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Ultimate Guide: Getting Started with LastPass

Updated: Aug 2, 2023


*This is a sponsored post and may contain affiliate links. All opinions are 100% mine.*


It happened again.


You were excited to buy something on your phone, but couldn't because you forgot your login information.


Or, my personal favorite is getting an alert that your credit card was used to place a $137 order at Chipotle... on the other side of the country. The worst.


You know there has to be a better way... and thankfully there is!


By the time you work through this comprehensive guide you will A) have LastPass setup on all of your devices and B) feel empowered that you are finally managing your passwords instead of the passwords managing you.


The kicker is that it is much easier than your mind lets you believe! If you aren't familiar with LastPass, you can read my product review and see why I love and recommend LastPass.


Getting Started with LastPass

LastPass provides a free 30-day trial of their Premium version so you can get started with no risk and work step-by-step through this guide. If you can't get through all of the steps below in one sitting, bookmark this page to revisit as time allows.


If you're like me, you need your passwords on ALL of your devices and that is the primary selling point of the Premium version. In recent years, the free version has become less useful and currently, your account access is limited to one device type (your phone OR computer).


The Premium version is $3/month, paid annually, and is best suited for someone who uses various devices but does not need to share passwords with anyone.


If you're married or still getting away with using your parent's Netflix password, the Families version is $4/month, also paid annually. This version allows you to share passwords with up to 6 users, and each user has their own LastPass Vault.


Once you're a LastPass Whiz, you can decide which version of LastPass works best for you. For now, let's focus on getting started with LastPass!



TABLE OF CONTENTS:


Install LastPass Browser Extension and App

Time: 3-5 minutes


On computers, LastPass lives inside your browser as an extension. On phones and tablets, you will need to download the app.


Browser Extension Steps:

  1. Go to the LastPass downloads page and select the browser or mobile device you use.

  2. After its installed, there will be a new icon (grey box with 3 white dots) on your toolbar.

  3. Click the icon and select 'Create an Account' or log in if you already have an account.

  4. Enter your email address and create your master password. This will be the only password you need to remember, but make sure it is strong.

Pro Tip: At least 14 characters and a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.

App Download Steps:

  1. Go to the LastPass downloads page and select the mobile device you use.

  2. After it's installed, open the LastPass app and select 'Create an Account' or log in if you already have an account.

  3. Enter your email address and create your master password. As mentioned above, this should still be a strong password.

For new users, the 30-day free trial of Premium allows you to sync your Vault across several devices. If your free trial has ended, you'll be prompted to upgrade to the Premium version or denied access whenever you attempt to log in on the second device.


iOS Users: Enable LastPass for AutoFill

Time: 1-2 minutes


The LastPass extension in your browser will usually take over as the default password manager automatically, but on your iPhone or iPad that is not the case. To actually use LastPass to AutoFill you need to update your iOS device's Password Settings.

  1. Go to the Settings app > Passwords (it is just below the Wallet section).

  2. Click 'Password Options' and make sure 'AutoFill Passwords' is toggled on.

  3. Click on LastPass in the 'Allow Filling From' section

  4. If prompted, you can opt to disable the Apple Keychain since we only need to store our passwords in one place.

Once this step is completed, LastPass will AutoFill your login information for sites and apps in your Vault. And it will prompt you to save new passwords as you enter them.

Pro Tip: Enable FaceID to unlock your Vault to make life even easier!

Add Passwords to Your Vault

Time: 1-3 minutes per website


This is the part you feared most. It's not complicated... it's tediously simple. Don't feel pressured to add every password right away. Start with the websites you use the most and go from there.


Once you have LastPass set up on all of your devices, it will prompt you to save new login information regardless of the device you are using.

  1. Go to a website and log in to your account like normal.

  2. A LastPass window will appear and prompt you to 'Add a Password.

  3. Make sure the URL, username, and password look correct, and select which folder the password should be in (i.e. Personal or Shared folders).

Ta-da! One down!


See? Not complicated. Just tedious.


Now, whenever you need to log in to that site, LastPass will AutoFill your login information.

Pro Tip: If you have passwords saved in a different password manager you can download a CSV file and import it into LastPass. If this is relevant, check out LastPass's Importing Passwords Guide.

If you're feeling motivated, knock out as many websites as you can and get the information into your vault. Even if you don't do it intentionally, over time you will eventually get all of your passwords into the vault.



Run the Security Challenge

Time: 2-3 minutes


Odds are... you currently have 3 or 4 passwords that you use for 90% of your logins.


And that is a HUGE problem.


If your information is stolen from one hacked website, that opens the floodgates for hackers to steal your identity and use your accounts for fraud. The 2023 Verizon Data Breach Report found that 74% of account breaches are due to weak or reused passwords.


Let's use the Security Challenge feature to fix that:

  1. In your browser, click the LastPass icon > Vault.

  2. Select the Security Challenge button on the Left (a shield with a lightning bolt).

  3. Click 'Start the Challenge' and wait for LastPass to analyze all your passwords.

  4. Review the report and follow the recommendations for updating any password that is compromised, weak, or reused.

Humans are on auto-pilot when it comes to passwords and that's why most people recycle the same passwords across dozens of sites.


Were the results of your report eye-opening? What was your biggest takeaway? I'd love if you left a comment with these answers!


Fix Your Weak Passwords

Time: 1-3 minutes per website


LastPass can change your password for you for many popular websites. In these cases, simply click the 'Auto-Change' button and LastPass will automatically update and save your new password that will be used going forward.


If a site doesn’t support auto-change, you need to update your passwords manually. LastPass tries to make this as painless as possible, but it’s still a little work:

  1. Log in to a website with the current username and password.

  2. Go to your account profile and select the 'change password' option.

  3. Click the LastPass icon in the password field and select 'Generate a New Password'

Pro Tip: You can also click the LastPass icon in your browser and select the 'Generator' button on the bottom. Custom-tailor the password based on your liking or the website requirements, then copy & paste the password.

After you click submit on the website, a LastPass prompt will pop up. Click 'Update Password' and it's automatically synced across your devices.

Pro Tip: If a website does not allow you to copy & paste the new password twice, you can re-copy the password by clicking the LastPass icon > Generator > See Password History.

This is another tedious, but necessary part. To be efficient, if you know a password needs to be updated you can knock out this step right after you log in and add a password to your Vault.


The process is a lot faster and smoother if you can log in to the account instead of having to go 'Forgot Password' route. You will most likely need to use both options, but fingers crossed it's mostly the former.


This is a great project to do as you have 5-10 minute blocks of free time. This section is much easier to do on a computer in my experience, but you can complete it entirely on your phone too.


Enroll in Dark Web Monitoring

Time: <1 minute


LastPass provides a free Dark Web Monitoring service, run by Enzoic, that proactively alerts you if sites from your Vault are breached.


To enroll in this feature, go to the Security Dashboard section (shield with lightning icon) of your Vault and click the 'Start Monitoring' button. Within a minute or two, you'll receive an email from LastPass with your report that, ideally, looks like this:


Example of LastPass Dark Web Monitoring Report

If the 'Initial Findings' section listed any compromised accounts, you should prioritize updating those first. After the initial enrollment and report, you will get emails if you are ever potentially impacted by a breach.


The Dark Web Monitoring tool is a very low-maintenance, but powerful, feature to take advantage of.


Add Your Form Fill Information

Time: 3-5 minutes


While LastPass is known for passwords, you can also add Addresses, Payment and Bank details, and Secure Notes. The end result is you no longer need to manually enter your address 3 times when buying something from or setting up an account on a new website.


This is my favorite time-saver feature and setting it up only takes a few minutes.

  1. Click the LastPass icon in your browser > + Sign

  2. Select the Address, Payment Card, or Add Other Item

  3. Enter the relevant details and click save.

  4. Repeat this process as many times as you need.

Pro Tip: You can setup Address cards for each family member to quickly complete forms that require the information of multiple people.

You can also add Secure Notes to save non-password, sensitive data like PIN codes, tax information, and so on.


The Address form fill feature is my favorite and I highly recommend using it. I don't use LastPass for my payment or bank information, but that is largely for fiscal disciple (i.e. my laziness often wins over my desire for whatever I am about to purchase. However, storing this information in LastPass is still more secure than having it saved on several different websites.


Protect Your Vault with Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

Time: 3 minutes


With the sophistication of hackers today, using Multifactor Authentication (the annoying 6-digit text codes) is a necessity. Once MFA has been set up, the Master Password alone won't grant access to your vault.


While annoying, the MFA prompt should only happen when you log in to LastPass from a new device or you deleted your entire browsing history. The extra layer of security is well worth the small hassle.


To set up Multifactor Authentication:

  1. Click the LastPass icon in your browser > Vault.

  2. Open Account Settings > Multifactor Options tab

  3. Click the pencil (edit) icon next to 'LastPass MFA' or the authenticator app you use.

  4. Change the Enabled value from No to Yes, click Update and follow the on-screen instructions.

Depending on which authenticator you select, the setup process may vary but is generally a few simple steps. The quickest option is to have the code texted to your cell phone.


And Now You're A LastPass Whiz!

See? That wasn't so bad!


Okay, besides the adding and updating passwords part. Yea, that sucked.


If you made it this far, congratulations on getting started with LastPass!


Once you add and update all of your passwords, the only time you'll need to make a change is when the Dark Web Monitoring tool alerts you of a breach that affects you.


Pro Tip: Needing to change one password is much easier than not changing 20!

This introductory guide was focused on getting an individual set up on LastPass. There are more features to take advantage of with LastPass Families that I will discuss in an upcoming blog post. Some of those features include password sharing, granting emergency access, and the Family Manager dashboard.


I hope this walkthrough helped you get your passwords squared away after all the years of procrastinating.

Leave a comment below if you found this helpful or if you ran into any roadblocks while following this guide! I'm here to help!



Global Product Review Disclosure

Disclosure: This is a global disclosure for product review articles on TL;DR Dad Review. Therefore, it may or may not be applicable to this particular article. All opinions within this and other articles are my own and are not subject to editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission.


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