You shall not password? Google rolls out passkeys for account holders

3 May 2023

Image: © Vitalii Vodolazskyi/

Passkeys are a more secure way for users to sign in to their Google accounts using a method like their fingerprint, a PIN code or face scan.

Google is telling users that they can expect to be able to log in to their accounts using a passkey rather than a password.

The tech giant announced today (3 May) in a blogpost that it is making passkeys for Google accounts available to set up. The post did clarify that for those who don’t want to use passkeys yet or who don’t have time to set up passkeys, password logins and two-step verification methods will also work for the time being.

Google described passkeys as “a new way to sign in to apps and websites”.

“They’re both easier to use and more secure than passwords, so users no longer need to rely on the names of pets, birthdays or the infamous ‘password123’.”

The passkeys work in much the same way as a user would unlock their device. They enable people to sign in using a fingerprint, face scan or lock PIN.

According to Google, they are safer than passwords because they are more resistant to cyberattacks like phishing. They also do not require people to obtain verification like two-factor authentication methods. Rather they can use something they already have, such as their fingerprint to unlock their accounts, making them less vulnerable to hackers.

Technology companies including Google have been working on making passkeys more widely used for some time now.

Companies such as PayPal, Shopify, Yahoo and DocuSign are already using passkeys.

Today’s announcement comes about a year after Google, Microsoft, Apple and the FIDO Alliance first released details of plans to roll the new method out in place of passwords.

Google said that it was sharing the passkeys news ahead of World Password Day on 5 May.

For those who prefer to keep their passwords for the moment, featured a guide on how to keep passwords secure, which has seven tips on how to keep your information safe.

One of those tips advised people to switch to passwordless ways of signing in to their accounts and apps.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.