Installing KeePass

Download the Portable App

Go to the KeePass download page and download the version 2 zip file. Don't download the EXE as that's used to install on a regular Windows installation, not for a USB key. A direct link to the zip file can be found here.

Make sure you download version 2 of the application - 2.13 at the time of this writing - as it is incompatible with version 1.x. These versions should not be mixed as their data files are not interchangeable. You can convert from version 1 to version 2, but version 2 files can not be read by the version 1 application.

Get the USB stick ready

Insert your USB stick into your computer and check if you can read it by opening it in Explorer. Create a new directory and name it KeePass.

Unpack the ZIP file

You should now unpack the zip file to the KeePass directory on the USB stick. If you don't know how to do this, just double clcik on the downloaded zip file. It should open in e new window. Select all the files and the folder, right click and select Copy. Now open the KeePass folder on the USB key, right click anywhere in the content window of the folder and select Paste. The application is now ready for use.

Create the data file

Start Keepass by double clciking on the KeePass.exe file. A window will open with a lot of grey space. We need to create the data file now. Open the File menu and select the New... entry. A smaller window will pop up asking you for the filename of your data file. Go to the USB key and open the KeePass directory. In the File Name field at the bottom you see the entry NewDatabase.kbdx. Replace this filename with Passwords.kbdx. This filename is a bit more consise abd allows for easier configuration further on.

Click on the Save button and you will be presented with the master password creation window. Keep the Master Password checkbox selected and enter the strong password you created in the previous section in both password fields. In the Estimated quality bar you can see how strong your password is. The bar should at least get into the green with 64 bit.

Click on the OK button and in the next window click on the OK button again. This will use 256bit AES/Rijndael encryption, a very good choice.

You are now presented with the default categories of the new data file. The data file creation is completed and you can start using KeePass.

What's next?

We now install TrueCrypt so we have a secure way to store our data.