Moving items from a collection to a folder

I am new to Bitwarden and imported data from Lastpass; all of which went into collections. I then noticed that collections are used to share items with different users in the same organisation. So I set up some folder to keep items that I do not want to share.

I tried to move items from a collection to a new folder that I created. When I selected all the items and the folder to move these to, I got the message that the items were moved successfully. However, the were now showing both in the folder as well as still in the collection. When I deleted them from the collection, they disappeared from my vault altogether! What is going on?

And why is Bitwarden not clearer by having “Personal folders” and “Shared Collections” to show the difference?

Hey Ron, think of folders like tags (in a future version of Bitwarden they will be renamed as such) folders are just a way to organize your personal view and may include everything you have access to from your individual vault and organization collections.

If you log into the web vault you can see in the vaults tab whether items are in your individual vault or the organization vault.

G’day. I’m new and hope this intrusion is OK.
I think you have the answer I’m looking for, but I need some clarification please.
What does "you can side in the vaults tab " mean or how do I do it?
Each time I select an entry from the vault, it opens and there is not opportunity to select another for a joint move to a new folder.
Any help very much appreciated.

Corrected the typo, from the vaults screen in the web vault you can see a highlighted indicator on the right side to see who owns the item, your individual vault, or the organization.

Ah so…
Is there any way to " select " multiple items from one folder (where all my LastPass items got dumped in one folder) and put them in newly named folders? I can do it one at a time, but …
So for example, is there a way to select both USAir and Delta sign-ons and move them both at the same time (along with other travel related signons) to a newly created folder called Travel? It sure is tedious doing this selection and folder match xfer one-by-one…
Thanks for any help. I can see I’m not the only one asking for this, but the others don’t seem to have received satisfactory answers, so maybe it’s just not possible. If so, please warn me.

Hi dwbit. I appreciate your quick reply. As a new individual user trying to set up a family account for me and my partner, I must say that BitWarden is a lot more complex / confusing than LastPass which we have been using. Having organisation collections may make more sense for business users.

I also got a response from your support people to explain that folders are for personal vaults, whereas collections are for organisational vaults. Which still does not make sense to me. What should I use for myself and my partner? Would I use the personal vault for items that only I want to see, and collections for shared items?

What does not make sense either is that Bitwarden allows me to move items from a collection to a folder in my vault. Which looks more like a copy as after the move the original item is still in the collection. But when I delete that item from the collection, it also deletes it from my vault. Yikes!

I read in a review of top password managers that Bitwarden is solid but difficult to use. I definitely agree. I am still very close to ditching it and going back to Lastpass.

@Cmjh You’ve asked the same question in at least three different threads. I have posted an answer here — or you can refer to the Help documentation.

Sorry to hear things aren’t going as easily as hoped. I too moved from LastPass with many shared entries there with a partner. The transition has been worth it and ultimately resulted in cleaning up a lot of cruft.

In family/household cases such as yours, it’s typical to have each of the following:

  • Your personal vault (only your own personal stuff - i.e. not shared)
  • A family organization (which will have its own vault - i.e. stuff shared with a partner)
  • The family vault (only shared stuff - i.e. the vault associated with the family organization)

Key bits to remember:

  • You own the items in your personal vault.
  • The organization owns the items in its vault.
  • Generally you’ll be the admin of your organization vault in a family situation

Items in your personal vault can be moved to the family organization’s vault - if you wish to share them (in fact it is the only way to do so). At that point those items belong to the organization, but are otherwise generally accessed/managed from your individual perspective in the same way as non-organization items.

Collections are a way to organize organization vault items, For families the needs are minimal typically. For example, we (our household) primarily uses the “Default Collection” which is just a catch-all.

Folders are a way to organize any items you as an individual have access to (i.e. items visible to your individual account regardless of whether located in personal or organizational vaults). Folders - regardless of where the item is actually from/stored - are only visible within your individual account (i.e. even those with access to the same items will not see your folder structure involving those items).

Additional tidbits:

  • Folders aren’t required
  • Collections are only required in so much as at least one must exist as a “default” within an organization’s vault
  • Collections primarily exist so that it is possible to have things like a “Parents Only” collection or an “Everybody Including the Kids” collection within an organization (but that’s a more advanced topic so try not to get hung up on it at the moment!)
  • Items in organization vaults may be placed inside of folders by an individual user. In reality, this doesn’t move the item anywhere - nor change where the item is located from the perspective of any other user in the same organization - so “place” is probably the wrong word - but the real issue is folders should be renamed to tags which it sounds like is happening.
  • It’s really easy to move things from your personal vault to the organization vault, but if you want to “move” stuff from the organization vault (i.e. to unshare it or take ownership of the item) you’ll need take an extra step: clone the item (from the organization) then make yourself the owner of the newly cloned item (rather than the organization). At that point you can nuke the item still owned by the organization.
  • Most people - in my observation at least - seem to find it easiest to do all their initial organization of things via the web client (

Really useful resources:

P.S. I’m a bit baffled by how you ended up with the import going directly into a collection within an org/family vault rather than into your own personal vault - I don’t recall a direct collection/org vault import being possible with a conventional import from the web interface, but I haven’t performed an import in a few months so I might be remembering wrong.

The main issue with the LastPass → Bitwarden transition I recall having was with what initially seemed to be duplicates, but these weren’t the fault of any bug or mistake: When importing our respective exports from LastPass there is no concept of shared items within the LP export because we had numerous individually shared items with each other. Each of our respective imports into Bitwarden had these entries, which were naturally the first items we moved into our shared organization since they were all shared. But since both of our individual imports had these same items there we effectively all copies of each other. Took an extra clean-up step but there wasn’t a good way around this due to the account structures at LastPass and how we’d been sharing things (as individual items) for many years (rather than as a single shared org-level vault or some other similar grouping mechanism).

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Hi Josh, thanks for providing that detailed response and apologies for taking the time in replying. Your information does help to explain the difference between the personal vault items and its folders versus the shared organisation vault item and its collections. It would be nice if Bitwarden would call them “Personal Folders” and “Shared Collections”. And they need to also update their documentation and functionality relating to ‘moving’ items from collections to folders as that still does not make any sense to me and at best seems to be a way to create a link from an item in a collection in a folder.

I must say I am still not sold on Bitwarden because of these issues and don’t see any benefit over LastPass other than the recent security issues they have encountered. I am certainly interested why you feel that the transition for you was worth it.

Kind regards

Thank you. I set up my family here a year or two ago and “shared” into the family organization. Now that I want to unshare, i.e. retrieve some of them back into my personal vault, I discovered that I could’nt “move” them back ;-}
… and was being cautious about what and how I just tested ideas, one of which was to export the org; filter for import into the personal; I haven’t tested that yet either. I think I’ll have breakfast first :sunglasses: