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KeePass Password Safe
KeePass 2.x Main Window
Developer(s) Dominik Reichl
Initial release November 16, 2003 (2003-11-16)
Stable release

1.28[1] (October 1, 2014 (2014-10-01))

2.28[2] (October 8, 2014 (2014-10-08))
Written in C# (2.x version),
C++ (1.x version)
Operating system Windows; Linux, Mac OS X, BSD with Mono (Professional Edition)
Platform Cross-platform
Available in Multilingual
Type Password manager
License GNU GPLv2+
Website .infokeepass

KeePass Password Safe is a free, open source, cross-platform and light-weight password management utility for Microsoft Windows, with unofficial ports for Linux, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.[3][4] KeePass stores all usernames, passwords, other fields, including free-form notes, in a securely encrypted database, protected by a single master password and/or key file. By default the KeePass encrypted database is not stored in the cloud but locally.[5]

KeePass is flexible and extensible, with many configuration options. It supports two-factor authentication and Windows secure desktop option to protect against keyloggers.[6] KeePass can import from over 30 other most commonly used password managers.[6] There is a large selection of plugins for KeePass,[7] but caution should be taken when installing plugins from third-party sources.

KeePassX is based on Qt, KeePass 2 is based on Mono.[8][9]


  • Features 1
    • Password management 1.1
    • Import and export 1.2
    • Multi-user support 1.3
    • Auto-type, global hot keys, drag-and-drop 1.4
    • Browser support 1.5
    • Built-in password generator 1.6
    • Plugins 1.7
  • Cryptography 2
    • Runtime security 2.1
    • Offline security 2.2
  • Other versions 3
  • Popularity 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Password management

Passwords stored by this application can be further divided into manageable groups. Each group can have an identifying icon. Groups can be further divided into subgroups in a tree-like organization.

Further, KeePass tracks the creation time, modification time, last access time, and expiration time of each password stored. Files can be attached and stored with a password record, or text notes can be entered with the password details. Each password record can also have an associated icon. Some reviewers have noted that the app interface takes some training before users feel comfortable using it.[10]

Import and export

The password list can be exported to various formats like OpenOffice/LibreOffice Calc. Exports from these programs can be imported to KeePass databases. KeePass can parse and import TXT outputs of CodeWalletPro, a commercial closed-source password safe. It can import TXT files created by Bruce Schneier's Password Safe v2. File format support can be expanded through the use of KeePass plugins. The HTML output uses Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to format the table, which makes it possible to change the layout.

Multi-user support

Keepass supports simultaneous access and simultaneous changes to a shared password file by multiple computers (often by using a shared network drive), however there is no provisioning of access per-group or per-entry.[11] As of May 2014, there are no plugins available to add provisioned multi-user support, but there exists a proprietary password server (Pleasant Password Server) that is compatible with the KeePass client and includes provisioning.[12]

Auto-type, global hot keys, drag-and-drop

KeePass Auto-Type with global hotkey in action
Auto-type, global auto-type hot key combination and drag-n-drop support: KeePass can minimize itself and type the information of the currently selected entry into dialogs, webforms, etc. KeePass features a global auto-type hot key. When KeePass is running in the background (with opened database) and the user presses the hot key, it looks up the correct entry and executes its auto-type sequence.[10] All fields, title, username, password, URL and notes can be drag-n-dropped into other windows.

Windows clipboard handling allows to double-click on any field of the password list to copy its value to the Windows clipboard. KeePass can clear the clipboard automatically some time after the user has copied one of their passwords into it. KeePass features a protection against clipboard monitors (other applications won't get notifications that the clipboard content has been changed)) and it has a paste-once functionality: allow only one paste operation, after pasting the clipboard is cleared automatically by KeePass. The latter was removed in 2.x due to incompatibility and insufficient effectiveness.[13]

Browser support

The auto-type functionality works with all windows, and consequently with all browsers. The KeeForm extension allows users to open websites with Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox and fill in user details automatically. For Internet Explorer, there's also a browser integration toolbar available.[14]

For Firefox there's another extension called KeeFox which connects to KeePass when a user needs to access a password from it.[15]

Built-in password generator

User Interface of the password generator

KeePass features a built-in password generator that generates random passwords. Random seeding can be done through user input (mouse movement and random keyboard input).[10]


KeePass has a plugin architecture. There are various plugins available on the KeePass homepage (import/export from/to various other formats, database backup, integration and automation, etc.). Note that plugins may compromise the security of KeePass, because they are written by independent authors and have full access to the KeePass database.


Runtime security

"Add Entry" dialog in KeePass

According to the utility's author, KeePass was one of the first password management utilities to use security-enhanced password edit controls, in this case one called CSecureEditEx.[16] The author makes several claims regarding the security of the control and its resistance to password revealing utilities; however, the author does not cite or make any references to any third-party testing of the control to corroborate the claims of its security.[17] The software can be tested, since the source code is freely available.

Passwords are protected in memory while KeePass is running. On Windows Vista and Windows 7, passwords are encrypted in process memory using Windows Data Protection API, which allows storing the key for memory protection in a secure, non-swappable memory area. On previous Windows systems, KeePass falls back to using the ARC4 cipher with a temporary, random session key.[18]

Offline security

Access to the database is restricted by either a master password or a key file. Both methods may be combined to create a "composite master key". If both methods are used, then both must be present to access the password database. KeePass version 2.x introduces a third option—dependency upon the current Windows user.[19] KeePass encrypts the database with the AES or Twofish symmetric ciphers. AES is the default option, and Twofish is available in 1.x, but is not available in version 2.x. However, a separate plugin provides Twofish as an encryption algorithm.

Other versions

KeePassX Logo
  • KeePassX, a multi-platform open-source KeePass clone for Linux and OS X, built using version 4.3 of the Qt libraries. As of October 2011, databases created by KeePassX 0.4.3 are binary-compatible with databases created by KeePass 1.x, with support for the Keepass 2.x database format implemented in a new alpha release in May 2012[20]
  • kpcli, a command line interface to KeePass database files, written in Perl and with a familiar Unix shell-style user interface.[21]
  • KeePassC, a curses-based password manager compatible to KeePass v.1.x and KeePassX, written in python 3.[22]
  • 7Pass for Windows Phones, a port of KeePass for Windows Phone devices
  • KeePass for Blackberry, a Blackberry port of KeePass for RIM devices
  • KeePassMobile, KeePass port for mobile phones (Java ME)
  • KeePass for J2ME, a Java ME port of KeePass for mobile phones
  • iKeePass for iPhone, a port of KeePass for the iPhone, compatible with versions 1.x
  • MiniKeePass for iPhone, compatible with versions 1.x and 2.x
  • MyKeePass for iPhone, compatible with versions 1.x and 2.x
  • KeePassDroid, a port of KeePass for the Android platform, compatible with .kdb (1.x) and .kdbx (2.x, beta) files[23]
  • Keepass2Android, a port of KeePass 2.x for the Android platform using Mono for Android[24]
  • KeepShare, an enhanced, read-only KeePass client for the Android platform
  • KeePass for SmartDevices, a port of KeePass for Windows Mobile and PocketPC devices
  • KyPass for iPhone/iPad, a fork of MyKeePass with full dropbox support
  • KeePass for OS X, using Mono[25]
  • PassDrop for iPhone and iPad including a fullscreen interface on the iPad. Includes full read/write dropbox support, compatible with version 1.x[26]
  • KeePassB for BlackBerry 10 and PlayBook devices, compatible with versions 1.x and 2.x[27]
  • KeePass for BlackBerry. Native port for BlackBerry 10 devices, compatible with versions 1.x[28]
  • MacPass, a free and open source native client for Mac OS X[29]
  • ownKeepass for Sailfish OS, compatible with KeePass 1.x file format[30]


KeePass has been selected for inclusion on the VALO-CD, a Finnish collection of software for Windows.

See also


  1. ^ KeePass 1.28 available! on KeePass website
  2. ^ KeePass 2.28 available! on KeePass website
  3. ^ Zukerman, Erez. "Review: KeePass makes strong passwords and keeps them safe". PC World. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "7Pass | KeePass reader for Windows Phone". 2012-03-04. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  5. ^ Zukerman, Erez. "Tools for the paranoid: 5 free security tools to protect your data". PCWorld. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Rubenking, Neil. "KeePass Review & Ratings". PC Mag. Retrieved 11 Jun 2014. 
  7. ^ "KeePass Plugins and Extensios". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Debian Webmaster, "Debian - Details of package keepassx in sid". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  9. ^ Debian Webmaster, "Debian - Details of package keepass2 in sid". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  10. ^ a b c Markton, Ben. "KeePass Password Safe Professional". Retrieved 11 Jun 2014. 
  11. ^ Dominik Reichl. "KeePass Help Center". Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  12. ^ "Pleasant Password Server". Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  13. ^ Dominik Reichl. "What happened to the paste-once functionality in 2.x? - KeePass Forums". Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  14. ^ KeeForm, undated, retrieved 24 June 2014
  15. ^ "Home". KeeFox. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  16. ^ Dominik Reichl. "Secure Edit Controls - KeePass". Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  17. ^ Dominik Reichl (2005-04-17). "CSecureEditEx - A More Secure Edit Control". The Code Project. 
  18. ^ Dominik Reichl. "Security - KeePass". Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  19. ^ Dominik Reichl. "Composite Master Key - KeePass". Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  20. ^ "Blog Archiv – KeePassX 2.0 Alpha 1 released". KeePassX. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  21. ^ "kpcli - A command line interface for KeePass". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  22. ^ "raymontag/keepassc · GitHub". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  23. ^ "KeePassDroid - Android-apps op Google Play". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  24. ^ "Keepass2Android Password Safe - Android-apps op Google Play". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  25. ^ "KeePass for OS X". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  26. ^ "PassDrop on the App Store on iTunes". 2014-04-16. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  27. ^ "KeePassB - BlackBerry World". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  28. ^ "KeePass for BlackBerry - BlackBerry World". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  29. ^ "MacPass by mstarke". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  30. ^ "jobe-m/ownkeepass 路 GitHub". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 

External links

  • KeePass – official site
  • KeePassX – official site
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