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First Steps Tutorial

A short tutorial showing you the basic usage of KeePass.

This short tutorial shows you how to use KeePass. It describes only the basic usage, advanced features are covered on separate pages.

Creating a new database

The very first step is creating a new password database. KeePass will store all your passwords in such a database. To create one, click 'File' → 'New...' in the main menu or click the leftmost toolbar button. A window will appear, which prompts you for a master password and/or key file. The database will be encrypted with the password you enter here. The password you enter here will be the only password you will ever have to remember from now on. It should be long and built up of mixed characters. Keep in mind that when someone gets your database file and guesses the password, he could access all passwords you stored in the database.

For this tutorial, we just use a password, not a key file. Click into the password edit field and enter a password of your choice. The password edit control is not limited in length, so feel free to even enter a whole sentence (just keep in mind that you need to remember it).

KeePass 1.x Only
After clicking [OK], a second dialog appears, in which you have to repeat the master password you just entered in the previous dialog. This is in order to avoid accidental typing errors.

KeePass 2.x Only
After clicking [OK], a second dialog appears. In this dialog you can configure some generic database properties. For now, just leave everything as it is and click [OK].

Now you see the main window. On the left, you see the entry groups. On the right, you see the actual password entries. The password entries are grouped together into the password groups you see on the left. So, depending on which group on the left you selected, it shows you the entries in this group in the right view. KeePass has created a few default groups for you, but you are free to delete them and create your own ones.

Adding an entry

Time to store your very first password in the KeePass database! Right-click into the right password entry view and choose 'Add Entry...'. A window will pop up. In this window you can now edit your entry: enter a title for it, a user name, a URL, the password, etc. If you do not need some of the fields, just leave them empty. When you are done, click [OK].

Using entries

Your new entry is displayed in the main entry list now. There are various ways how you can use it.

For example, you can copy the user name of the entry into the clipboard. In order to invoke the 'Copy User Name' command, double-click onto the user name cell in the main entry list. Alternatively, the command can be invoked via the main menu, the context menu, the toolbar button, or by pressing Ctrl+B. When the user name is in the clipboard, you can paste it into the target window.

Copying passwords and other fields works analogously.

Alternatively, you can drag&drop fields into other windows. For details, see Drag&Drop.

Saving the database

It is time to save your database. Click onto the 'Save' toolbar button (which has a disk icon).


That is it! You have made the first steps in using KeePass! You can now have a look at the more advanced features of KeePass.

Passwords and Key Files: In the tutorial above, we have encrypted the database using a password. However, KeePass also supports key files, i.e. you can lock your database using a file (which you can carry around on your USB stick for instance). It even supports combining those two methods for maximum security.

TAN Entries: TAN entries are one-time passwords. Many banks are using TANs for better security. KeePass supports TAN entries, by making them expire automatically when using them.

Auto-Type: The auto-typing functionality is a very powerful feature. In the tutorial above, you have copied the user name and password of an entry to the clipboard. Wouldn't it be nice if KeePass would just type those strings for you into other windows? Wouldn't it be nice if you could define whole sequences of keypresses that KeePass should type for you? That is exactly what the auto-type feature does: it sends simulated keypresses for you to other windows!

URL Field: The URL field supports URLs of course. In the tutorial, you have learned that you can enter simple URLs into this field and KeePass will open the browser window for you. However, the URL field can do more! It actually supports many different protocols (not just http) and supports executing Windows command lines through the cmd:// virtual protocol. The field also features a powerful substitution engine, replacing codes by other fields (user name, password, ...) of this entry.

Command Line Parameters: You can open .kdb(x) files by passing the file name to the KeePass executable file. However, did you know that you can also send the password for the database and key file location over the command line? You can also use the command line to preselect a key file for you.

Plugins (1.x, 2.x): KeePass features a powerful plugin architecture. If you miss some functionality, have a look at the plugins page to see if there are other people that have already written plugins for this. Many plugins exist to import/export data from/to other file formats.

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