Emergency access

I would also like to echo the importance of this feature. I am in the process of moving over from LastPass and this is really the only stumbling block for me.

I also share the concerns that this has been asked for since Jan 2017 (on Github) and keeps moving down the priority list it seems.

I hope to see this feature pushed out soon so I can fully convert to Bitwarden.


It is a very great feature. It is the only thing I miss from Lastpass

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This is going to be very helpful!

Thanks for the confirmation that this is still on the 2020 roadmap. This is my number one feature that’s currently missing from Bitwarden.

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Thanks! Hopefully I’ll die in 2021 or after


Thanks for publishing the roadmap👍. It clearly states the ETA as the end of 2020.
See here:


Several suggestions in this thread are acceptable. As long as the Bitwarden organization does not have the capacity to unlock your password database in any shape or form (other than by pushing out a rogue client), I am OK with this feature. To do this, the keys must remain with the user and the emergency recipients.

Note that granting access to non-Bitwarden users who possess no secret keys would NOT be possible with a secure approach if the server manages the recovery process. At a bare minimum, the recipient needs a secret key on a piece of paper. Other approaches, such as a private key stored in the recipient’s Bitwarden account, can also be implemented securely.

(After some more thought, it would be possible to implement this in a less secure manner as long as it is completely opt-in. If this is the case, whatever recovery key is used should be generated on the client side, not the server side, and it should not be derivable on the server side. Clients that have not opted in to this feature would simply not generate the recovery key, and of course these opt-out clients would never send any private key to the Bitwarden servers.)

Edited to remove incorrect information about LastPass.

One amazing feature would be to allow premium members ONLY to store their public GPG/PGP key and then the BW export would automatically encrypt to their unique key. Simple as can be, and it would assure nobody can effectively pick off your database in transit — EVER. It would also automatically place it on your computer/tablet as a secure encrypted package.

Speaking from the businessman side of the house: this addition would likely greatly increase Premium membership, where WE pay the freight around here. My .02

See here for details on how it works with LastPass: https://support.logmeininc.com/lastpass

The private key is encrypted with the public key of the chosen emergency contact. They can’t use it unlock your vault any more than they could unlock the emergency contact’s own vault.

Thanks for the correction, it looks like I was misinformed. In any case Bitwarden should strive for at least this level of security.

In the meantime, you can always split your master password into 2 or more pieces and share each piece with 1 or more trusted people. Now they can’t get into your vault unless enough of them agree to reveal their piece of the password, which they would (hopefully) only do in an emergency.

I dip in here occasionally to see if any progress for the emergency access feature…which is an absolute must for me! I’m still with LastPass, but would otherwise move.

I’d be interested to know what other password managers etc currently offer some form of EMERGENCY ACCESS type features.

The only 2 I’m aware of are:

I was using Securesafe as ‘failsafe’ incase LastPass didn’t work…but the combination need to reduce costs and the clunky UI made me drop Securesafe and I now rely on my family to remember to use Lastpass…!

I manage cloud a/c’s for several small biz customers, I need an easier method to pass on ket cloud info to them in the event of my being incapacitated or worse…so granular access for a non BW user is preferred.
…keeping my fingers crossed for an elegant solution for the guys at BW…! I’m confident the investment in time/effort would make the product a game-changer for many/all …

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The good news is it is on the roadmap, so soon™.


Password Boss has the Emergency Access feature. It allows you to select which item to give access to or the entire account. This is necessary to limit emergency access.

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Giving someone access to an account is easy. In fact it’s so easy that companies actively try to prevent the wrong people from accessing accounts, and still fail. What’s difficult is giving someone access to an account that you don’t have access to. Bitwarden is zero knowledge. If they could give access to someone, they could give access to anyone.

The issue is how to allow the account owner to give access to someone else, when the account owner is unable to grant access.

Glad to see this added to the roadmap. This feature is essential.

oh please, one of some reason I move to BW because they don’t have this feature. please don’t do that.

Hi, we meanwhile arrived in Q3. Is there any update to share? Is this planned as X-mass present for the users… hope do still planned in 2020?

Definitely still coming!!


Hi all, just a quick update that we’ve got this going into planning/design as of tomorrow, our engineering team will be discussing through it and hopefully development will start shortly (within the next week). Once we’ve solidified the approach from all of the feedback, use cases, etc. we’ll likely have a “PoC on Paper” to share. As far as when it’ll be complete/delivered, haha, most of you should know better when it comes to software development :wink: but we’re still shooting for this year.

Thanks for keeping everyone abreast Trey!