Password manager Dashlane is introducing a rebuilt version of its its one-click password changer in beta, the company announced today. With the click of a button, Dashlane’s password changer can update your passwords on supported sites without requiring you to visit the site and change your credentials yourself.
This GIF shows how it works:
The new version of the password changer works on-device, which should mean that websites are less likely to flag the attempt to change the password as unauthorized. And if the new password changer runs into something like an entry form for a two-factor authentication code, it can tell a user that they’ll have to do that step manually so that Dashlane can take care of the rest, like you can see in the GIF below.
There’s one big caveat, though: the new password changer doesn’t work with every website just yet. Dashlane’s goal for the beta is that every customer will be able to change at least two passwords in their vault with the tool to start, and the company says it works with approximately 100 sites right now, “including popular social media, streaming, shopping, and news sites.”
Dashlane first introduced a one-click password changer in 2014, but it started to work less reliably over time, Derek Snyder, Dashlane’s chief product officer, said in an interview with The Verge. The older version of the password changer is managed through Dashlane’s servers, which not only is a potential privacy risk but could also create issues with the actual password changing process. For example, a website might view Dashlane trying to change a user’s password as an unauthorized login since the change attempt was coming from a different place than where the user was located.
One benefit of a one-click password changer is that, in theory, it’s easy to change a compromised login quickly. If Dashlane becomes aware of a breach in a service used by a significant number of users, the company’s goal is to have a new one-click password recipe ready “within a matter of hours,” Snyder said. That way, people can ideally act on a password breach notification swiftly with just a few clicks. (Dashlane maintains a database of compromised websites that you can check here.)
And if a website changes the password flow in some way that breaks Dashlane’s one-click tool, the company’s engineers can remove the “recipe” for the password change from Dashlane so they can fix it, Snyder said. If you need to change your password in the interim, you’ll have to change it the old-fashioned way.
Dashlane is also introducing a new autofill engine in beta that’s powered by machine learning. The idea is that Dashlane’s machine learning algorithms can learn how to recognize fields to fill in and more quickly and accurately fill in the content from your Dashlane vault onto the page. Dashlane says the new engine should work across all sites once it has rolled out to you.
Both features will be available to users in Dashlane’s beta program, which you can sign up for here. The password changer will be available to any user in the beta today, and the company will be rolling it out to non-beta users over time. The new autofill engine will be available to beta users in about a week and over time to more users.
Users on both Dashlane’s paid tier and free tier, which only works with one device and only lets you save credentials for up to 50 accounts, will be able to use the new autofill engine “always and forever,” according to Snyder. The new one-click password changer will be available to both paid and free Dashlane users during the beta, but the company still hasn’t decided whether it will be a paid-only option when it’s widely available, Snyder said. Both features are set to be out of beta later this year.
Dashlane’s changes arrive just days before popular password manager LastPass will restrict its free users to accessing their passwords on only one category of device, either mobile or computer. If you’re looking for an alternative, perhaps the convenience of Dashlane’s updated one-click password changer and its new autofill engine could make it the choice for you.
If you want to check out other free alternatives to LastPass and Dashlane, check out our guide. And if you want to know how to bring your LastPass data to another password manager, we have a guide for that, too.
Update March 11th, 11:25AM ET: Added a link to another Verge guide about password managers.