When your password manager is famed for its slick interface and ease of use, finding ways to improve can be tough. But don’t worry, the folks at Dashlane are up to the challenge. Dashlane 4 is even slicker, more attractive, and easier to use. But that’s not all. Its automated password changer now handles more than twice as many popular sites, and advanced features like emergency access and secure sharing keep Dashlane at the top of the heap. And despite these enhancements, the price is the same, $39 per year.

You access Dashlane in two distinct ways. Most of the time the small menu that you pull down from the browser toolbar button is sufficient, but for some activities you need to open the full user interface. And, of course, it captures credentials as you log in and replays them when you revisit sites without any need for either the pull-down menu or the full interface.

Dashlane is free to use, with one condition: You can only use it on a single device, without the ability to sync with your smartphone, tablet, and so forth. That’s a pretty strong limitation, enough that I don’t review Dashlane as a free product. With the free LastPass 4.0 you can sync any number of desktops, any number of smartphones, or any number of tablets, as long as you stick to one of those three categories. LogMeOnce Password Management Suite Premium is free without any similar limitation.

User Interface EnhancementsDashlane has always displayed your saved logins as tiles, with large or small icons representing the site in question. New in this edition, you can choose to view them as a list instead. Interestingly, LastPass 4.0 Premium, which used to only offer a list view, has added a Dashlane-style tile view. I do wish Dashlane had gone for smaller icons in the list view. As it is, switching to list view doesn’t let you see significantly more items at once.

If you’ve got a ton of saved passwords, you may find it handy to view them by category. Switch to that view, collapse all categories, and open just the one you want for easy access.

Of course, the simplest way to access your passwords is to type in the search box at top left. As you type, a list of found items narrows to show just the items that match. New in this edition, you can launch a site directly from the list of found items, or open a full menu of actions for an item. This menu lets you edit the saved info, see password history, share the item (more about sharing later), and more. 

The interface also rearranges the options in the left-rail menu for better consistency. The Wallet category still includes payment-method data for form filling and the receipts Dashlane has collected for you. Personal Info and IDs (also used for form filling) are now under Wallet as well.

Previously, Dashlane fully supported English and Spanish, both localizing the user interface and optimizing program actions for the locale. Version 4 adds similar full support for Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, and Japanese.

Basic FeaturesThe folks at Dashlane want to make it easy for you to get started. You can import passwords stored (insecurely) in Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explore. Jumping ship from another product? You can import data exported by LastPass, RoboForm Everywhere 7, and several other competitors. LastPass is even more welcoming, with the ability to import from several dozen competitors.

As noted earlier, Dashlane automates the process of capturing login credentials as you type and playing them back when you revisit a website for which you’ve saved data. If multiple logins are available, it displays them as a menu. And of course you can launch a saved site from the browser menu or from the full UI.

You may occasionally run across a site whose login screen is weird enough that Dashlane doesn’t recognize it. LastPass, RoboForm, and Sticky Password Premium handle this problem by letting you manual ask to save all data fields. Dashlane doesn’t include this rarely-needed manual capture feature.

Protect Those PasswordsAs always, it’s important to use a strong password as your master password. Dashlane requires at least eight characters, including at least one digit, one lowercase letter, and one uppercase letter. That bar is set pretty low. I would strongly advise at least 12 characters, using all character sets.

For added security, you’d be well advised to enable two-factor authentication. You can choose whether Dashlane will require the second factor on every login, or just when you (or someone else!) attempts to log in from a new device.

Dashlane specifically supports Google Authenticator and work-alikes such as the free Duo Mobile and Twilio Authy. Just snap the QR code displayed by Dashlane with your authenticator app to make the connection. You can also set Dashlane to authenticate using Touch ID on iOS devices that support it.

LastPass’s free edition supports smartphone-based authentication, like Dashlane, and even includes the option to authenticate using a printed wallet-sized grid. LastPass Premium adds authentication by YubiKey, fingerprint reader, or a specially-configured USB drive.

Sticky Password and RoboForm support fingerprint authentication. True Key’s core functionality centers on multi-factor authentication. Factors include possession of a trusted device, fingerprint authentication, and facial recognition. In fact, with sufficient second-factor authentication, True Key lets you reset your master password, something few others do.

Password GeneratorAny time you click in a password field to create a new account or change an old password, Dashlane pops up an offer to generate a secure password for you. On the plus side, this offer pops up right below the password field, so it’s easy to click. On the minus, you don’t get an opportunity to configure the password manager at this point.

If you want more control over how the password manager works, click the browser toolbar button and click the password generator button. Here you can set the generated password length and choose from three character sets, digits, letters, and symbols. Dashlane doesn’t distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters.

Like LastPass, Dashlane defaults to a 12-character password using just letters and digits. That’s up from a default of 8 characters in the previous edition, but I suggest you raise the length to 16 characters and check the box to use symbols as well, then click the Use as Defaults button. Note that 16 characters using all character sets is the default for True Key by Intel Security.

Security DashboardGetting all of your passwords into Dashlane is a great first step, but you can’t stop there. You need to clean up your passwords, fixing any that are weak and replacing any that you’ve used on multiple sites. Don’t worry; Dashlane makes this process extremely simple.

Click the Security Dashboard item on Dashlane’s left-rail menu for a quick percentage rating of your security level, much like what you get with LastPass’s Security Challenge. I like the fact that Dashlane always offers a couple of “quick wins” to increase your score. It might identify a specific weak password and point out that you could gain three percent by fixing it.

The real action takes place when you click to view the detailed password analysis. Here you can view a list of all passwords, or limit it to weak, reused, or compromised passwords. Now Dashlane, like LastPass, also lets you list old passwords, meaning ones you haven’t changed in a long time. Do note that the measurement of “old” starts when you add the password to Dashlane; new users won’t see any old passwords for a while.

Probably the most useful view comes when you sort the list by safety level. For each password, Dashlane displays a safety percentage as well as a color coded description: very unsafe, unsafe, not so safe, safe, and super safe. You can point to any item for details on how it got that rating. For example, a perfectly complex password may be on the unsafe list because you’ve used it on several different sites.

Fixing the weak and reused passwords can be a tough slog, but don’t let that stop you. Pick the worst five or six and click the Replace now button for each. That will log you in to the site. From there, go to the change password dialog and let Dashlane create and save a new, strong password for you.

Password ChangerYou may notice that the button next to some weak passwords is titled Auto-replace now, rather than just Replace now. Clicking that button invokes Dashlane’s automatic Password Changer. For the full automated experience, though, you’re better off clicking the Password Changer link at the top of the main password list.

Tech experts at Dashlane have analyzed hundreds of popular sites in order to devise scripts that automate the password change process. That lets Dashlane perform a hands-off password update for any supported site, and with Version 4 the list of supported sites jumps from 200 to 500.

In the Password Changer window, you can check off any or all of the supported sites and click one button to have Dashlane change them all. You’ll see a progress indicator by each item, advancing as Dashlane logs into the site, navigates to the password-change screen, and updates the password. LastPass’s similar feature supports about 80 sites, but it need to launch a browser tab for each site, and warns you strongly to leave those tabs alone.

If you’ve enabled two-factor authentication for any of your secure sites, Dashlane may need your help. When possible, it pops up a notification ask you to enter the verification code for that site. You do need to pay attention—if you wait too long and the verification code expires, Dashlane isn’t equipped to request a new code. But no worries; if that happens, just try again.

I’m a huge fan of automatic password updates. Since Dashlane remembers all your passwords, there’s no real reason for you to be involved at all. There are a few exceptions, though. Some passwords you just have to type yourself, like the Microsoft ID that you use to log in to modern Windows versions. And some sites have password-format requirements that Dashlane’s automatic password generator can’t meet. But for most sites, it’s fantastic.

Secure SharingWhen a buddy asks for your password to some website “so I can check something,” you know the answer. Just Say No! But sometimes you really need to share credentials with a colleague or partner. Dashlane has you covered.

Just point to the item, click the menu icon, and select Share item. Enter the email address of the recipient, and specify how much access you’re offering. If you choose to limit access, the recipient can use the shared item but can’t view, edit, or share it. A recipient with full rights to the shared item can view, edit, and share it, or revoke access by others who share it—even you! You can enter a personal message before sending the request.

As with the similar feature in LastPass, the recipient will both receive an email and get a notification in Dashlane’s Sharing Center. A recipient who doesn’t yet use Dashlane will need to set up a free account, of course.

Once the recipient accepts, the item in your own Sharing Center will change from Pending to Full Rights or Limited Rights, depending on your choice. You can click the wrench icon to switch between full and limited, or click the minus icon to revoke the share.

Emergency ContactsWhat happens if you get hit by a meteor tomorrow? Will your heirs tear their hair out, trying to figure out how to access your accounts? Dashlane’s emergency contact feature ensures that you can pass along your digital legacy after your demise, and it doesn’t even require probate.

Setting up an emergency contact to inherit your passwords is just as simple as sharing one password, with one important difference. You can set a waiting period for full access. If your supposedly-trusted contact tries to get your credentials while you’re still around, you can respond to the notification email to deny access. And they look for a more-trustworthy contact.

LastPass’s latest version includes a similar feature, but Dashlane takes it a step further. In addition to defining an heir for your entire stash of passwords, you can also give access to a subset of those passwords. For example, you could make your boss the recipient of only your work-specific passwords.

Advanced Form-FillingLike many password managers, Dashlane also has the ability to help you with filling personal data in Web forms. But Dashlane takes the concept farther than many.

RoboForm is the most flexible in this area, which is no surprise given that it started life as a form-filler. It lets you record a wide variety of personal data, names, email addresses, bank accounts, and more. And it supports multiple entries for every field. With LastPass, you can declare any number of full personal profiles or credit-card-only profiles.

Dashlane divides personal info into name, email, phone, (snail-mail) address, company, and website. You can add any number of each type. When Dashlane detects a Web form, it puts a tiny impala icon in each entry field. You click in any field and select the desired entry from the popup menu. At that point Dashlane fills all the fields using the first available entry, but you can change any of those with another click. For example, you might fill the phone number first, then click in one of the address fields to select a different address.

Payment information is handles separately, and gorgeously. In the main Dashlane interface, you enter as many credit cards, bank accounts, or PayPal accounts as you need. For each credit card, you specify the color and the issuing bank—Version 4 adds support for many more banks. When you click the credit card field on a Web form, you’ll see images of your cards, each with the proper color and logo. It’s especially great for those with a more visual orientation.

Dashlane handles passports, driver’s licenses, and other IDs in a similar fashion. Your passport displays using the color and style of the country you selected, and your driver’s license looks like an actual license, with the state clearly displayed.

Receipt CaptureOn shopping sites, Dashlane’s help with Web forms doesn’t end when you’ve filled in all your personal data. Dashlane offers to capture its own receipt for the transaction, with the full amount and, when possible, a list of purchased items. It even snaps a screenshot or two, in case you have trouble with the merchant and need to show some added proof. In the event Dashlane doesn’t capture the item name, you can edit that before saving.

From the main Dashlane interface, you can view your list of receipts, dig in for details, and view the associated screenshot for each. It’s a handy record of your online shopping.

Mobile FeaturesPart of the user interface update in Dashlane 4 involved making the Android and iOS editions as identical to the Widows edition as possible. There are a few differences. For example, the mobile editions don’t capture receipts for your purchases.

Dashlane can manage app passwords, but only for apps that support the Dashlane App Extension. This feature has been around for a while, but it’s now gaining traction. More than 180 apps support it, including some big names like eBay, Flipboard, Tumblr, Twitter, and Uber.

The Android edition also supports auto-login for apps. Once you give it a few Accesibility permissions, it can log in to any app, with no special app extension required. Both mobile editions include their own browser which can automatically fill passwords and Web forms. And both can be configured to fill passwords in the default browser.

More Capable Than EverDashlane 4’s user interface is even slicker and easier to use than before, and you can now use it natively in seven languages. It offers uncommon features like secure sharing and password inheritance, as well as a unique receipt-capture feature for your online shopping. And you can use it on all your Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. It’s still a winner.

LastPass Premium 4 goes a bit beyond Dashlane in some technical areas such as two-factor authentication, and it now includes password inheritance. Sticky Password Premium does an especially good job with off-the-wall login pages and application passwords. These two, along with Dashlane, are our Editors’ Choice password managers.