Wow, I’m so glad to see Windows Hello Biometrics ship after three years, but gosh, is it tedious with many extraneous, repeated prompts (an unfortunate trend now).
Bitwarden now requires 4 clicks from boot to an unlocked browser.
- Windows boots.
- Bitwarden.exe launches Windows Hello prompt, forcing an unlock on boot. Click OK. (+1)
- You open your browser. The Bitwarden extension is still locked (ha! little did you know you only unlocked the system app in step 2!). You click the extension. (+1)
- You click “unlock with biometrics” instead of typing in your master password. (+1)
- You click “OK” to unlock. (+1, unavoidable)
These are way too many prompts and can be significantly reduced for users that only use the extension.
- Fix #1: In Bitwarden.exe, allow us to not be forced to unlock at boot (it only unlocks the system app; the extension is not unlocked because the browser is not open; an unfortunately frivolous unlock).
- Fix #2: When clicking a locked Bitwarden icon with biometrics enabled, the extension should automatically send the Windows Hello prompt. It is our first choice. We should not need to hit “unlock with biometrics”.
- Fix #3: When browsing the web, a shortcut that triggers autofill (aka ctrl+shift+L) should automatically open the Windows Hello prompt and then autofill the login on the current page.
This, then, can turn into a single click affair.
- Turn on the computer. No prompts. Hooray!
- Open the browser. No prompts. Hooray!
- Use keyboard shortcut to trigger the extension OR click the locked extension icon. (+1, optional).
- Click “OK” on the Windows Hello prompt (+1, required).
For those that use keyboard shortcuts, this saves a lot of time and nuisance. Repeated prompts, especially ones on boot, are a tad annoying and this one is useless for extension-only users.
Biometric users are forced to install the system app: don’t force us to unlock that on boot, when the browser & extension aren’t even open.