Bitwarden encrypted backup file

I always backup my bitwarden account to a .json file (encrypted). Suppose if one day Bitwarden dies or its cloud has a problem, how can I access all my account and passwords ? Thanks

You cannot. Unless you are using the Web Vault to create your backups, and then choose the “File Type” “Password-Protected” (after selecting the “.json encrypted” file format), then your encrypted exports will be useless if you lose access to your online Bitwarden account for any reason (or if you ever “rotate” the account’s encryption key).

1 Like

I only use mobile app to export encrypted .json backup. So u said I just do nothing, right ?
In short, I have to use my computer browser and go to the web vault then choose the “File Type” “Password-Protected” to export ?

If your using the mobile app then the backup can only be loaded back to your existing BW account.
@grb refers to the additional option “password protected” only available on the web vault

1 Like

Damn. That’s terrible that I am always confident that if I backup from the mobile app, I will always be able to access my account. Damnnnnnnn

Yeah if I lose access to my bitwarden account (the one where I backed up the file), then that backup file becomes completely useless, right?

Yes. It can only be re-imported to the Bitwarden account that generated the encrypted export file.
PS I don’t use it for that reason.

1 Like

Damn. Thank u so much for helping me understand the process
In short, I should just do export from web vault (with password protected), right? If I can’t log in or lose my Bitwarden account, I can still import all the account information to another account easily ?

Yes, if you use the “password-protected” file type in the Web Vault export section, you can import that file into a new Bitwarden account later, or even decrypt it outside of Bitwarden (using third-party tools) if you need to import its contents into a different password manager app. Of course, you need to know the password that you chose for the file. And it won’t help to store that password inside your Bitwarden vault, because if you need the backup in a situation where you have lost access to your Bitwarden account, then you won’t be able to look up the password for the password-protected export. Therefore, you should write down your backup file password on your Emergency Sheet.

Alternatively, on your mobile app, you could choose the option to export your data as an unencrypted .csv or .json file. These unencrypted exports can always be imported into a new Bitwarden account in the future (or into a different password manager app). However, one problem with this is that having unencrypted exports of your vault contents on your device is not very secure.

1 Like

Can I import encrypted .json file (password-protected) into another password manager ? or I have to decrypt it first ?

If the other password manager has an import tool for password-protected Bitwarden exports, then you can just import it directly. I don’t know if any other password managers support such imports (yet), but it would be very straightforward to implement, so I expect this will be possible in the future if not already available. It certainly would make for a reasonable feature request, if the other password manager product has a way for users to suggest new features.

If the other password manager app cannot import password-protected Bitwarden exports directly, then you would first have to decrypt your backup, which would convert it to an unencrypted .json file. If Bitwarden no longer exists (i.e., if you cannot create a new Bitwarden account to import the password-protected export and re-export it in an unencrypted format), then there are currently two third-party tools available that can decrypt a Password-Protected .Bitwarden export:

1 Like

Thank u so much !!!

So this is my case :

  • If I wanna stay with Bitwarden : export encrypted file with password protected
  • If I wanna move to other pwd manager : export .json file straight from mobile app
    is that right ? :grin:

You may be making a decision to leave Bitwarden and move to another password manager if you have lost access to your Bitwarden account at some point in the future. If that’s the case, you would probably no longer be able to make a .json export from the mobile app.

So just make the password protected exports from the Web Vault. This will give you the flexibility to decide later on if you want to stay with Bitwarden or move to another password manager. In addition, it will avoid all of the security risks associated with creating and storing of unencrypted exports.

1 Like

Thank u. Imma go with password protected section :grin::grin::grin: