Apple’s recent release of iOS 12 has made it easier than ever to use a password manager on your mobile device. Third-party password managers can automatically fill in your password using the QuickType bar in apps and Safari. As such, it only seemed fitting to consult our best password manager guide for the application you should be using.
In this guide to the best password manager for iOS, we’re going to give you our top five picks for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Those devices come with iCloud Keychain, Apple’s version of a password manager. While it’s a decent choice, and one we’ll touch on later, it lives in a vacuum of Apple devices.
Our picks will focus on real-world use. We’ll consider users who exclusively use Apple products, as well as those who use multiple operating systems. Before getting to that, though, we’re going to explain how we made our choices.
Best Password Manager for iOS 2018
Picking the Best Password Manager for iOS
While we recommend you install a password manager, using one on a mobile device can be annoying. You’ll often have to go to the app you want to log in to, go to your password manager app, log in to it, copy your password, go back to the app you want to log in to and paste your password.
The release of iOS 12 broke Apple’s habit of blocking third-party services, though. Many password managers now support auto-fill on iOS devices, which is the first criterion we used when making our picks.
While not exclusive to iOS devices, we evaluated protection, too. You’re storing your personal information in a single place on your phone, which is a ripe target for malware. We took a look at what steps the password manager is taking to protect your data.
Even with that protection, though, you should still use our best antivirus software.
Apple products are mostly used for the “Apple ecosystem,” or the many applications the company offers that sync across its devices. We’re looking for password managers that sync with your local machine in a seamless way, just as any Apple application would. If you want our picks for desktop, read our guide to the best password manager for macOS.
As we’ll see shortly, Apple includes one of the best password managers for iOS with every device, so features are important. We’re looking for extras that justify the small price tag put on password managers.
We also considered the overall user experience and support options these password managers offer. They often don’t need support and each of our picks has an excellent user experience, so those are secondary concerns.
Best Password Manager for iOS: 1Password
1Password is the best password manager for iOS. It’s cheap, has a slew of features and was recently updated to support auto-fill on iOS 12. Along with having some of the best security around, 1Password is a great choice in password manager.
A personal account syncs across your devices, so you can use the 1Password application on iOS, Android, macOS and Windows. It syncs, even when it’s not running, meaning you’ll have access to information on all your devices immediately.
Auto-fill is better than it has ever been on iOS devices. On iPhone, you’ll see a prompt above the keyboard when you edit a password field. You can tap it to select what password you want for that account. On iPad, you can use the multitasking view to open 1Password and another app to drag your password over for auto-fill.
1Password includes Watchtower on iOS, too. Watchtower will notify you of password breaches and prompt you to change your information. It’ll also give you an overview of your account security with reused or weak passwords.
Other Reasons We Like 1Password
1Password supports many entry types, and you can organize them into different vaults. For example, you could put work and personal information in separate places. Entries in your vault support unlimited custom fields, too, meaning you can store almost anything.
You can keep as many entries in your vault as you want. 1Password includes 1GB of secure document storage on its personal plan, too, but you should use one of the best cloud storage providers, such as Sync.com, instead (read our Sync.com review).
The release of 1Password X made syncing across your devices easier easier than ever. 1Password X is a browser-based vault, meaning it can run on any system with Chrome or Firefox. Whether you’re using the web interface, 1Password X, the desktop application or the mobile app, you can access your data.
Our favorite feature is Travel Mode, though. It lets you remove all personal data from your iOS device while traveling and store it in your 1Password vault. Then, once you arrive at your destination, you can restore the data with a click.
For iOS devices, you can’t beat 1Password’s excellent pricing and features. It’s a no-frills password manager that gets the job done securely. You can read our 1Password review to learn more or download a free 30-day trial to try it yourself.
- Easy to use
- Travel Mode
- No free plan
Dashlane is one of the most secure password managers on the market, but version six comes with a high price tag. If you’re willing to pay up, though, it’s among the best for iOS and any other device.
Dashlane was updated with the release of iOS 12 to support auto-fill on iPhone and iPad, which it handles the same way as 1Password. Dashlane also takes advantage of Apple Watch for two-factor authentication. The app can be your second authentication method, either by using the app to verify your identity or a six digit code on Apple Watch.
It’s similar to Google Authenticator, one of our picks for the best 2FA apps.
Dashlane syncs across your devices, whether you’re using Android, iOS, macOS or Windows. You can add and organize entries in the iOS app, generate new passwords and unlock your vault with Face ID, too.
The iOS app includes the new identity dashboard, as well. It shows your overall password health, recent data breaches and warns you about weak or reused passwords. Dashlane 6 has dark web monitoring, too, which your identity dashboard will use to notify you if your personal information has shown up there.
Other Reasons We Like Dashlane
Dashlane offers a free account that can store up to 50 entries. Unfortunately, it’s limited to one device, so you can’t sync between iOS and desktop. The most popular plan, Premium, has multi-device sync and unlimited password storage.
Dashlane’s biggest drawback is that it’s expensive. Thankfully, it comes with the features to justify the price. Premium includes dark web monitoring and a single point VPN, too, which should help you bypass the dangers of public WiFi. It’s mediocre compared to ExpressVPN, though, which is our best VPN provider (read our ExpressVPN review).
The price brings with it better security, too. Dashlane has stricter password requirements and double the rounds of hashing that 1Password does. You can read more about that in our Dashlane vs. 1Password comparison. While both will keep you safe, Dashlane has an edge in security.
The rate is hefty by password manager standards, but still cheap. For a couple dollars more per month, you’re getting dark web monitoring, a VPN and better security. 1Password is a better pick for iOS because of its usability, but Dashlane is a better choice overall.
- Dark web monitoring
- Single point VPN
- Premium security
LastPass is easily the best free password manager on the market. It supports unlimited entries, multi-device sync and auto-fill on iOS 12. It has issues, though, including a data breach in 2015, but no encrypted passwords were compromised.
The iOS app works well. You can unlock your vault using Touch ID, Face ID or your master password. LastPass segments your entries into passwords, notes, addresses, credit cards and bank accounts.
It can support many other entry types, too, and you can create a new one in the iOS app. You can attach notes, files and voice recordings to any entry, as well. Audio notes and photo attachments can also be created in the app.
Your vault is fully accessible from Apple Watch, too. You can add new entries, search for existing ones and view items without taking out your phone. Apple Watch can also be used for LastPass Authenticator.
Other Reasons We Like LastPass
LastPass is browser-based for desktops, meaning you can use it anywhere Chrome or Firefox can be installed. The web interface is excellent, displaying your entries like tiles. New categories are automatically generated when you add new entries in them.
Your vault can be organized using folders, but it’s easy to get by with scrolling through the tiles or using the search bar at the top of the interface. Usability is one of LastPass’s strongest points.
Pricing is another strength, or, rather, the lack of it. LastPass shines with its free plan. While upgrades are only a couple dollars per month, they don’t feel justified. If you want to use LastPass as an individual, the free plan is your best bet.
There is an argument for purchasing a Team or Business plan, though, as both provide significant value considering their price. You can learn more about those in our LastPass review or sign up for a free account to try it.
- Excellent free plan
- Unlimited entries
- Multi-device sync
- Mediocre personal plan
Keeper is a cheap, secure password manager that shines on iOS. The interface is one of the most attractive for Apple users, with a customizable color scheme and logical layout. The bottom of the user interface has a large plus icon that you can use to add new entries to your vault. Entries can further be organized into subfolders.
What you can do with an entry is impressive. You can attach files, photos and videos to any entry and add as many custom fields as you want. You can also take a photo or video while adding an entry, too, making it easy to tie a passport photo to your passport entry, for example.
Keeper handles 2FA with Keeper DNA. It uses IoT devices to verify your identity, which is a huge plus for Apple users. You can use your Apple Watch as a means of authentication without having to enter a second factor code, too.
iOS users can also take advantage of KeeperChat, a free private messaging application that syncs across your devices. Messages are encrypted before being sent, and you can set a self-destruct timer on highly sensitive ones. It maintains a private media gallery, too.
Other Reasons We Like Keeper
We like Keeper most for its features, pricing and support. The desktop interface isn’t as attractive as the mobile one, though, which causes more than a few problems with usability. Even so, for its inexpensive monthly fee, we can’t complain.
Your data, for as long as you choose, is backed up automatically and synced across devices. Family plans come with 10GB of secure storage, which is also synced between devices. You can purchase more storage space, but the rate is high. At $750 for 1TB of storage, it just isn’t worth it compared to pCloud, for example (read our pCloud review).
The desktop application is available for Windows, macOS and Linux. Keeper’s browser support is excellent and includes extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge, which covers the most virtual real estate we’ve seen from a password manager.
- Excellent support
- Support for many browsers
- Mediocre desktop interface
RoboForm is, undoubtedly, the easiest iOS password manager to use. It has an app-like interface reminiscent of icons on iOS devices. RoboForm fetches the favicon for the website you’re storing, making it easy to scroll through the list and find what you need.
It has been updated for iOS 12 to support password auto-fill, too. RoboForm can store passwords, credit cards and identities, and you can use form auto-fill to enter information automatically when signing up for an account online or filling in a shipping form.
RoboForm offers a free plan you can use on iOS, too. While it has unlimited entries, it’s not as good as LastPass’s because it’s restricted to a single device. If you want multi-device sync, you’ll have to upgrade to a personal plan.
Thankfully, personal plans are just as cheap as LastPass’s and you can save nearly 20 percent by purchasing five years upfront. You get extra features, too, such as offline access on your devices and cloud backup.
Other Reasons We Like RoboForm
RoboForm can store application passwords in addition to accounts. You can use it to automatically fill in your passwords in desktop applications, which is a huge time saver. When we tested it, browser capture, form fill and application fill worked without issues.
It has excellent security, too. Passwords are encrypted using AES 256-bit and hashed with PBKDF2-SHA256. That protects against brute force and dictionary attacks if your vault is compromised.
It’s unlikely that’ll happen, though. Decryption is at the device level, meaning the decryption key never goes to RoboForm’s servers. You can opt to store your passwords locally and not in the cloud, too, if you’re feeling extra cautious.
RoboForm has a long list of settings, almost too many for the average user. It’s still one of the most customizable desktop choices and the easiest to use iOS choices, though. You can learn more in our RoboForm review or sign up for a free account.
- Easy to use iOS app
- Excellent security
- Application auto-fill
- Complex desktop application
Honorable Mention: iCloud Keychain
As long as you’re only using Apple products, iOS devices have one of the best password managers built in to them. iCloud Keychain is an Apple-exclusive password manager built around iCloud, Apple’s exclusive cloud storage service. You can learn more about that in our iCloud review.
For Apple users, it doesn’t get much better than Keychain. It functions like Chrome’s password manager, prompting you to store your passwords as you land on websites. As long as you’re using the mobile and desktop versions of Safari, everything works wonderfully. Safari will also suggest strong passwords.
Adding or editing a password is horrible, though. As with many Apple services, Keychain is meant to appear like magic, meaning true editing capabilities are revoked or hidden deep in the settings.
Using it on other devices is impossible, too. Keychain struggles in other browsers and can’t be configured for use on Windows desktops. All your devices will have to be in the Apple ecosystem to use it.
Likewise, there isn’t a mechanism in place for sharing passwords as there is with many other password managers. 1Password, for example, allows you to share passwords between individuals and groups.
It’s free and pre-configured on your device, though. If you’re a fan of the Apple ecosystem, you’ll likely be a fan of iCloud Keychain, too. Just don’t expect it to play nice with non-Apple products or services.
The hurdle for auto-fill on mobile devices has been massive for password managers, but the release of iOS 12 makes it easier than ever to use them on your Apple mobile devices, including iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.
If you want to go the free and easy route, iCloud Keychain works. It’s impressive, too, if you’re an exclusive Apple user. That said, it lacks the scope of other password managers, making it a poor, almost impractical, choice if you have cohabitating operating systems.
Our first pick to bypass that issue, and gain access to an impressive list of features, is 1Password. While our selections have their strengths, 1Password has the most well-rounded feature set at a reasonable price.
What password manager are you using on your iOS device? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.