Android 13: Copy function shows passwords – here’s how to avoid it
Until the release of Android 13 in October 2022, text you copied to your smartphone’s clipboard was private, so to speak. It also made it safe to take over passwords from the password manager.
However, when you enter text, a speech bubble will appear at the bottom left of the screen displaying the string of characters for all to see.
What happened? In Android 13, app developers must mark copied text as sensitive to keep it private. Without this signal, the operating system assumes that it is text that can remain visible and that you can also edit when you type the speech bubble.
Some password managers still need to revise their mobile apps to accommodate this change and to continue to ensure secure password usage.
Not all smartphone users will face this copying problem. If no pure Android 13 is installed on your smartphone (ie the pure Android provided by Google without an interface customized by the mobile phone manufacturer; this pure variant is also called “stock Android”), your smartphone may behave differently; this is the case with Samsung devices. But if you have this problem, it can be annoying especially on Pixel devices. Pure Android 13 does not allow users to disable this new feature.
But you don’t have to keep copying your passwords over and over again. There are other ways to keep using the passwords protected.
Option 1: Give your password manager autofill permissions
To activate this feature, open the settings on your smartphone and find “Autofill” and “Autofill Service” or search for “Autofill Services”. Then select your password manager from the options presented.
Now when you create or enter a password, the appropriate form field will show an option to auto-fill it from your password manager.
Option 2: Update your password manager
If you’re not comfortable connecting your password manager to Android’s autofill feature, an update might help. A newer version of your password manager can properly mark your passwords as sensitive data.
In the Google Play Store app, tap your avatar icon at the top right and select “Manage apps and device” from the following list. Here you can then see if updates are available and update them if necessary.
If no updates are available for your password manager or the latest update doesn’t fix the copying problem, check if the app developer has switched to a different version of the app. For example, with 1Password, version 7 and version 8 are two completely different applications. Only the newer version keeps your passwords private when copied.
Option 3: Switch to another password manager
If all else fails, you still have the option of searching for a new password manager.
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