Chrome’s cross-device sync feature is one of the things that makes it so popular, but it’s not without problems. You may not like Google having all your browser data, for example. Thankfully, you can encrypt your synced data by adding a passcode.
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Here’s all the information that Chrome saves to your Google account with sync enabled:
- History and open tabs
- Payment info
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers
- Settings and preferences
This data is all backed up to your Google account, which means that the search giant has access to it as well. You can create a Sync Passphrase to encrypt this data so that Google can’t read it.
Warning: You will have to reset Chrome Sync if you ever choose to turn off the passphrase. This will delete all of the Chrome data associated with your account.
First, select the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner of the Google Chrome web browser and choose “Settings” from the menu.
Next, click “Sync and Google Services” under the “You and Google” section.
Note: You’ll need to have sync enabled to proceed.
Expand “Encryption Options” by clicking the down arrow on the right.
Click the radio button for “Encrypt synced data with your own sync passphrase.”
After you click the button, two text boxes will appear underneath. Enter a passphrase in the first box and confirm it in the second box. Click “Save” when you’re done.
That’s it. The passphrase will now be required whenever you sign in to a new Chrome browser and enable sync.
The process is very similar on Android, iPhone, and iPad. First, open the Chrome mobile web browser, tap the three-dot menu icon in the top-right or bottom-right corner, then select “Settings.”
Next, tap “Sync and Google Services” at the top of the menu.
Now, select “Manage Sync.” Make sure that Sync is enabled before you do this.
At the bottom of the screen, select “Encryption.”
Choose “Encrypt synced data with your own sync passphrase.”
Enter a passphrase in the first text box and enter it again in the second box. Tap “Save” or “Submit” when done.
Note: You do not have to enable this on every device you use with Chrome. Once you enable it on one device, it will translate to other devices as well. You’ll be asked to enter your passphrase to continue syncing.