Why is my vault locked?

Hello. I’ve had bitwarden for awhile, but I’ve never had to really use it. I mean, from the moment I installed the extension, it asked me to save logins, update, and filled in my logins whenever I selected that. I never had to go into my vault or do anything else, so I don’t know much about it. Then, today I tried to log in to a site and I used the auto-fill as usual, and I got this message that the vault is locked. So I opened it up and logged in, thinking that would solve the problem. But it didn’t. It still tells me the vault is locked. What’s going on? If anyone can help, I would really appreciate it! Thank you! Nancie

Lock and login are not the same.

Login = Account access (you account includes your vault, which is a password storage area).

Lock = Mechanism of your vault to protect your password after certain idle time.

You can be logged in (your account, in the browser extension) and locked out (password won’t auto-fill). Then you need to unlock the vault in the extension, not in the site.

There’s a lot of people who simply leaves their assets (computers/phones/tablets/watches/etc) unlocked even if they are physically away from them. Locking is to mitigate such oversights.

You can increase the locking time or even disable it (if we’re talking about the extension). However, is generally not recommended unless of course you’re fully aware that if anyone gains access to your browser, your passwords are compromised.

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Examining the properties of the extension, I see no option to unlock?

Having to manually enter my complex password every time I need to copy some other complex password is extremely time consuming.

Experimentally, I believe I have tried every combination of options try to make this function without any success.


At home I am using these settings and I am happy with it. You might want to try it out:

Vault Timout: On System Lock
Vault Timeout Action: Lock
Unlock with PIN: Activated.

So if I am continouly working at my computer I can use Bitwarden without interruptions.
When I let the browser keep on running but lock the system (Win+L) I can unlock it by just using the PIN I defined.
And when instead I close the browser, shutdown the computer or restart it)I again have to enter the password.

At the office I instead have a Vault Timeout of 5 minutes. So the difference is that I have to use the PIN again after these 5 minutes.



Thanks for the feedback.
On my system I do not see “On System Lock” under Vault Timeout options?
I tried the 5 Minute option but the vault still shows locked regardless?
Not sure where the option is to UnLock with Pin is located?

My simple goal remains semi-automatically populating the UserID and PassWord fields without having to manually cut and paste from the Bitwarden app.

Seems so obvious that apparently I must be doing something dumb:-)

Perhaps I am mixing up the Windows App, with the Web interface?


Jay Zebryk

I have found the options I have mentioned above in…

the Microsoft Store-app:

the Windows-app (Bitwarden.exe):

and also the Chrome extension:

but not on the webpage:

Aha! Adjusting the properties of the Bitwarden Extensions is performed from the upper right hand corner of the browser. In my system, this was obscured within the “Puzzle” icon which contained it. Setting it now to be visible regardless, explained my difficulties. Now having it apparent, the design intent is now obvious.

I hope this may be useful to others.


Jay Zebryk, W1JRZ


Hello there. I also have a problem with unlocking my Bitwarden Web Vault.
I am new to BW and I am using the Firefox browser extension (which I have open).
I am trying to get into the Web Vault just to look around, but I get a warning which says:
“Your vault is locked. Verify your master password to continue”.
Under this it says " Logged in as $1 on bitwarden.com".
Then under that, I have the option to either ‘Unlock’ or ‘Log out’.
When I put in my Master Password to unlock - nothing happens. What should I do?

Hi @Kaycontinental - this was a bug in the last update (should be fixed tonight, actually) - you’ll want to force reload that page (press shift while clicking the refresh button) - that will reset the page and you’ll be able to log in again.

Hi Trey @tgreer. Many thanks for your reply.
You are right. Indeed, this morning there was no problem logging in.
Now I just have to get my head around it all, lol. :grinning:

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Vault Timeout
On system Lock is not available in Firefox extension

Unfortunately, that is a known limitation. And it is not just restricted to the FF extension.

Hi dh024 what do you mean? I can see that option in my chrome extension.

Sorry - I meant it’s not a bug. Rather, that option is not universally available to every extension on every browser and every operating system, to my knowledge. I suspect it has a lot to do with how different browsers interact with different operating systems and how different browsers provide permit certain actions by extensions.

Ah… I gathered as such when i saw the above image and checked my extension setting… :smiley:

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I have a similar “vault locked” issue too:

Your vault is locked. Verify your master password to continue … Logged in as $1 on bitwarden.com

I have tried to hold SHIFT as I hit the refresh button but the problem persists.

Anyone faced and overcome this issue using other method?



Hi @Mwesigwa can you try the solution indicated here? Vault locked, strange message - #5 by hondel

Hi @dwbit .

Thanks for the reply.

Indeed changing the URL from Bitwarden Web Vault to https://vault.bitwarden.com/ is effective.