Bitwarden Browser Extension Prompts OS X Password

When I open my Bitwarden extension in Firefox, it prompts OS X to request to input my OS account password. However, if I only put in my Bitwarden password, my Bitwarden vault unlocks but the OS password prompt remains (without inputting the OS password). This persists until I either needlessly input my OS X password or click “cancel”.

This is frustrating as I have a persistent window that I need to either prompt to disappear or enter a password. Please advise if there are additional changes I must make to eliminate this prompt. I will gladly do so.

Browser: Firefox 103.0
Bitwarden Extension: 2022.6.1
OS: OS X 12.5 (21G72)


Hello @dk192837465 - welcome to the Bitwarden community.

I have used Bitwarden in Firefox on MacOS for years and never encountered this behaviour. Very strange. It sounds like an OS issue, though - have you looked for entries in Keychain tha might be causing this? If so, deleting them may restore the expected behaviour.

The only associated entry in Keychain Manager is Bitwarden_biometric.

Perhaps this is related to using my Macbook Pro in clamshell mode, where it prompts for the fingerprint? Without access to the fingerprint reader, maybe it is prompting me for my OS password? Either way, this is not ideal behavior.

I would try disabling biometrics in the extension, logout of Bitwarden, then quit Firefox entirely, then go into the Bitwarden Desktop App and uncheck “Enable Browser Extension” in the settings, the re-enable it, then re-open Firefox, login to Bitwarden, and re-enable biometrics. That should reset things in case something got corrupted in your profile.

If that doesn’t work, you could also try enabling Unlock with PIN in the extension instead of biometrics and see if the prompts change. That will at least isolate whether or not the behaviour is associated with biometric unlocking.

Let us know how you make out, and if you still can’t get it, can you post a screenshot of the unexpected prompt you are seeing? Thanks.

I’m experiencing something bizarre. I disabled biometrics in the browser extension and desktop app. Upon relaunching the desktop app, the option for biometrics is not present. I’m assuming this again is the result of my MBP being in clamshell mode. I was able to relaunch Bitwarden with the computer open, and the option was again present.

You are correct, when biometrics are not enabled, the prompt is not present. I am curious to see if there is a way to query the OS to determine if the machine is in clamshell mode to prevent this prompt from being launched.

OS X Prompt

I think you are seeing the standard ‘Unlock’ dialog here. I believe it pops up anytime the vault has been locked and you try to use Bitwarden again. If you specify a PIN code to unlock or you use Biometrics to unlock, you will see a different dialog appear that is specific to those methods.

You can test this by setting up a PIN code to unlock. Then remove it again.

I would also check your lock settings - it may be that by putting the MacBook in clamshell mode, it triggers a sleep-wake cycle, which might automatically lock the browser extension, depending your Vault Timeout settings (I am not sure about this, as I was unable to reproduce the behaviour on my MacBook).

Please let us know how you make out!

This behavior only occurs when “Unlock with biometrics” is enabled in the browser. If I disable it, the prompt does not appear. If “Unlock with biometrics” is enabled and I use a PIN, the prompt still appears.

I’m assuming that the OS is prompting for an OS password as a fallback for the inability to prompt for Touch ID, which I imagine would also happen if the sensor was disconnected or broken. I think this is standard behavior for the OS for peripherals it cannot find or connect to: if you try to open Photo Booth while in clamshell mode with no other webcams enabled, the OS cannot find that peripheral. That’s why I’m curious as to whether the there is a way to query whether the machine is in clamshell or if the Touch ID sensor is unavailable, and not prompt for an OS password at all. I’d prefer not to have to toggle biometrics off when I’m docked, and then toggle it back on otherwise.

I hope I’m not misunderstanding your suggestions – I’d gladly take a correction if it alleviates this problem!

I can make the dialog appear after disabling biometrics, so there is something different between our systems, apparently. But I’ll admit, I did not try it in clamshell mode, so that could definitely be the issue.

I suggest you just reach out to the Bitwarden support team and see if they can help:

Support directed me to another post regarding this same issue, feel free to upvote it so this issue can be addressed!

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