How to Disable Google Smart Lock on Android and Chrome
For the regular internet user, remembering passwords is a chore. Almost every site or app that provides any sort of service, no matter how mundane or insignificant, requires a registration, in which the would-be user will most likely be asked to provide a valid e-mail address for confirmation purposes, as well as choose an account name and a password. Depending on how important a service the site or app provides, or how seriously said site's owners take the user's online security, the user may be required to jump through quite a few hoops at this stage, composing a strong, unique password to satisfy all of the site's requirements.
Unfortunately, said passwords are difficult to remember, especially if the user needs to be able to recall anyone dozens of login details at any point in time in order to take advantage of the services locked behind said passwords. This is why, at first glance, Google's Smart Lock may appear to be a godsend.
This feature is available to Chrome users on PC and Android users in general, and one must admit – it is pretty useful. It notes all of the passwords that the user inputs, remembers them and in most cases – can save the user the trouble of having to input them the next time said user wishes to take advantage of the site or app's service.
This sort of functionality undoubtedly adds a huge net positive to the user's online experience, however, this does not mean that users should just accept it uncritically – and upon further research, there is much about Google Smart Lock that could bear criticism.
You see, while it is undeniable that Google Smart Lock provides convenience, it does not seem to necessarily concern itself with security. Passwords are remembered and used across platforms – which is certainly useful, but the ramifications of that crop up as soon as you think on the matter for a moment. This means that all of the passwords remembered with Google Smart Lock are stored on every device that is synced to your Gmail account. In plain text. And there's an easy way to see them.
So if, God forbid, your phone gets stolen, nefarious people could immediately gain access to all your passwords. This could include passwords for online banking, cloud services containing sensitive business information, personal effects or anything else you may want to keep safe behind a password you thought was secure.
And that's not all. Even if you keep all your mobile devices safe from the grubby hands of crooks – it takes less than half a minute of access to your laptop or PC to extract this information from your Chrome settings. One just has to want to do it.
While said scenarios seem unlikely, it is fitting that users are aware of such possibilities, so that they can make informed decisions and base their online behavior on factors that may affect them. With this in mind, it no longer seems unreasonable for users to want to stop using Google Smart Lock. Here's how you can do just that:
How to Disable Smart Lock on Android
- Step 1. Enter the Chrome app and tap the three vertical dots located in the top right corner of the screen. Scroll down and access the "Settings" menu.
- Step 2. Select "Passwords."
- Step 3. Disable "Auto Sign-in." Then proceed to delete all the passwords you see fit by tapping on their individual entry and then on the trashcan icon on the upper row of the password's entry.
How To Disable Smart Lock on Chrome
- Enter the browser settings by selecting the three-dot menu at the upper-right corner and then choosing "Settings".
- Go down to "Passwords and forms" option and select "Manage passwords".
- Once in, choose "Offer to save passwords off." Proceed to also disable "Auto Sign-in".
- Clear browsing history to remove all traces of your passwords from Chrome.