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Google Chrome 101 removed Fill passwords on account selection

April 26 2022 by Jeff Johnson
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Google Chrome version 101 was released today, and I've discovered to my dismay that it removed the long-standing flag #fill-on-account-select "Fill passwords on account selection". For some strange reason, this very useful flag was never exposed in Chrome's preferences, but you can — or could! — find it by opening chrome://flags in a Chrome tab. This changed in Chrome 101.

No matching experiments

For another strange reason, this very useful flag was expired in Chrome 100, which means that Chrome 100 was the last version in which it appeared. I've filed a Chromium bug for this. The good news is that you can temporarily unexpire the flag in Chrome 101. You just need to enable the flag #temporary-unexpire-flags-m100 "Temporarily unexpire M100 flags." and then relaunch Chrome.

Temporarily unexpire M100 flags.

Notice however that it says "These flags will be removed soon", which is very bad news. Anyway, after you relaunch Chrome, you can once again find the #fill-on-account-select flag, enable it, and then relaunch Chrome a second time for it to take effect.

Fill passwords on account selection

There's a sample password form on the page https://www.w3schools.com/tags/tryit.asp?filename=tryhtml5_input_type_password that you can use to see the difference made by Fill passwords on account selection. Just enter a dummy email and password (they don't matter), submit the form, and save the password in Chrome. Without Fill passwords on account selection, the password will be automatically filled in by Chrome whenever you load the page:

Email and Password fields autofilled

With Fill passwords on account selection enabled, the password field remains blank when you load the page, and Chrome will show the account when you click on the password field. If you then select the account, then Chrome will automatically fill in the password. Whether the password field gets filled or not is under your control, not under Chrome's control.

Email and Password fields empty

By default, Safari's built-in password AutoFill behaves very similarly to Chrome's Fill passwords on account selection:

Safari autofill

I hope that Chrome will reconsider removing this flag. In fact, it's a bit puzzling why Chrome doesn't show the flag in its preferences.

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