t seem unreasonable, but is impractical when the bitwarden server isn’t reachable.

Interesting. For testing purposes, could you see what happens if you temporarily disconnect your device from the internet (e.g., switching on “Airplane Mode” if connected wirelessly), just before unlocking the vault? Is the delay the same?

Sorry for not following up on this for a long time. A bit of new information: The delay of unretrievable passwords because it is waiting for vault sync after unlock is broken immediately and the password is retrieved right away if I switch to another network connection, or enable another VPN (which does not help to connect to the bitwarden server). So it is not necessary to connect to the “correct VPN”. A change in network config is enough for btwarden client to realize it can’t sync and then the process is aborted and the password is retrieved.

In regards to your question: If I disable networking completely I can unlock the vault right away with out issues. It is just problematic if there is networking / internet connection, but the bitwarden server itself is not reachable (because it is in our company network).

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