Bitwarden is adding a touch more convenience to your browser in 2021!
Last year Bitwarden took the first step in integrating Touch ID and Windows Hello to the Desktop platforms, and as part of the first release of 2021, that functionality is extending to Browser Extensions, too!
How it works
As part of the Desktop client addition of biometric support, Bitwarden leverages an operating system-level integration with hardware that performs authentication .
Browser extensions will now be able to access this authentication inside the Desktop application. This allows a more streamlined integration with hardware that does not require a unique browser-level integration.
Enabling Browser Biometrics
To start using Touch ID or Windows Hello to unlock your browser extension, install the Desktop Application and enable the applicable biometric option and Browser Integration under Preferences → Options.
Once the desktop application is configured, log into your Bitwarden browser extension and enable Unlocking with biometrics under Settings → Options. The desktop application will confirm the connection to your browser extension to complete the configuration.
Biometrics requires a new permission from the browser extension. This is currently available and optional for all chrome-based browsers. Firefox and Safari will gain biometric functionality in the near future.
Biometrics and best practices
The addition of biometric unlocking for the browser extensions extends security and productivity for Bitwarden users. Secure hardware biometric functions allow users to keep the total unlocked Vault time to a minimum by locking on shorter intervals more easily, using their face or fingerprint to unlock instead of typing a master password!
For documentation on configuring biometric authentication in Bitwarden, please check out our help article here.