✅ Emergency access

For everyone following this thread, I E-mailed Bitwarden Support and this was their response:

I am happy to help. Unfortunately, this feature is not yet available. We will definitely be adding the capability of a “dead man’s switch” soon to Bitwarden but unfortunately, I do not have an ETA I can provide at this time. Please stay tuned to our releases.

Please let us know if there is anything else we can help with.

Kind regards,



Thanks for this update!

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I too Just created an account to give this crucial feature an up vote.:+1:t5:


Also created my account, just to vote. Essential stuff. Build it!

Emergency access feature is essential before I’d move away from Lastpass.
I have set up for family to access my a/c in case of need, but what I also need is ability to grant granular access to specific logins as I’m a one man band and manage various a/c’s etc for clients, when I pop my clogs they will need to gain access to certain info I hold… I think Dashlane have a similar feature as do Securesafe but their product is very clunky…

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Instead of giving full access in an emergency, maybe offer an option to share specific items (like an emergency file).

We would also need various options to fine-tune the desired behaviour, like waiting periods, a chain of contacts, etc…


Emergency access would fit nicely with my other feature request for “Share a password for 1 time reading + link expiration”.

Please look at Share a password for 1 time reading + link expiration and vote for it too.

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This is currently the top voted feature.


I thought one of the KeePass implementations had this feature, but I can’t find it anymore. It worked like this: the Emergency contact could request access which triggers the system to send an email to the owner. If the owner didn’t respond within, a owner defined (Hours, Days, Weeks, etc…), time frame the system would provide a temporary, one time use, password to the emergency contact. Therefore you would know if they were trying to access it outside of an emergency and could deny the request.

I would absolutely like to a see something like this implemented.

They can’t send a password that they don’t know. BW will not store any secrets on their system.

LastPass requires the other party to have an account because the other secret is the other account.

Depending on how paranoid you are, just remember that unless that other person is your spouse, a judge can order your friend/family to request emergency access while they have you locked away in jail. /tinfoilhat

If there was no time to implement this, now is the right time.

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Initially overlooked the reply but there seems to be progress on this now! :+1:



Please, this is the time to implement this feature. We are all in the middle of a pandemia crisis, I have seen people going from sane to dead in a week’s time.
I don’t want my wife and family to have problems managing our finances if I’d be passing away.


Yes, I believe this pandemic situation is making people re-think their plans for their survivors.

Coincidentally, I got a life-threatening medical diagnosis last month while I was in the process of transitioning to BitWarden. I was thrilled with the app, its security features (2FA!), open-source concept, and reasonable price. But I reconsidered all the details when I got my diagnosis, and realized that Emergency Access is essential to simplify things for non-techie family members when the time comes. I had to switch to a commercial products, which is very good, but is not an app I trust, and would want to support,as I do BitWarden.

Rather than just blindly hoping that someone will implement this for free, why don’t we collectively fund a development grant to make it happen? It sounds like there are enough of us interested to raise a decent pot, and there are several great platforms which allow crowd-funded bounties for development on Free / Open Source, for example Gitcoin: https://gitcoin.co/blog/crowdfunding-bounties/

See also Bounty program where this general approach was already proposed.

The hardest part of doing this will be figuring out exactly what the implementation of the feature looks like, and describing that clearly in the bounty. If we can figure that out, the proposed implementation will be deemed favourable by a large chunk of the 395 users who have voted for this feature so far, and then we have a chance of getting enough people to contribute to the bounty pot to make it worthwhile for one or more developers to implement it.

I have quite a lot of experience in writing technical acceptance criteria for new features, so I could potentially volunteer to write this and submit it as a bounty which then others could pledge money towards. However I don’t yet have a clear picture of how everyone would want this feature to work. As this long thread already shows, there are several ideas, and maybe they are not all mutually compatible.

So the challenge is figuring out what would be the lowest hanging fruit which would at least partially please a lot of people. Thoughts on this are very welcome!

Rather than just blindly hoping that someone will implement this for free, why don’t we collectively fund a development grant to make it happen?

I thought that’s something I was doing, in part, by paying both for a family plan and a premium account. Emergency access could be a premium feature.

It’s great that you are supporting the development team, and I encourage you to continue, but that does not guarantee you will see the features you want implemented. This feature was requested in 2018, and is the most voted for feature, yet I don’t see any evidence that the team is making progress on it. Ultimately they’re entirely free to set their own priorities as they see fit. In contrast, placing a bounty specifically on this feature would guarantee that your money would go directly towards implementing it, and towards nothing else.

It’s great that you are supporting the development team, and I encourage you to continue, but that does not guarantee you will see the features you want implemented.

True. I know that. Same with commercial software, too. :slight_smile:

I would just hope with so many votes, they’d implement it sooner rather than later.

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Yeah, I think many of us on this thread were hoping the same. My point was that after a year or two of no progress, maybe it’s time to pursue a better alternative than just continuing with blind hope, and instead take the matter into our own hands :slight_smile: Unlike with commercial software, that’s a freedom we enjoy by choosing Free / Open Source, so it makes sense to take advantage of it.