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What is Passkey?

  • Passkey is a digital key. Not a password.
  • This key is individually generated for a specific device. It is then either saved in the browser or on the device itself. Thus it is not connected to a person, but to a device.
  • If Passkey was created, a password, which could easily be forgotten or stolen, is no longer necessary. So all you need to be able to do is gain access to your device (e.g. with your fingerprint or face id). All further accesses to applications with Passkey are then tested and granted.
  • However, Passkey is not a general key for all applications you might want to login to. Each account has its own Passkey.
  • When you log in, your device and the requested server contact each other and clarify (based on the Passkey) whether access can be granted. The actual key (private key) does not leave the device. This is why Passkey is considered particularly secure.

Further information

On passkey and how it works you can find a lot of information in the internet, e.g.

Activate Passkey

The activation of Passkey in OpenOlat is done by the administrator. Activation determines that the passkey can or must be used.

However, the creation of the passkey is then done by the user(s) on the respective devices. (In OpenOlat in the personal menu at "password".) Administrators can only remove passkeys.

Passkey can be configured on a role-based basis and is part of a three-tier security concept in OpenOlat:

Step 1: only Password
Step 2: only Passkey
Step 3: Passkey + Password (2-factor authentication)

If a security level with passkey has been configured in OpenOlat, then the users will be prompted to create a passkey the next time they log in and to use this passkey for logging in in the future.


Level 2 is recommended for certain roles (e.g. user administrators and administrators).

What are Recovery Keys?

If there is no password, it cannot be reset by the administrator. If Passkey has been activated as the sole authentication method in OpenOlat, passwords can no longer be assigned. (With 2-factor authentication, however, it does, in addition to Passkey).

If the key is lost nevertheless once, it needs a spare key. With Passkey, however, the replacement key is not a copy of the original key (private key). Recovery keys are one-time passwords that cannot be used a second time.

Request new Recovery Keys

The recovery keys can be requested in the personal menu under "Password".


If new recovery keys have been ordered, all old ones are invalid, even if they have never been used.