How to save a 9-dot grid security pattern


I’d like to share a simple workaround I created to store that kind of dot-line pattern (usually a 3 x 3 grid). This is common on smartphone lock screen and some apps. In Bitwarden, I use a secure note or the note field of a credential. It isn’t a perfect solution, the alignment sometimes isn’t the best, but it’s kinda easy and useful to me.

Example of use:

•  ← •  ←  •
↓        ↗
•     •     •
↓     ↑  ↙  ↑
•     •     ⦿

This is the template for the grid to copy/paste (adjust extra spaces if necessary):

•          •          •

•          •          •

•          •          •

And here are the arrow symbols I use for directions:

↑ ↓ ← → 
↖ ↘ ↗ ↙ 

Some possibly relevant alternate symbols, if you need or prefer:

⇗ ⇖ ⇘ ⇙ ⇕ ⇔ ↕ ↔ \ / 

It’s optional, but I usually highlight the first dot of the pattern with a different symbol. So far I prefer this one ⦿ , but you can use what you feel that suits better:

⦿ ⦾ ○ ◘ ◙ ◦ ☼ ☻ ➊ ① 

If you have Bitwarden premium, instead of doing this trick, perhaps you could just attach a screenshot of the pattern (if the app allows it, which isn’t common).

Do you have any other ideas or suggestions to save patterns in Bitwarden? :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi ludens! This is awesome. So much fun I made a .gif! Trimmed the text slightly for that.
If you don’t mind we might share it on Bitwarden social channels.

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This is a nice solution. I may use it.

A simple solution I use so far is to match each dot with a number (based on a phone numeric keypad) and just save the numbers. But you can only save patterns for 3x3 grids with this method.


Hey Gary! Sure, go for it! I loved the gif, I feel honored, thanks! :pray:

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Thanks! Interesting approach.

Similar to this, I sometimes use numeric keypad as a visual guide for memorizing certain passwords, like PIN codes. Problem is the numeric layout is different between phone and PC, for example, but it works.

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The arrows won’t work well with patterns that backtrack over already pressed dots.