Get Started with Organizations
Why Bitwarden Organizations?
Password managers like Bitwarden make it easy to store and access unique and secure passwords across all of your devices, keeping your online accounts safer than ever! Using Bitwarden, you won’t need to dangerously repeat simple passwords or leave them exposed in unencrypted formats like spreadsheets, documents, or sticky notes.
Bitwarden Organizations add a layer of collaboration and sharing to password management for your family, team, or enterprise, allowing you to securely share common information like office wifi passwords, online credentials, or shared company credit cards. Secure sharing of Organization-owned credentials is safe and easy.
This article will help you get started with a free 2-person Organization so you can experience secure sharing in no time.
What are Organizations?
Bitwarden Organizations relate users and Vault items together for secure sharing of Logins, Notes, Cards, and Identities owned by the Organization. Organizations could be a family, team, company or any group of people that needs to securely share data. Organizations have a unique Vault, where administrators can manage the Organization’s items, users, and settings:
Comparing Organizations with Premium
The key thing to know is that Organizations enable secure sharing from Organizations to users. Premium Individual plans unlock premium password security and management features, including advanced 2FA options, the Bitwarden Authenticator (TOTP), encrypted file attachments, and more, but Premium Individual does not include secure data sharing.
Paid Organizations (Families, Teams, or Enterprise) automatically include those premium features (advanced 2FA options, Bitwarden Authenticator (TOTP), etc.) for every user enrolled in the Organization.
Setup Bitwarden Accounts
Free Bitwarden Organizations allow for 2 users to securely share Organization-owned credentials. You might use a free Organization to share with friend or partner, or to test Organizations before upgrading to a different plan.
Bitwarden provides applications on lots of devices, including Browser Extensions, Mobile Apps, Desktop Apps, and a CLI, but for the purposes of this guide we’ll focus on the Web Vault. The Web Vault provides the richest Bitwarden experience for administering your Organization.
Sign up for Bitwarden
Don’t forget your Master Password! Bitwarden is a zero knowledge solution, meaning that the team at Bitwarden, as well as Bitwarden systems themselves, have no knowledge of, way to retrieve, or way to reset your Master Password.
Once your account is created, log in to your Web Vault and verify your account’s email address to unlock access to all features:
Sign up for Bitwarden again
In order to use your free 2-person Organization for secure sharing, you’ll need to have 2 Bitwarden accounts. Once your first Bitwarden account is setup, follow the same procedure (or help your friend or partner to do so) to setup the other account.
Setup your Organization
To setup your Organization:
In your Web Vault, select the New Organization button:
- Enter an Organization Name and a Billing Email we can reach you at. In this guide we’re setting up a free Organization, so you won’t be billed for anything!
- Choose your Plan. Bitwarden offers Organizations suited to any need, but in this case select Free.
- Scroll down and select Submit to finish creating your Organization.
Get to know your Organization
Once created, you’ll land in your Organization Vault, which is the central hub for all things sharing and Organization administration. As the Organization Owner, you’ll be able to see your Vault, to Manage users and Collections, to use some Bitwarden Tools, and to configure your Organization’s Settings:
Get to know Collections
Collections are an important part of a Bitwarden Organization; they represent the logical grouping of Organization-owned Vault items that belong to your Organization. Your Organization comes pre-loaded with a Default Collection and an Unassigned tag. With a free Organization, you can create up to 2 Collections using the Manage tab:
In a lot of ways, Collections are like the Folders you might use to organize your Personal Vault. A key difference is that items that belong to your Organization must be included in at least 1 Collection.
Add a User to your Organization
Now that you’re familiar with your Organization, it’s a good time to add the other Organization member you’ll be sharing with. To ensure the security of your Organization, Bitwarden applies a 3-step process for onboarding a new member, Invite → Accept → Confirm.
As the Organization Owner, invite a new member:
In your Organization Vault, open the Manage tab and select the Invite User button:
- Enter the Email of your second member, which should match the email they signed up for Bitwarden with. You can also choose the User Type and Access Controls assigned to this user, including which Collections they can access.
- Select Save to send the invitation to the designated email address.
Once your invitation is sent, inform your new member and help them accept the invitation.
As the newly invited member, open your email inbox and look for an email from Bitwarden inviting you to join an Organization. Clicking the link in the email will open a Bitwarden Web Client invitation window:
Since you’ve already signed up for Bitwarden, select Log In. Fully logging in to your Vault will accept the invitation.
Invitations expire after 5 days. Make sure you accept the invitation within that window, otherwise the Organization Owner will have to re-invite you.
Confirm accepted Organization to complete the loop:
- Log in to your Web Vault and open your Organization.
- Open the Manage tab and select People from the left-hand menu.
Acceptedusers and use the gear dropdown to Confirm Selected:
Verify that the fingerprint phrase on your screen matches the one your new member can find in Settings → My Account:
Each fingerprint phrase is unique to its account, and ensures a final layer of oversight in securely adding users. If they match, select Submit.
Get to know your Vault
Part of the magic of Bitwarden Organizations is that items that belong to you and items that belong to the Organization are accessible side-by-side from your My Vault view, there’s no need to maintain separate profiles. Your Organization-enabled Vault has a few new features to check out, first among which is your Collections filters:
Collections are a lot like Folders in that they organize the Organization-owned items in your Vault. Like anything else in the Filters menu, selecting a Collection will filter listed Vault items down to only the ones in that Collection.
Items Shared from an Organization
You probably don’t have a item shared from an organization yet, but when you do it will be displayed in your Vault with a Shared icon:
Shared items are owned by the Organization. This means that anyone with permission can alter the item or delete it, which would remove it from your Vault as well.
Move an Item to the Organization
The last step on the road to secure sharing is to create an item and move it to the Organization so it can be shared. An existing Vault item can be moved to the Organization after it’s created, but for this guide, we’ll focus on creating a new Login from your Personal Vault:
- On the My Vault page, select the Add Item button.
- Fill in all the relevant information for your new Login item (e.g. Username and Password). The item can be anything you want both yourself and the other Organization user to have access to, for example a family streaming account.
- In the Ownership section at the bottom of the Add Item Panel, select your Organization to designate the item for sharing.
- Select one or more Collections to put this item into. Generally, users of two-person Organizations setup access for both users for all Collections. In larger or more complex Organizations, which Collection you put the item into will determine who can access it.
- Select the Save button to finishing creating the Organization-owned item.
This new item will be accessible to both yourself and the other Organization user! As long as both users can access the Collection it’s in, it will appear for both in the Organization Vault and in the My Vault view alongside other personal Vault items.
You’ve setup your new Bitwarden accounts, created an Organization, learned a bit about your Vaults, and shared an item! Nice work!