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How to enable two-factor authentication for Bitwarden

How to enable two-factor authentication for Bitwarden

If you use Bitwarden as your chosen password manager, you owe it to yourself to enable two-factor authentication.

If you choose to use the open source Bitwarden password manager, you have made a wise choice. Everyone must use the password manager today and not do it creates problems.

But even the password manager is only as safe as your main password. Use a weak master password and someone can get access to that database, get access to all the accounts that you have saved.

You do not want that.

To prevent such incidents, you must use a strong password for your Bitwarden database. But even so, you have to compete with the fact that your Bitwarden database is synchronized with a cloud account and can be accessed via the web. To better protect your account, you can always lock it with the addition of two-factor authentication (2FA).

I want to show you how to enable two-factor authentication with Bitwarden. Be aware that a standard account will give you access to 2FA with a login code sent to Gmail or using a third-party application such as Authy. If you want to use 2FA-based hardware (Yubikey, FIDO U2F, and Duo), you have to look for a Premium account, which is $ 10.00 / year.

$ 10.00 / year also gives you:

  • 1 GB encrypted storage for file attachments
  • Clean passwords, health accounts, and data breach reports to keep your safe safe
  • TOTP (2FA) verification code generator for logging in to your safe
  • Priority customer support

If you want serious security, you will choose hardware-based, which means paying a premium price.

Whatever it is, you can activate 2FA for web-based Bitwarden. Unfortunately, this does not apply to Bitwarden clients, who will only need your master password to gain access.

How to activate 2FA for Bitwarden

To make it work, go to your Bitwarden online safe. Once there, click Settings in the top navigation (Figure A).

Figure A


Settings option in the top navigation.

In the resulting window, click Two-Step Login from the left navigation (Figure B).

Figure B


Bitwarden left navigation web interface.

On the next screen, click the Manage button related to the type of 2FA you want to use (Figure C).

Figure C


Select the type of 2FA that you want to use.

You will then be asked to enter your main password. After successful authentication, you will then be presented with a QR code (Figure D).

Figure D


Setting up app-based 2FA for Bitwarden.

Open your 2FA application, create a new account, and scan the code. The way you do this depends on the 2FA tool you are using, but the process is quite simple – regardless of what application you are using.


And that’s all there is to enable 2FA for Bitwarden password managers – at least for the web-front. But I admit, it would be nice if they activate it for clients too. It is good to know that the database is protected by two layers of security. Beyond that one warning, this must be considered to be done for every Bitwarden user.

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