How to use the same vault file on multiple computers?

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igregor
igregor
Community Member
edited December 2014 in Mac

I've read the assurances that encrypted material is secure on the cloud, but I've decided to move all of my sensitive material onto portable hard drives and SD cards. I thought this would be simple, but have found the process for leaving cloud syncing behind to be very confusing with 1Password. So, request your help.

I moved my vault file (1password.agilekeychain) onto an SD card with the intention of using that single vault file with multiple computers by physically moving the SD card whenever needed -- NO file syncing involved. But changes that I make to the vault file on my iMac do NOT show up when I move the SD card to my MBP (and vice versa). This is the case even after I deleted the vault files on the MBP (except the backups) and quit DropBox. Now, when I open 1PW on the MBP all of the original vault info still appears but WITHOUT the changes made on the iMac.

What gives???? Is there a hidden vault somewhere? And why is there no preference to set which vault file is being used by 1PW -- at least none that I can find? This can't be that hard to do. I must be missing something. Help please.

Thanks.

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  • Stephen_C
    Stephen_C
    Community Member
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    I assume:

    1. you're using 1P4 or 1P5;
    2. you've looked at this knowledge base article on folder sync.

    Stephen

  • igregor
    igregor
    Community Member
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    I'm using 1PW4.4.3 with Mavericks. And, yes, I've read the knowledge base article.

    But I just don't understand how the article applies since it's all about syncing the vault file with a folder or a cloud service. I don't want to sync anything. I just want to place my vault file (the 1password.agilekeychain file, I think) onto an SD card and use that same file -- NOT a synced version -- on all computers by moving the SD card with the vault file as needed. To my surprise, this doesn't seem to work. Why? And what can be done about it?

    Thanks. Greg

  • littlebobbytables
    littlebobbytables
    1Password Alumni
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    Hi @igregor‌

    With the exception (I believe) of 1Password 4 for Windows, all versions of 1Password 4/5 over the various platforms use a locally stored sqlite database file (encrypted obviously) as the actual vault. While previous versions e.g. 1Password 3 for Mac used the agilekeychain as the actual vault, as of 1Password 4 it's used as a sync location only.

    So there isn't a way to have all the various versions use just an agilekeychain, not without setting up Folder Sync on all the machines. I would also say at this point that you don't want to use Folder Sync directly on a removable drive. 1Password always expects the sync location to be present, just like how it works with Dropbox and iCloud and it will express its discontent if it isn't available.

    If you have any questions as a result of this post please do ask :smile:

  • igregor
    igregor
    Community Member
    edited December 2014
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    Thanks, Bobby.

    So, if the vault is NOT the 1password.agilekeychain file and I can't use Folder sync with a portable drive, then what file should I put onto the SD card in order to use it with several different computers without syncing anything?

    Greg

  • Drew_AG
    Drew_AG
    1Password Alumni
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    Hi @igregor‌,

    1Password 4 and 5 for Mac store your data locally as an sqlite file. This knowledgebase article will explain where to find that on your Mac:

    That location cannot be changed. If you move the sqlite file somewhere else, 1Password will no longer be able to find or read it. Your 1Password data must remain stored locally on each Mac, so unfortunately you won't be able to set it up to be stored on an SD card. The suggestions from @Stephen_C and @littlebobbytables were about syncing your 1Password data between different Macs by using the Folder Sync option to save the sync file on an SD card, since it initially seemed like that's what you were asking about.

    I'm sorry I don't have a better answer for you, but hopefully this helps to clear up any confusion. If you have more questions about that, please let us know. :)

  • igregor
    igregor
    Community Member
    edited December 2014
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    Drew.

    Is this right -- I shouldn't move the vault sqlite file, but it's okay to sync to a folder on a portable drive (hard drive, usb drive, or SD)? If so, then that's what I'll do.

    Unfortunately, while I find the user guide is quite clear how to set up a folder sync on one machine, it is not at all clear how to get the file on the SD card to sync with another computer.

    So, new question -- once 1PW on Mac1 is synced with the file in the folder on the SD card, what do I do to get 1PW on Mac2 to be able to read the data on -- and remain synced with -- that file?

    Thanks.
    Greg

  • Megan
    Megan
    1Password Alumni
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    Hi @igregor,

    Is this right -- I shouldn't move the vault sqlite file, but it's okay to sync to a folder on a portable drive (hard drive, usb drive, or SD)? If so, then that's what I'll do.

    You're correct. The sqlite file should not be moved. When you set up folder sync, 1Password will make a copy of your vault data and store it in .agilekeychain format in the location of your choice. Generally, a secondary service (such as Dropbox) is required to sync that .agilekeychain file with your other computers. If you would prefer to do it manually with an SD card, I would suggest setting up folder sync to a location on your computer (and not a detachable drive, as Drew mentioned above) and then manually copying this .agilekeychain to your SD card and moving it to your other computers when necessary.

    So, new question -- once 1PW on Mac1 is synced with the file in the folder on the SD card, what do I do to get 1PW on Mac2 to be able to read the data on -- and remain synced with -- that file?

    For Mac2, again, we'll need folder sync set up to a memorable location on the computer. When changes need to be made, you'll use ⌘⌃Q ( Command-Control-Q ) on the second Mac to quit both 1Password and 1Password mini before replacing the .agilekeychain in the sync folder with the .agilekeychain on your SD card.

    I hope this makes sense, but if you need any further clarification, please let us know!

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