The Best Desktop Chrome Security Features Are Coming To Android Soon

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Some of the best security features in Chrome, namely its Password Check tools, will soon arrive on Android devices too. Spotted first in the Canary channel for mobile by TechDows, the current timeline seems to be for Chrome 86.

Of course, Safety Check was initially released as part of the Chrome M83 update for desktop. And it effectively pools the Password Checking tool into a more broad feature. Summarily, Safety Check actively scans for compromised passwords across all synced passwords and accounts. Additionally, it checks for harmful extensions and provides access to safe browsing features.

Finally, it checks that Chrome is up to date.

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Here's how to turn on and access Password Check now for Chrome Android

Of course, it's fairly easy for just about anybody to gain access to Password Check right now. Because Chrome Canary can be downloaded as a standalone browser on Android, it won't interrupt the flow if there's a lot of bugs at any given time. Users can always simply switch apps to the standard "Stable" variant.

As noted above, there are two separate tools for checking passwords and other Chrome safety mechanisms. But downloading Chrome Canary from the Google Play Store is obviously going to be the first step. Then, after launching the browser, users will need to navigate to the experimental settings at the "chrome://flags" URL.

On the resulting page, there are two specific flags that need to be searched. Either can be found in the search bar at the top of the page. Those are "Bulk password check" and "Safety Check on Android."

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In either case, after locating the proper feature, the drop-down menu must be used to select "Enabled" instead of "Default."

Then the browser needs to be rebooted. A button should appear along the bottom of the page to perform that. Although, even after that, sometimes the browser needs to be force-closed and relaunched.

After following those steps, there are two places to check passwords.

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For just passwords, users need to tap the three-dot menu in the Chrome browser. Then they need to scroll down to "Settings" and then tap the "Passwords" option in the resulting sub-menu. Users will need to be signed in. But a "Check passwords" option should now appear just a few items down the page.

The other place to find the password and other security features are in the "Safety Check" tool. That can be found by following the same steps to get to the general settings menu and then by clicking the "Safety Check" option instead of "Passwords"

Why is this important?

Now, as noted above, this feature is already found on Chrome desktop variants — whether a Chromebook, Mac, or Windows. So it may not be too surprising that it's finally appearing on Android. But it is going to be an important addition, if and when Google gets around to launching it for Stable Chrome.

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Chrome is by far the most popular browsers on the market and that's not without good reason. It's also one of the best browsers for mobile. Placing a password checking feature in the desktop variant definitely makes a lot of sense. But far more users access the browser on mobile. So adding it there will provide access to it for a much wider user base.

Password Checker Canary screencaps AH 2020
Password Checker and Safety Check are now in Chrome Canary for Android