Questions on 1Password 4

GnarlodiousGnarlodious Junior Member

Just a quick list of what I don’t understand about this new version of 1Password:
1) Why is WiFi syncing such a rigamarole? In the last version all I had to do was open 1Password with my 4 digit PIN and it would sync. Now suddenly it is a whole giant process of a menu, a modal dialog and a secret. Also, there was a progress spinner on the OSX window which is gone, and an annunciator that said “Synced just now”. Where did these go?

2) How do I log in to iOS with a PIN like I used to? This seems like a security downgrade, because I am going to set a simple master password to make the iOS easier to log into.

3) There were some popup instructions on how to enable a 1Password extension on Safari iOS. No such menu items appear and I don’t understand what the extension is supposed to do.

4) Is there an option now to export the entire database to an encrypted PDF? The last version was too much work, but doable. I am expecting an easier PDF with this version.I looked for an export option for PDF but found none.

So far I am left wondering how this is called an upgrade.

1Password Version: 4.4.3
Extension Version: 4.3.1
OS Version: 10.9.5
Sync Type: WiFi


  • Hi @Gnarlodious,

    So a (very) brief review of the history of 1Password for Mac. For many good reasons 1Password 4 was a complete rewrite over 1Password 3. Now going back to basics and rewriting everything or at least almost everything is a big task and the first version out the door didn't include everything that used to be in the old one. One of the toughest parts of software development is that balancing act of do you release now or wait with the risk that you don't release in a reasonable timeframe. It's the sort of thing every software development company fights with.

    Now to try and address each of your points.

    1. Wi-Fi Sync was a bit of a chore. All this manually faffing about. We have improved it though in 1Password 5. In 1Password 5 you can now automatically sync not just your primary but secondary vaults too. No messing about with needing to keep a window open etc. It does still require 1Password for iOS to be open though but that's a limitation we won't be able to get around due to how iOS works. We've made it a lot more hassle free in 1Password 5 though. Unfortunately that doesn't help you in 1Password 4.
    2. This, and question 3. both depend a lot on what version of 1Password for iOS you're running. This page, Which version of 1Password am I running? should help you find the version you're running there. Based on question 3 I believe you're running 1Password 5 for iOS so this should all apply. In 1Password 5 for iOS, if you have a passcode set you can set a PIN in 1Password for iOS. If you have one of the newer iOS devices with TouchID you can even use TouchID to unlock 1Password for iOS. Now my memory can be a bit rubbish at times but there may have been versions of 1Password 4 for iOS where it was only the Master Password that you could use - I'd have to rummage out an old copy of 1Password for iOS and transfer it to one of my iOS devices to say for sure. For 1Password 5 though the following pages may be of interest. Settings: Security & Touch ID.
    3. The iOS Safari Extension is a 1Password 5 for iOS only feature. The reason is, it makes use of iOS Extensions, a feature only available in iOS 8. Prior to iOS 8, if you wanted to interact with iOS Safari you copy and pasted usernames and passwords or you used the inbuilt browser 1Browser. It's why we had it, to allow you to interact with a browser in a slightly less awkward fashion. With iOS Extensions though we have a way of interacting with the proper iOS Safari browser. Once you start using it I think you'll find it pretty cool. If you are running 1Password 5 for iOS then section 3.2 Extension is a good place to start and sections 3.2.1-3.2.3 should get you set up.
    4. I don't know how you were doing this before but the process may not have changed. We don't have an explicit way of creating a PDF, encrypted or not but if you use the File > Print... drop down menu option you can select to save as a PDF instead of printing a physical copy. In there you have security options that allow you to set a password. At least this is all available in Yosemite but I don't think a lot changed between Mavericks and Yosemite (OS X 10.9 & 10.10 respectively). Given that saving as a PDF is built into the standard Print dialog I'm not sure if we'd add an export to PDF option. You may have feelings on this of course.

    So there is a bit of information there to digest. You may very well have plenty of follow up questions so please do ask :smile:

  • Drew_AGDrew_AG 1Password Alumni

    Hi @Gnarlodious,

    I'm sorry you haven't been completely satisfied with the newer versions of 1Password you've been using on your Mac and iOS device!

    That’s what I was afraid of. I waited as long as possible because I was afraid it would only get more complicated and now my fears are confirmed.

    You originally asked about several different features, so I don't know which one you're referring to here. Is it the Wi-Fi sync feature that you feel is getting more complicated? Starting in version 4, there were major changes to Wi-Fi sync to make it more stable and secure while transferring your data. So if you were using 1Password 3 before, I can definitely understand why Wi-Fi sync seems so different to you now. If you were able to use Wi-Fi sync in 1Password 5 for Mac and iOS, I think you might like it a lot more, as it now works automatically once you set it up the first time, and has other new features as well.

    Do you have a license for 1Password 4 for Mac? If so, the good news is that the upgrade to 1Password 5 for Mac is free, so if you ever upgrade your Mac to OS 10.10 (Yosemite), you'll be able to use 1Password 5 and the new features & improvements we've made since version 4.

    The other features you asked about shouldn't be a problem. As long as you're using 1Password 4 or 5 on your iOS device, you should be able to set a PIN code. In both versions, you can set up the PIN Code option from Settings > Security in the 1Password app. Or if you're using 1Password 5 on an iOS 8 device that supports Touch ID, you'll see the Touch ID option there instead.

    Also, if you're using 1Password 5 on an iOS 8 device, you'll be able to use the 1Password extension in Safari. You can follow these steps to enable that extension.

    As for saving your 1Password data in a PDF file, as littlebobbytables mentioned, you can do that by printing to a PDF, which will be in the Print options (it's a feature of Mac OS X).

    After running 1Password for several years it seems like I am locked into a system that is slowly taking over my computing experience, and the only way to extricate myself is to take a hit.

    Can you please elaborate on what you mean? I'm afraid I don't understand what you're referring to here.


  • Drew_AGDrew_AG 1Password Alumni

    Hi @Gnarlodious,

    I enabled the Safari extension on my iPhone but then discovered it wouldn’t even launch without forcing me to type a password.

    Do you mean the 1Password extension asked for your master password every time you used it? If so, that's expected behavior if you don't have Touch ID or PIN Code enabled in the 1Password app. That's because every instance of an iOS extension runs as its own process, so there's no way for it to keep your master password in memory. Therefore, each time you use the extension, you must enter your master password to unlock it.

    When you enable the PIN Code (or Touch ID) in 1Password's security preferences, your master password is stored in the iOS Keychain. This allows the app and the extension to unlock without making you enter the master password. When you enter the correct PIN Code, your master password is retrieved from the iOS Keychain and your data is decrypted.

    So, that brings us to your next point:

    I also attempted to enable PIN unlocking but to use it would be forced to lock my phone with a passcode.

    This was a change in version 5 of 1Password for iOS. I'm sorry you don't like that, and I completely understand. However, there's actually a very important reason why this change was made:

    When using a PIN code in 1Password, your master password needs to be temporarily stored in the iOS Keychain. But if the device passcode is turned off, iOS Keychain isn't encrypted, so your master password would be stored there in plain text - which obviously isn't very secure. But in iOS 7 and lower, it wasn't possible for 1Password to know if the device passcode was enabled. In 1Password 4, a warning appeared when enabling the PIN code if the device password was turned off, but ultimately there was no way for 1Password to enforce that.

    In iOS 8, it's now possible for 1Password to detect the status of the device passcode, and therefore 1Password 5 can require it to be enabled in order to allow the PIN code to be used. This is an added security measure, because it's simply not secure to store your master password in the iOS Keychain if the device passcode isn't being used.

    For more information about that, please take a look at this knowledgebase article: How we securely store the Master Password in the iOS Keychain

    Now that probably won't change your opinion, but I wanted to explain why it works that way. We're not trying to be overly controlling here, we just don't believe your master password should be stored in the iOS Keychain without some sort of protection. In fact, your master password is not normally stored anywhere at all, which is part of what makes 1Password so secure.

    Having said all that, we do realize that the "right" password management solution is often a matter of personal preference, so 1Password won't be the right fit for everyone. If you switch to another app, I do hope you find one that suits your needs. But if you decide to continue using 1Password, please know that we're here for you, and we're always happy to help. :)

  • We're sorry you haven't found the newer versions to your liking at all, at least you have the older version still available which seems to fit in with your preferences :smile:

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