How to extract data from an old backup

I’m sure this has been asked before but I can’t find an answer anywhere. So apologies if it has.

I self hosted bitwarden with docker a while back (a couple years maybe [shurg]) and I had backups of the directory including the db.sqlite3 file. I just found out my wife had been using BW after she told me she would never use it and I need to get her passwords back.

I installed the latest version of BW but it looks like a bit has been updated since my install. Not sure if this matters. I found something that did say you could replace the data/db.sqlite3 file and start things up. I have done this and it starts up but I can not log in with her (or my) account to export her data.

Am I missing a step here or am I on the wrong track?


Hello @id-ic and welcome to the community,

Until fairly recently Bitwarden did not support any other forms of DB such as sqlite, new database options are supported on the new Bitwarden Unified (Beta) but from what it sounds like you most likely originally downloaded some form of unofficial 3rd party service which mimics much of the same functionality of the official Bitwarden release.

Like many other community members here you may have originally installed Vaultwarden, also originally known as Bitwarden_RS. Though I would recommend double-checking the server and advise to visit the appropriate support forum for the software you are running for their community support.

Once you get things figured out and are able to export the passwords, you will thankfully have them for your own use. You can even import them again into the official Bitwarden self-hosted options, or directly to the SaaS cloud service for continued ease of use with the mobile apps, browser extension, and other clients.

Hope this helps,
-Cheers :slightly_smiling_face: