Account Encryption Key

Category: Security
On this page:

    Each unique Bitwarden account has an encryption key derived from your Master Password, according to the methods defined in Encryption. This encryption key is used to encrypt all Vault data.

    Rotate your Encryption Key

    Warning

    Rotating your encryption key is a potentially dangerous operation. Please read this section thoroughly to understand the full ramifications of doing so.

    Rotating your account’s encryption key generates a new encryption key that is used to re-encrypt all Vault data. You should consider rotating your encryption key if your account has been compromised such in a way that someone has obtained your encryption key.

    After rotating, you should quickly take the following actions to prevent data loss or corruption:

    Log out of Client Applications

    When you rotate an encryption key, you must immediately log out of any logged-in sessions on Bitwarden client applications (Desktop App, Browser Extension, Mobile App, etc). Logging out of client applications in this way will shut down sessions using the “stale” (prior-to-rotation) encryption key. After doing so, logging back in as normal will use the new encryption key.

    Making changes in a session with a “stale” encryption key will cause data corruption that will make your data unrecoverable.

    Re-create any Encrypted Exports

    If you’re using Encrypted Exports to store long-term secure backups, you should immediately re-create the encrypted export of your Vault data using the new encryption key.

    Encrypted Exports use your encryption key to encrypt and decrypt your Vault data, meaning that a rotated encryption key will not be able to decrypt an export created with the “stale” (prior-to-rotation) key.

    How to Rotate your Encryption Key

    Complete the following steps to rotate your account encryption key:

    1. Log in to your Web Vault.
    2. Select Settings from the top navigation bar.
    3. On the My Account page, locate the Change Master Password section.
    4. Enter your Current Master Password and create/confirm a New Master Password.

      Tip

      If you don’t want to change your Master Password and only rotate your account encryption key, you can enter your current master password in the New fields to prevent it from changing.

    5. Check the Also rotate my account’s encryption key checkbox and accept the dialog.
    6. Select the Change Master Password button.