Csv or json preferred upon import back to BW?

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For now I am going to continue exporting my backups in plain text directly into an encrypted virtual drive. Therefore; I can use/view them independently of the BW vault should the need arise. For some reason I have always exported both csv and json formats (two exports if you will) whenever I do an export.

If a user were to delete their BW vault and then come back with a saved file to import, which of the two formats makes it an easier task? Would either one provide more details to the vault contents? I have always wondered what the answer to this question is!

JSON is the most complete format because we can store objects/properties in a more organized fashion. CSV is an easy import and for basic data it is workable, but JSON is the recommended format for backup/restore :slight_smile:

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I would like to export as plain text, too. How do you do that?

Bitwarden only supports the following formates

  • csv
  • json (Not encrypted)
  • encrypted json
    for more information, please visit help.bitwarden.com
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Of course the thing to plan for is WHERE are you going to store the “plain text” export? For me that is easy because I export directly into an encrypted virtual drive, which I close after getting the export.

What would a plain text export look like as compared to a CSV output?

Like you, I would keep it in an encrypted file for emergencies. It’s easier to read than the csv, and I probably couldn’t read a json at all.


The csv export is plain text. BW allows for the export of csv and json in plain text (unencrypted) formats. BW also offers an encryption json for export.

I don’t know if you ever looked at your csv export but you can easily open it in Libre or Excel and view all your info - passwords, usernames, etc… Of course the security issue is that ANYONE that gets your csv export can view everything too. Therefore if you are going to keep csv you should place it in a secure/encrypted location - my .02

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Thanks. I agree with everything you wrote. :slight_smile:

My comment was in regards to someone asking for a “plain text export”, as I’m not sure what they are envisioning as compared to the CSV export.