Explained: How to Use Roboform (Step by Step)

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Renate L. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Thank you so much for helping me with my computer with your remote support service. You are life saver! Question: you recently installed Roboform to help me remember my passwords, but I'm afraid I've made a mess of things. For example, I somehow managed to save 3 different Roboform logins (passcards) for my online banking site - and none of them work! I'd like to fix this so I have 1 working login, otherwise I'm going to be really confused moving forward. Is it possible for you to put together a brief how-to guide on how to use Roboform? I'd appreciate it very much! "

My response:

Sure thing - here is a synopsis on how to use Roboform (the basics). But first, allow me to explain what Roboform is and how it works.

What is Roboform?

Roboform is an add-on for your web browser that remembers your login details (user name and passwords) securely, and will automatically fill these fields in for you the next time you login to a website. In short, it remembers you login details for websites, so you don't have to.

In order to use Roboform, you need to set up a master password. Once the master password is entered in, you have full access to all your logins.

Is Roboform Free? Yes and No.

Roboform is free to use, though after a 30 day trial it will keep reminding you that "your trial is expired" and that you "need to register the program".

The truth is, you don't have to register the program and Roboform will continue to work indefinitely - though parts of the program will be cripled. For example, after your trial is expired, it won't sync your passwords to the cloud. You don't need to sync your passwords unless you want to use Roboform on multiple devices such as a smartphone, tablet, or another PC. If you want to use Roboform on multiple PCs you can create a network share without needing to sync to the cloud - I've explained this already in another article.

That said: if you intend to use Roboform on more than one PC and even your phone, you may want to pay for a subscription. You can pay for a subscription by right clicking the Roboform icon in your tray bar (by the clock), then click Help -> Buy Roboform.

Explained: How to Use Roboform (The Basics)

First, download Roboform if you haven't already.

Next, close all your web browsers and File Explorer (Window Explorer) windows, then proceed to install Roboform. The Roboform setup program will then install the Roboform add-on to your favorite browsers.

During the setup, it will ask you for an email address and a master password. Use a master password that is unique and easy to remember, yet strong enough that no one else will guess it. Write down your master password on paper if you need to. Most importantly: don't use the same password that you're already using on another website as this is not secure.

How to Create and Use Roboform Passcards

Passcards are form fields that Roboform remembers for you on website logins (for example). Roboform then uses passcards to fill in information for you automatically.

There are two ways to create a passcard:

  1. Login to a website for which you already have a password and save your passcard that way, or
     
  2. Register for a new website or service for which you don't have an account or password, and save your passcard that way.

Below I'll explain the differences.

i. How to Save a Roboform Passcard on a Site with a Previously-existing Account

  1. Go to the website you want to sign into.
     
  2. Enter in your name and password. Usually the name and password fields are on the same page, but on some website such as Paypal and Amazon, this process is broken up onto two different screens.
     
  3. After you enter in your password and before you click the submit / login button, click the Roboform icon located at the top right of the browser, then click on the Save (disk icon).
     
  4. Now it's time to test the login. This is a critical step: log out of the website you just signed into, then log back in. This time, click on the Roboform icon at the top right of the screen, then click on the website passcard (this will usually be the name of the site you're visiting).

If all goes well, you will be signed into the website automatically. If so, proceed to create passcards for all your favorite sites.

If you were unable to login to the site, you will need to edit or delete the passcard using the Roboform editor (described in section iii below).

Before I get into that, I will explain how to use Roboform to generate a secure password when creating a new account on a website.

ii. How to Save a Roboform Passcard on a New website or Service using Secure Passwords

  1. Go to the website you want to create an account with.
     
  2. Fill out all the fields on the page except the password field. To generate a secure password with Roboform, click the Roboform icon near the top right of the screen, then click the "Generate" icon (it looks like a slot machine), then click "Generate new", then "Copy" to copy the secure password to your clipboard. Next, go to the password field on the web page, then select the input field with your mouse. Right click the input field, then select "Paste" to paste your secure password.
     
  3. Save the form using Roboform. Click the Roboform icon at the top right of the page, then click Save (the disk icon).
     
  4. After your account is created on the website, log out of the site and log back in using Roboform.

Note that most websites use similarly named form fields (example: "password" for the password field) on multiple pages, including the "account creation" page and the "login page". If the Roboform passcard isn't working after you saved the fields during the account creation, you will have to delete the Roboform passcard and create a new one using the Login page. This is described next in section iii-4b.

iii. How to Edit or Delete a Passcard in Roboform

You will need to edit a passcard if you want to update a password (for example), or delete a passcard if Roboform isn't logging into a website correctly.

To edit or delete a passcard (login), do the following:

  1. Click the Roboform icon at the top right in the browser.
     
  2. Click Logins -> Edit.
     
  3. The list of logins (passcards) will be shown on the left of the screen. Look for the passcard you want to edit or delete and select it with the mouse.
     
  4. You will now see a form fields on the right of the screen. Click the eyeball icon (near the top right of the screen) to show what fields Roboform has remembered if necessary.

    At this point you have two options:

    a) manually edit the passcard. This is really only useful if you want to edit password (in case you changed it, for example). To do so: click the pencil icon near the top right of the screen; this will allow you to edit the fields. When you're finished, click the disk icon near the top right to save your changes. Next, close or minimize the Roboform editor and login to the site again to make sure the passcard is working. If it's still not working then you might want to delete it, then save it again - described next.

    b) delete the passcard. Note: if you generated a secure / random password (as described in section ii above), make sure you copy and paste it into Notepad temporarily along with your account name (usually email address), otherwise you won't be able to login to the website after the passcard is deleted.

    To delete a passcard, select the passcard on the left of the screen (via Roboform Editor), then right click and select "Delete". Next, close or minimize the Roboform editor and go back to the site you want to login again. After you enter in your password and before you click the submit button to login to the site, click the Roboform icon at the top right of the browser and click the Save icon to save your passcard. If you were successful in logging in, log back out of the site again, then login again using Roboform. If it still doesn't work, repeat this process again - paying close attention to the details.

I hope that helps.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If all of this is over your head, and you need help installing or using Roboform, I can help with my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me, briefly describing the issue and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas

is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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