How To...

Get Started with a Brand New Safe

If you don’t already have a password safe stored somewhere that you’d like to use, and you’d like to get started from scratch. Start here.

Where Should I Store my Safe?

First you should decide where you would like to store your safe. There are two main options:

  • Store locally on device
  • Store on the cloud (iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc)

You have the option of storing it locally on your device. This has the added advantage of physical security in addition to cryptographic security. The other option is to store it on the cloud, on one of the supported cloud providers. The advantage of a cloud provider is that you can share it across your devices, keep it in sync, and not have to worry about losing it in case of device loss or malfunction. This comes at a slight cost in terms of security, but most people find the trade-off worth it. Remember, the security of the safe is based on mathematics, meaning that even if an adversary has access to your safe, it will take an enormous (likely nation-state level) amount of resources, time and effort to have any chance of cracking your passphrase. As the developer, I myself choose to store my own passwords on a cloud provider, purely for convenience.

Creating a New Safe

Once you’ve decided where you would like to store your safe, you can proceed as follows depending on your device:

For iOS App Users

  1. Tap the ‘+’ button in the top right hand corner
  2. Choose ‘Create New Safe’
  3. Follow the on screen prompts to create your new safe, on your storage provider of choice
  4. You will be asked to enter a name for the safe, choose a friendly name which will be displayed in the main screen
  5. You will also be asked to enter a master password. Choose a very good password or passphrase, and remember, this is your only way to open the safe. You must always remember this password. Without it, there is no hope of opening the safe

For Mac App Users

  1. Choose File > New from the menu
  2. This will create a new safe for you, and you will be prompted to enter a master password
  3. Choose a very good password or passphrase, and remember, this is your only way to open the safe. You must always remember this password. Without it, there is no hope of opening the safe
  4. You may not create new folders and entries and generate passwords at will

You should now have a new safe, ready to be filled with passwords and secrets, safe from prying eyes.

Use Strongbox to Login to a website or application

If you are using iOS12 or later, you can use the Strongbox Auto Fill Credential Provider. This means when you are asked to enter a password or username, you will be presented with a button that allows you to open Strongbox and find your password from within whatever app you are using, be it Safari or another app.This is the easiest and most streamlined way to use Strongbox on your iOS device.

Otherwise, the best way to do this is to use the clipboard. You can copy and paste your passwords, usernames, urls, notes, etc with quick access buttons in the app. Once copied, go to the website or application and paste in the required field. At present there are no plugins available to automate this process.

What version of KeePass does Strongbox support?

Strongbox supports versions 1 and 2 of the KeePass format. Strongbox supports both the KDB and KDBX formats. It also supports both versions of the KeePass 2 (KDBX) formats. These are often referred to as KDBX file versions 3.1 and 4. Because KeePass uses a pluggable architecture some KeePass files using special plugins may not be supported by Strongbox. If you use any algorithms outside of the standard range of AES, Salsa20, Argon2D, and ChaCha20 you may find Strongbox is not able to open the file.

NB: Not all features of KeePass are supported or exposed in the UI. In particular expiry, OTP, custom fields and other less used features are not currently supported, though Strongbox will respect that data and not edit or change it. So your data is always safe, it’s just that Strongbox does not display it in the interface.