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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.

What Is Chrome Sync?

Here’s all the information that Chrome saves to your Google account with sync enabled:

  • Bookmarks
  • History and open tabs
  • Passwords
  • 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.

RELATED: How to Turn Syncing On or Off in Chrome

The Sync Passphrase can be set up from Chrome on the Windows 10 or Mac desktop, iPhone, iPad, or Android. We’ll start on the desktop.

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.

Add a Sync Passphrase in Chrome on Windows and Mac

First, select the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner of the Google Chrome web browser and choose “Settings” from the menu.

open the menu and select settings

Next, click “Sync and Google Services” under the “You and Google” section.

click sync and google services

Note: You’ll need to have sync enabled to proceed.

Expand “Encryption Options” by clicking the down arrow on the right.

expand encryption options

Click the radio button for “Encrypt synced data with your own sync passphrase.”

click the radio button

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.

enter a passphrase and save it

That’s it. The passphrase will now be required whenever you sign in to a new Chrome browser and enable sync.

Add a Sync Passphrase in Chrome on Android, iPhone, and iPad

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.”

select Settings

Next, tap “Sync and Google Services” at the top of the menu.

tap sync and google services

Now, select “Manage Sync.” Make sure that Sync is enabled before you do this.

select manage sync

At the bottom of the screen, select “Encryption.”

select encryption

Choose “Encrypt synced data with your own sync passphrase.”

enable the passphrase option

Enter a passphrase in the first text box and enter it again in the second box. Tap “Save” or “Submit” when done.

enter passphrase and save it

You’re 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.
Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has close to a decade of experience covering consumer technology and previously worked as a News Editor at XDA Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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