Deleting Passwords Should be Moved Out of "Clear Browsing Data" Menus

Brass Contributor

Deleting passwords should be moved out of the "Clear Browsing Data" menus.


Passwords are not temporary data like the other items in those menus – such as browsing history, cookies and caches. Deleting passwords can be detrimental, especially if sync is enabled.


How browser password managers are used now is a lot different to how they used to be used in the past. People are moving away from using passwords they can remember like "PaulJones1940Amazon" and then just using the browser password manager secondarily for convenience (so they don't have to keep typing it in).


Instead, browser password managers are being used as the sole record of the passwords. For example, people create an account on a website from their laptop, phone, tablet, etc., the password manager randomly generates a strong password and the password is then saved/synced between all the devices. This is the only record of the password, they do not know their password or have it written down elsewhere.


If these passwords are then deleted, they are then locked out of all their accounts. If they have sync enabled so that it syncs through their Microsoft Account, then these passwords will all be permanently deleted across all their devices.


Putting important long-term data like passwords in amongst temporary data like browsing data is bad design – the passwords are only a single accidental click/tap away from being permanently deleted across all the user's devices.


Deletion of passwords should be removed from all of the "Clear Browsing Data" menus and instead be moved to their own area in the Passwords section. And then, when deleting passwords, it should also explicitly warn the user that they are about to permanently delete all their passwords across all their devices and give them the option to back out.


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