Google is testing a new feature in the company's Chrome web browser currently that allows Chrome users to save passwords in Chrome to a Google Account; this will work even if sync is not enabled in the browser.
Google Chrome supports saving passwords locally regardless of sign-in state of the user or sync-state. The option is enabled by default and users may disable it, e.g. when they are using a password manager to save passwords.
Chrome users may sign-in to the browser to link their account to it, but this won't enable Sync functionality. Sign-ins happen when a user opens a Google property to sign-in using the Chrome browser.
Sync needs to be enabled independently of that so that synced data is synchronized between different Chrome installations.
The new option to save to a Google Account looks on first glance very similar to Sync, as it provides users with remote storage for saved passwords. One of the main differences is that access to the saved passwords may now be offered on additional devices and applications, independent of Chrome.
Google benefits from this as well, as Chrome users who don't use Sync might use the option to save passwords to their Google Account, giving Google more control over the data.
The experimental feature landed in Chrome 89 and needs to be enabled before it becomes available. Once enabled, and without Sync enabled, you may open Chrome's password management page by pointing the browser to this URL: chrome://settings/passwords
Check "Saved Passwords"; you should see "You can also show passwords from your Google Account here. Additionally, you may get the new "move to Google Account" option for saved passwords that are not stored there yet when you click on the three dots next to a saved password.
Google Chrome displays an option to sign-in using passwords saved to the Google Account during sign-in when you select the username or password field.
If you use a password that is not stored in the Google Account, you get a prompt to move it to the Google Account to access it from everywhere you are signed-in to the account, and if you sign-up, you get the option to save the account credentials locally or in the Google Account.
Google added the feature to its Canary version of the Chrome browser. You need to do the following to enable it:
All that is left to make sure of is that Sync is not enabled.
The feature is experimental at this point in time, and it is possible that it will get removed before it lands in Stable. It looks however as if it could become the new default option for all Chrome users who are signed in to Chrome but have not turned on Sync. Account Credentials are stored independently of the Chrome browser, and that would provide users with access to them in other apps and when using devices that Chrome is not available for.
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