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Resource: Collections Management Settings

Flexible options for managing organization collections to suit your business

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  2. Resource: Collections Management Settings

Flexible options for managing organization collections

Bitwarden Password Manager organization owners have access to two toggleable settings for collections management. Having neither, one, or both enabled affects the behavior of collections, providing four distinct options for how collections and vault items can be managed. This allows for a range of management access strategies, including full self-serve, a policy of least privilege, and strict administrator oversight.

 - The two collection management options available to organization owners in the web app admin console
The two collection management options available to organization owners in the web app admin console

Owners and admins can manage all collections and items
When this setting is checked, administrator roles will have the ability to view, edit, and manage all collections and vault items in them. When this setting is unchecked, administrator roles will only have access to collections where they have direct collection permissions assigned.

Limit collection creation and deletion to owners and admins
When this setting is checked, administrator roles will be the only members in the organizations that can create and delete collections. When this setting is unchecked, all members in the organization will have the ability to create collections

Additional Resources

Blog: Additional enterprise options for least privileged access control

Help: About Collections

Help: Collection Management

How these settings affect your organization

Both settings checked
By default, both settings are checked. Owners and Administrators have access to everything in the organization vault, and only they can create and delete collections.

  • Empowers the administrator to set up collections as the organization needs

  • Gives administrators the visibility and access to make changes to all vault items

First setting unchecked, second setting checked
Administrators will be able to see that a collection exists, but cannot access it or the items therein unless they have been given the Can manage permission for that collection. Admins alone can create a collection and they’ll automatically receive the Can manage permission, but can then pass that off to a designated collection manager to populate. Only admins will be able to delete collections, regardless of Can manage permissions.

  • Great middle ground between full admin control and user self-serve

  • Admins can create the structure of the organization and then let the users work in that space

  • Helps adhere to a policy of least-privilege - administrators can be assigned to low-sensitivity collections, but not to confidential ones

First setting checked, second setting unchecked
Users can create and delete their own collections, and administrators are able to access those collections. This allows for a self-serve approach with admin supervision.

  • Users can handle their own work without contacting administrators

  • Admins can intervene in case something unexpected comes up, such as the collection manager going out on leave

  • Users will automatically receive the Can manage permission for organizations they create, and the Can manage permission is required to delete a collection

Both settings unchecked
Administrators will only be able to see collection structure unless they’ve been given specific permission to manage them. Users can create and delete their own collections without admin contact or admins seeing the contained vault items.

  • Allows for full user self-serve

  • Useful for large organizations with many small teams with lots of collections

  • Helps adhere to a policy of least-privilege


A great use-case for this setup would be for the Remove Individual Vault policy, where a user must store their own passwords in the organization vault, but can do so inside a private collection.

Start a free 7-day business trial and experience the flexibility of Bitwarden collections and the other great benefits of a business password manager today!

Tip:

Administrators will automatically receive access to orphaned collections if there are no users with Can manage access.

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