Protect: Password encryption

Hackers try to steal passwords in order to access your personal data or e-wallets. It is best to encrypt stored passwords, so even if hackers steal your passwords, they won't be able to use them.

  1. Password encryption in the browser
  2. Master password
  3. Gesture, PIN, fingerprint
  4. Backup encryption key

Password encryption in the browser

The password vault is encrypted using the AES-256-GCM algorithm, which uses a key. The AES-256 algorithm is considered reliable: the Department of Homeland Security in the USA recommends using it to protect Top Secret data.

However, even the most complex encryption algorithm will not protect your passwords if a hacker finds the encryption key. The master password lets you use very powerful encryption for the key.

The key is encrypted using the master password. If you forget your master password, you can reset it using a recovery key.

The master password is not stored on devices, so it can't be stolen. With a master password, you don't have to worry about:

  • Theft of passwords stored on your smartphone.
  • Losing passwords if your smartphone is lost or stolen.
  • Synced data stored on Yandex servers (the encryption is set up so that even Yandex cannot decrypt your passwords).

To learn more about password encryption, see Password encryption in Yandex Browser.

Master password

A master password provides an additional level of security for your passwords. After you create a master password, the browser will request it during an attempt to open the password vault or enter a previously saved website password in a login form.

Instead of a huge number of passwords from websites, you will only have to remember one master password. Passwords from websites will also be more secure. Access to the vault is locked by the master password, which cannot be stolen, because it's not stored on devices.

  1. Create a master password
  2. Delete master password
  3. Time to lock password vault
  4. If you forget your master password

Create a master password

To create a master password:

  1. Tap in the browser (if you don't see this button, press the menu button on your smartphone).
  2. Tap My info → Settings.
  3. Tap Create master password.
  4. Enter the master password. We recommend using passwords that are complex but easy to remember.
  5. Tap Continue.
  6. Then re-enter the password to confirm.
  7. Tap Create master password.

Now you can save website passwords in your browser and your password manager will only be accessible if you enter your master password. The master password you have created is not saved on the smartphone or on the server. Only a key encrypted with it is saved.

Delete master password

  1. Tap in the browser (if you don't see this button, press the menu button on your smartphone).
  2. Tap My info → Settings.
  3. Tap Delete master password.
  4. Enter the master password and tap Confirm.

After that, the browser will no longer request the master password to access passwords. At the next sync, the master password will be deleted from other devices.

Time to lock password vault

You can change the time after which the browser blocks access to the password vault and requests a master password during an attempt to access it:

  1. Tap in the browser (if you don't see this button, press the menu button on your smartphone).
  2. Tap My info → Settings.
  3. Tap Access control.
  4. Enter the master password.
  5. In the Lock access section, select an option: After restart, After lock screen, or Never.

If you forget your master password

If you already created a backup encryption key:

  1. In the form where you enter your master password, tap Forgot password.
  2. Tap Reset master password.
  3. Enter your Yandex password.
  4. Re-create your master password

If you didn't create a backup encryption key, you won't be able to restore access to your passwords.

Gesture, PIN, fingerprint

To avoid entering the master password every time you want to access your website passwords, use your smartphone lock method instead (PIN, gesture, or fingerprint). Your passwords in storage will still be encrypted with the master password. Each time you unlock your device, the browser will first restore your master password and then decrypt the storage.

If you delete your master password, the browser will no longer ask for your PIN, gesture, or fingerprint.

Note. The lock method is linked to the device. That's why you can't use a PIN from one smartphone to get access to passwords stored on another smartphone.

To change the password unlock method:

  1. Tap in the browser (if you don't see this button, press the menu button on your smartphone).
  2. Tap My info → Settings.
  3. Tap Access control.
  4. Enter the master password.
  5. In the Unlock with section, select an option: master password, fingerprint, gesture, or PIN. The options available depend on your smartphone model.

Backup encryption key

If you forget your master password, you can only restore your passwords if you have a recovery key. To create one, you will need to enable syncing.

To change your master password, you will not only need a recovery key, but also a special file. It will be created automatically when you enter your master password for the first time and save it locally. That's why even Yandex can't decrypt your passwords.

To restore access, you must enter the password to your Yandex account. The likelihood that a hacker could simultaneously steal the key from the server, the file from your device, and your Yandex account password is very low.

To create a backup encryption key, tap Enable as soon as you create a master password in the window that opens. If your device hasn't synced, enable syncing by entering your Yandex password.

If you can't find the information you need in Help or you are having issues with Yandex Browser, please describe your actions step by step. Take a screenshot if possible. This will help our support specialists quickly find a solution for the issue you're experiencing.

Note. If you are having issues with Yandex Browser for Desktop, contact us using the feedback form. If you are having issues with the Yandex with Alice app, use the dedicated feedback form.