Offline Editing (management of writeable vault items)

As 1Password just got rid of a stand-alone password wallet in version 8 of their app I’m looking for a replacement. Bitwarden which has the possibility of a self hosted service looked very promising until I found out about the missing offline edit / sync mode. Currently not having the feature sadly is a deal breaker for me.

Therefore I would also strongly vote for implementing this feature.

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I really agree with this point. As a current workaround, you could choose to use KeepassXC (in conjunction with a nextcloud instance if you need minimal online syncing too) to store the offline available passwords. KeepassXC works great on Windows, Linux and Mac.
You could use it in conjunction with for example Keepass2Android (which is also open source).

There have been numerous times when I don’t have internet connectivity (airplane, hiking, cell not making connection) and, CRAZY STUPID ME, I actually need to … use Bitwarden! and it “can’t Fetch” or whatever it tells me.

Seriously?

I love BW, LOVE IT, but this has to be fixable. I’ve used (don’t laugh) SplashID, then mSecure, then finally luckily found BW. So how about this for an option:

Offline and BW can’t reach the mothership? Don’t make it read-only, that’s dumb! Have it create a copy, or a duplicate, record, and then upon returning to society, have it pop up a window saying “Here are all the offline records that were added or modified, which ones do you want to merge?” and you get a list of check boxes, or bullet yes/no options, and voila, problem solved.

I know this is a lot of programming, but for me to have to handwrite down, or store in Notepad et al., information when not connected to BW is , well, shocking and certainly surprising to say the least.

Thank you for listening to my concern.

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actually, it’s been 3+ years. This is a “Never Gonna Address” issue; it’s obviously not a big deal to most users or to BW, so we are all just blowing hot air here.

*Either accept it or go with another password manager. That’s the bottom line here.

@THEOCKID - thanks again for your appreciation for the platform. It’s not off the table though. We’re working to accomplish many things. Offline management is something we are discussing, but of course, it is a balancing act with so many requests :slight_smile:

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I would love for BW. to have a offline mode I am a little confused I am sure this is a very complicated feature but this is a opensource program wouldn’t it be possible for someone or a group to do this? If someone did would this feature be implemented or would it just have to be forked?

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Today I found out about the missing offline management the “hard way”. Wasn’t THAT big of a deal, but (as probably pointed out before) especially for networking stuff it’s neat to have. I actually couldn’t believe that saving a password offline wasn’t possible at first, and thought I messed up somehow. Oh the truth… It hurts :slight_smile:

Obviously a +1 for offline editing!

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We need our passwords offline. How hard can it be?!

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I was trying to save a note which was important and I was in area where there was no internet connectivity. Bitwarden didn’t allow to me to save.

I had to save it somewhere else, and then remember to save it to Bitwarden when I have internet.

To avoid this hassle, please allow saving directly and then sync when internet is restored.

Device: iOS app

I also found this out “the hard way” a while back. This is a huge & critical gap in BW functionality and I would love it if the team implemented support for offline edits.

I am a longtime user and have convinced two different organizations I work with to switch to BW paid org accounts; in addition to my own paid account. Thanks for your work on BW!

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I’m a long time 1P user getting upset with their recent change of direction and was readying a jump to Bitwarden. Very many long-time members of the 1P community feel exactly the same.

However, offline support is a must-have. Non-negotiable is the ability to read everything. “Can’t fetch” doesn’t work for me at all. Maybe I need a lock combination - unlike a website, this has a pretty good chance of not needing internet connectivity.

As for editing, many times, I have found the need to make offline updates. While infrequent, they happen often enough to form a real requirement.

Usually, these are additions and not changes, although both can happen. For additions, conflict resolution is trivial. All vault copies get all new entries. Done.

While I know merge conflict resolution of updates is a thorny and complicated topic, I can say that in 15 years of using 1P, I never once had a conflict, much less a complaint about resolving it. Why not? Because the changes aren’t to a shared vault that would have simultaneous updates. I’m changing my own vault item. I’m not somewhere else changing my own vault item at the same time. When I surface and reconnect, I sync (automatically, even) - long before I have the chance to somehow connect and update the vault by some other means.

Let’s add in the sharing case. The odds of a spouse or coworker editing the same item during these infrequent windows is exceedingly small, but admittedly non-zero. That means it needs to be handled, but it doesn’t mean that the user experience needs to be great.

The rareness of the event reduces the need for the solution to be as fancy. Needing to update offline: relatively rare. Then, within that window, having a simultaneous edit, very rare. Then, having that edit be a conflicting update, VERY rare. 99.7% of the users will never encounter it. That’s a conservative number, too. But obviously a much larger number would benefit from seamless operation between offline and online operations.

BW just needs to prevent data loss on sync. As has been suggested many times, detecting that a change has been made to the same item (by timestamp, hash, version, whatever) could just result in the edited item being added as a new item with a title reflecting this fact. We can add ‘nice to haves’, from having a Conflicts folder to nice 3-way merge UIs and intelligent auto-merge logic, but that isn’t required, and all of that is low ROI and very diminishing returns for such an infrequent event.

IMO, there is a golden opportunity for BW to grab a large percentage of 1P customers right now. I would implore BW to consider increasing the priority on offline use, but apply MVP thinking to just get the minimum solution out there. Read access should be 24/7/anywhere, and for editing, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good when it comes to the merge conflict UX over such a rare event.

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Every few months I pop back here to see if there is any likelihood that this gets added. Every few months (over years) I am disappointed. I suspect I am not the only lurker to feel that way.
Offline record editing is a deal breaker for the reasons many have already described.
Sync is a non-problem if you use conflict records.
I get the very strong impression that “we’re thinking about it” really means “we’re always going to deprioritise it because we have no use for it ourselves”. Sad really - a whole class of users is going elsewhere.

Hello @Bobsbits - I know that it is hard to wait for a new feature that is important to you. Bitwarden is slowly implementing such changes that users request, but unlike 1Password they are not a $6.8 Billion dollar company with literally 100s of developers on the payroll (Bitwarden is more in the range of a dozen or two).

The good news is that offline editing is highlighted on the Bitwarden roadmap for upcoming releases. See here:

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Unfortunately “future initiatives” doesn’t actually tell you much. It is clearly still low priority.

We are in the process of evalutating Bitwarden and may choose to purchase an enterprise license for a small IT team. Currently we use shared databases with KeePassXC.
One of the first things we tested was, what happens if the Bitwarden server goes offline. Can we use a cached copy of the data or not. Unfortunately this is not the case at this time, which is a real bummer!
For me/us offline editing is not that important and may be quite reasonable to implement at a later stage to make it right. BUT offline cache of encrypted vault data AND the ability to open that data is one of the prime functions an online password tool should have! In the current stage, where cached data is only usable if the client is only locked, that’s more or less useless! If in need, I should be able to just fire up my laptop from any state, open the Bitwarden client and open the last cached copy of the vault.

Hey @tim3towers, offline editing is on the Bitwarden Roadmap, currently offline functionality includes the following:

Any unlocked Bitwarden app can be used offline in read-only mode, for example when using airplane mode on a mobile device or when not connected to your self-hosted server.

Most functions of Bitwarden are accessible in offline mode, however you won’t be able to make edits to or add vault items, attachments, or sends or import new vault items.

  • Lock (default) Locking your vault will maintain vault data on the device, so unlocking your vault can be done offline. You’ll only be required to enter your master password to decrypt your vault data, not any active two-step Login methods.

Hi dwbit,

yes, that’s the flaw with this “offline” functionality… IF the app is locked. But maybe overnight my Servers went offline and in the morning I need some passwords for recovery. As may laptop was off, I can’t open Bitwarden without server connection. You get the picture… Not having this feature is like not having any offline access at all (for me).
And editing in offline mode is another story… (not so much needed IMO)

Hi @tim3towers Bitwarden currently does still copy a local cache of the encrypted data on your device.
So long as you are in a locked state the vault can be accessed and items can be read and used as normal, the only thing that can’t be done currently while offline is editing existing items or adding additional ones.

I believe if the vault is completely logged out, rather than locked this does require online access however.

Hi Kent,

I totally understand this. But I can’t count on that. During my tests I had multiple times the situation where I needed to re-login to the vault. In the other cases offline cache worked perfectly. Haven’t found out why yet…

Ahhh I see, yeah that is very strange.

In our case there are very few times we may be without access, and even with occasional downtime or maintenance from Bitwarden experience little issues.

Even so during times when offline, as mentioned as long as the vault is in a locked stated rather than being fully logged out. This should still allow for offline access to the entries.
Not sure why you would be experiencing so many issues, though hopefully this is something that will be resolved with the anticipated updates to offline editing in Bitwarden.

As far as data security goes, Bitwarden thankfully makes it very easy to export your data. They believe your data should be yours and one of the worst things I hate in the enterprise space is vendor lock-in and holding my data hostage.
We run a simple sync job to export the Organizational vault to an encrypted local container on site.
These are added to off-site backups to yet another encrypted (because why not double encrypt ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) storage container in Azure for disaster recovery purposes.

Perhaps a similar local backup of sorts would be sufficient to remedy any offline access concerns you may have.