Using a Primary Password with Sync

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Primary Password is replacing Master Password. Firefox is removing terminology from the browser that has been identified as derogatory or exclusionary. Learn more about why we’re making this change.

Firefox has the option of using a Primary Password to protect all your saved passwords. When a Primary Password is enabled, your saved passwords are encrypted and can not be accessed without entering the Primary Password. See Use a Primary Password to protect stored logins and passwords for more information.

How does my Primary Password work with Sync?

When using Sync, your Firefox Accounts login is stored with your saved passwords in the Lockwise Password Manager. Your Primary Password must be entered so Sync can access your Firefox Accounts login. Once the Primary Password has been entered, Sync can also access your other saved passwords and sync them between your devices.

Passwords will not sync with Firefox for Android if a Primary Password is enabled there.

How are my passwords kept safe?

When you save website passwords, the Primary Password feature encrypts them before storing them on your computer, then decrypts them when they are handed to Sync after you enter your Primary Password. Sync then takes your decrypted passwords, and re-encrypts them using a different (and better) encryption scheme based on your Firefox Accounts password, before sending the encrypted version online for storage on the Sync servers. The decrypted copies of your password are never transmitted online.

While Sync does encrypt your passwords online and on the Sync servers, it does not make any attempt to encrypt them on the device itself - that is the job of the Primary Password. The Primary Password itself is not synced between devices, so you can have a different (or no) Primary Password on other devices.

(Tip: Increase protection by enabling a Primary Password on each device. See Use a Primary Password to protect stored logins and passwords and Using Master Password on Firefox for Android.)

Security tip:

Always choose a strong password for your Firefox Account and be careful not to lose it. If you reset your password after forgetting it, you will lose access to your Sync data until you resync your device using the new password.

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