Galaxy Tab S6 problem

Maybe it’s just me missing something but I have 2 Yubikeys. One is the 5 NFC that I use for my laptop and Pixel 3XL phone, the other is a 5C that I intended to use on my Galaxy Tab S6 tablet. I have both keys registered in Bitwarden but when I try to access Bitwarden on the tablet I can’t use the 5C key. If I login it will go to the screen asking me to insert my key but when I do that it goes straight back to the login screen but because the key is in it doesn’t give me access to the keyboard and if I pull the key to get the keyboard to pop up it refreshes the login screen and I go back to square one. I can access Bitwarden on the tablet using an authenticator app but that means pulling out my phone and the 5NFC key.

Has anybody found a way to use a Yubikey 5C with a tablet?

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It’s been 7 months since @formerflyboy asked this question, but this seems to be a common problem (I found several threads on the subbreddit r/yubikey and other forums), so I will reply in the hope that someone will find this useful in the future.

First of all, let me mention that while I encountered this problem while using Yubikey 5C NFC with Galaxy Tab S6, it seems that the same is true for other tablets from the S series (or Samsung Tablets in general, or maybe even a wider group of Android devices?). I also wouldn’t be surprised if the same applied to password managers other than Bitwarden, because this looks like an issue with how the device interprets the Yubikey, rather than with the app itself.

Since the device treats the Yubikey as an external keyboard, if you type your master password, press ‘Log In’ and then insert your Yubikey when asked for a 2FA prompt, it’s going to take you back to the previous screen to type your password again. If you subsequently touch the Yubikey, you will see a string of characters being typed where your password is supposed to go.

On the other hand, if you insert the Yubikey even before opening the app, because it will be treated as an external keyboard, the virtual keyboard on screen might not show up, so you will not be able to type the password in the first place. Hence, the first thing to do is to enable the virtual keyboard when a physical keyboard is attached to the device. On Tab S6, this is done in Settings–>General Management–>Language and Input–>Physical keyboard–>Show on-screen keyboard (toggle this setting on).

Once this is done, you need to:

  1. Insert the Yubikey
  2. Type the master password using the virtual keyboard, then press ‘Log In’.
  3. You will be taken to the 2FA screen. It’s not very clear (at least in dark mode), but the space above the ‘Remember me’ is actually clickable. If you click above it, the virtual keyboard will pop up. Then, touch the Yubikey.

This will hopefully complete the second-step and you will be logged into your vault. Let me know if this works for you.