What to do with Password conflicts

Hi I’m a new user so apologies if I’ve made mistakes with my tags, can’t understand what is required in the fields box.
I have been through tutorials on You Tube of the set up and use but nowhere can I find what to do when you already have passwords for your websites that you have registered yourself prior to getting a password manager, they mostly refer to if you are starting from scratch.
If I generate passwords from Bitwarden what then happens when trying to Login to a site. Can’t figure this out.
Not finding Password Managers very user friendly
Thanks Sandy

@Sandy1 Welcome to the forum!

Basically, for each website where you have an account, you will have to change the password on the website. Every website does this in a slightly different way, but typically, you would first have to log in to the account (using your old password), and then open your account profile settings and look through the profile sections until you find the password change form.

When changing the password on the website, this is where you have to coordinate with Bitwarden, to create random password and ensure that it gets stored in your Bitwarden vault. The exact sequence for doing this will depend on whether the old passwords are already stored in Bitwarden or not.

Where/how have you been keeping your old passwords before switching to Bitwarden? Have you already imported or entered any of your old passwords into Bitwarden? If your vault is empty, that’s fine, too, but if you have previously stored your passwords in an Excel spreadsheet or something similar, then the transition may be a little easier.

Hi Sandra, welcome to the forum!

I feel your pain trying to use a password manager. A password manager is supposed to help you improve your online security, although it comes at a price of a learning curve in the beginning. Once you nail down the basic aspects, like having a good master password, 2FAs, writing down your master password and 2FA recovery code, etc, you’ll be more secure in the long run, with some additional conveniences that you didn’t have before too.

Once you understand it, you might love it, so hang it there!

Hi grb,
Thanks for your reply,
I followed your instructions and got it figured, (easy when you know how hey!)
I didn’t have an Excel Sheet just a book, but have now created one just in case I need to copy and paste for some reason and as a backup.
Your advice is appreciated, thanks

Hi Neuron5569, yes it is quite a learning curve no matter how many videos you watch, I think I’m getting there now thanks to the advice of grb,
Thanks for your thoughts

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It’s probably better not to create that Excel spreadsheet if you didn’t already have one, as it is not a very secure way of storing passwords. I had asked about it, because it is one method (just like a book) that is sometimes used by people who don’t yet use password managers.

There are a few different ways that you can go about setting up your accounts in Bitwarden, and seems like you have already found one method that works for you. I would like to share the method that I prefer, in case it is something you want to try. This method assumes that you have installed Bitwarden’s “browser extension”; if you haven’t already installed it, let us know if you need any assistance with that.

  1. Use your old password to log in to the website, and then navigate to the password change form.

  2. Click the Bitwarden icon (:shield: ) at the top of your browser to open your Bitwarden browser extension (and then unlock it, if it is not already unlocked).

  3. Click “Add a login” or the :heavy_plus_sign: icon in the top right corner, which will open the vault item creation form and already prefill the correct website address.

  4. In the Username field in the browser extension window, type the username that you currently use for logging in to this website.

  5. In the Password field in the browser extension window, click on the “Generate Password” icon (:arrows_counterclockwise: ) that is shown to the right of the password field.

  6. (Optional: If desired, make adjustments to the password generator settings. A good default is to set the password length to 15, with a mix of at least 1 uppercase letter, lowercase letter, number, and special character.)

  7. Click the “Select” button (upper right corner).

  8. Click the “Save” button (upper right corner).

  9. You should now see the newly created vault item, with the website address and username inside a rectangle that is displayed at the top of the browser extension window. If you click (once) directly on the displayed webiste name, Bitwarden will transfer your username and password into the website’s passowrd change form in your browser.

  10. On the website’s password change form, the new password will have been transferred to all available password entry fields (including the password confirmation field). However, if one of the password fields on the form is asking for the “Old Password”, then you must delete the password that Bitwarden had transferred into that field, and instead type in your old password there.

  11. Submit the password change form.


I should mention that the above method is a substitute for using the prompts that automatically ask you if you want to save new passwords, and therefore works best if you disable those prompts. To disable the prompts, open the browser extension, click on :gear: Settings at the bottom right, then scroll down to the section titled “Other”, and click on Options; on the “Options” page, uncheck the check boxes for the options “Ask to add login” and “Ask to update existing login”.

The method that you explained here is almost as I have done it, except for step 9, I have been copying and pasting the new password into the website form, didn’t know there was the way you described.
Yes I am using the browser extension but finding it somewhat awkward to do things, i.e would like to know if there is a way to put websites into folders after they have been saved just in the vault, not knowing that it seems you have to create your folders first, can this only be done in the main website?
Thanks again for your help

The so-called “auto-fill” functionality that is provided by the browser extension (i.e., the direct transfer of information into the web form without copying & pasting) is one of the great benefits of using the browser extension (as opposed to the other apps available from Bitwarden). First of all, anything that you copy to the system clipboard is not secure, as it can be read by any other app or background process running on your device (and many apps snoop on your clipboard contents). Second, by using the auto-fill function rather than manually copying and pasting, Bitwarden is able to ensure that you are not tricked into giving your login information to an impostor website.

There are multiple ways to trigger the auto-fill transfer. For example, you can open the browser extension and click on the account name that is listed there (which is the method employed in my instructions above). However, many users prefer the keyboard shortcut, which involves simultaneously pressing the keys Ctrl+Shift+L (or on macOS, the shortcut is Cmd+Shift+L). If you prefer to use the mouse, you can right-click the mouse, and select Bitwarden→Auto-fill login→(Your account). There is also an option that makes Bitwarden automatically auto-fill any available username/password as soon as the browser has loaded a webpage; however, this option (called “Auto-fill on Page Load”) is not recommended for beginners, as it requires careful configuration to ensure that you don’t create a security issue which may cause your passwords to “leak” from your vault. Finally, there is an option that can be enabled, called “Inline Auto-fill Menu”, which is similar to the way web browsers let you pick an account from a small menu that appears in the login form input field when you click the field, or click an icon embedded in the field (click here for more information about the inline auto-fill menu option). Personally, I prefer the keyboard shortcut method, but you can try the different options, and see what you prefer.

You can create folders directly in the browser extension, although it is a little cumbersome. You cannot do this directly when you are creating a new vault item. Instead, you have to first click :gear: Settings in the lower right corner, and then click the Folders > link. On the Folders page, click the :heavy_plus_sign: icon in the top right corner, enter the folder name, and click “Save” in the top right corner.

If you want to create nested folders (e.g., a folder called “Sub” that is nested inside a folder called “Top”), then you would first create the top level folder (e.g., entering Top as the folder name), and then create the nested folder “Sub” by adding a new folder and entering the name Top/Sub.

Hi grb,
I have been having a terrible time trying to figure the correct ways to do things, and I have decided that this isn’t for me, luckily I don’t have too many websites entered so far.
I will keep the program for now but until I understand more about it I feel I am leaving myself vulnerable so won’t be using it at this point.
Thank you for all your advice,

@Sandy1 Sorry to hear you’re feeling overwhelmed.

The most important thing for your internet security is to make all of your passwords unique and random. You can do that and still use a book to record your passwords, as described in this article:

Maybe you can read through the ideas suggested in the above article and see if that method is more to your liking.

Thanks grb that was very helpful.
Just one other thing that 's bugging me , is there a way of keeping the browser extension open when using. If I’m entering fields and happen to have to click on the web page that I have open to see or change anything the browser extension closes down and loses everything I have entered…or is this just a security feature?
or another thing I need to know how to navigate

No it’s not a security feature, just a little annoyance that is present in the browser extension. If you use Firefox as a browser, then it is possible to open the browser extension in a “Side Bar” instead of as a little pop-up window, and the “Side Bar” does stay open if you click elsewhere. On the other hand, if you don’t use Firefox, then there is a button in the top left that you can click, which will cause the browser extension window to “pop out” as its own independent browser window (no longer attached to the browser), and this pop-out window also stays open if you click elsewhere:


Unfortunately, the pop-out window doesn’t have any way of communicating with the main browser window, so it cannot detect the current website when creating a new login (which means that it you would have to enter the website address manually when creating a new vault item).

However, if you are adding a lot of extra information to your vault items (notes, custom fields, etc.) beyond the basic web address, username, and password, then I would suggest doing this in two steps. First, use the method I described above to create a vault item, remembering to click Save after you have generated the password (after which you would auto-fill the website’s password change form as previously described). After you have submitted the password change form, you can go back to the browser extension, click the “pop-out” button, and then re-open the vault item to add additional information.

Alternatively, you may find it more comfortable to do this second step (adding extra information to the vault item) either using the Web Vault (log in to https://vault.bitwarden.com) or using Bitwarden’s Desktop app (which you’d have to download and install first). These don’t have the problem of closing if you click outside the window.