Syncing between 1Password 3 for iOS and 1Password 4 for Mac

edited April 2014 in iOS


I just bought 1password 4 mac and would like to sync with 1password 3 for iOS. I do understand that it works better with 1password 4 iOS but I've just spent a bit purchasing the newest Mac version which I find very useful and am not willing to fork out another $18 just to get the latest iOS simply because I don't need the new features (eg: built-in browser etc.). I basically just want the iOS app to sync with 1password 4 so that I have access to the weird and wonderful passwords generated when I'm on the go. That's the whole point of 1password isn't it? Not being able to access these bizarre passwords will literally make this software pointless without my laptop.

Currently, 1password 4 mac syncs with iCloud which is fantastic. I understand that iCloud sync is a selling point for v4 iOS but is there a way to manually sync v3 iOS with 1password 4 mac via USB, wifi, anything really. I would prefer if syncing remains with iCloud than have to move everything over to DropBox but then again, DropBox no longer works with 1password 3. If possible, can 1password 4 mac continue to sync with iCloud so all my laptops are synced but is it possible to generate a backup/export/share file or vault that I can import into v3 so that I have a copy on my iPhone.

Been trying to figure this one out for a while and would appreciate it if older software was still properly supported (it's really not that old. v3 is slightly more than a year) instead of having to upgrade which honestly, is quite expensive for a yearly upgrade.



  • MeganMegan 1Password Alumni

    Hi @yyteoh,

    I do apologize, but there are no cross-version sync solutions available. iCloud is a sync service that only recently became available to third-party developers - it was not built into 1Password 3 for iOS. As you noted, due to changes in their API, Dropbox can no longer work with 1Password 3 for iOS. Wi-Fi sync has been completely re-designed between version 3 and version 4, which unfortunately makes 1Password 4's Wi-Fi sync incompatible with 1Password 3 for iOS. And while we'd love to be able to update 1Password 3 for iOS to make it compatible with iCloud, Dropbox's new API, or our new Wi-Fi sync, we're just not able to. When we launched 1Password 4 for iOS last year, we removed our three previous 1Password 3 for iOS apps from sale to avoid confusing customers. Apps removed from sale cannot be updated.

    I am really sorry that you feel this upgrade is a bit pricey. While we would absolutely love to give away 1Password to all our awesome customers, we unfortunately can't make such great software on hugs alone (trust me - we would if we could) :)

    With that being said, I would like to point out that this is the first time we have asked for a paid upgrade since 2009, with all updates in between being free.

  • I have a similar problem iphone5 ios6+ 1password4 and iPad iOS 5+ 1password3 how do I sync databases. I was using Dropbox until it stopped working with version 3.
    I have paid for both versions and it would seem that there is no simple solution. This is not good service, and would we be happy if we could only have backward compatibility of a few months in other software.
    PS I do not have an Apple computer.

  • MeganMegan 1Password Alumni

    Hi @tombrewis,

    I'm so sorry to hear about the trouble you are having with sync! Unfortunately you are right, there is no simple solution here. Believe me, I know this sucks. There are ways I could help you work around this but they all require 1Password for Mac.

  • MeganMegan 1Password Alumni

    Hi @yyteoh,

    I'd like to propose a bit of a change to your workaround. If you'd like to make it more secure, I suggest you look into 1Password 4 for Mac's Folder Sync option. Just keep 1Password 3 for Mac's data stored in the default location, and then set 1Password 4 for Mac to use Folder Sync to stay synced to that folder. That will prevent you from having to export your data regularly. :)

    Again, I do apologize for the inconvenience here, we certainly don't want loyal users to feel that they are not being supported. I will pass your comments along to our developers.

  • MeganMegan 1Password Alumni

    Hi @yyteoh,

    Using Folder Sync, 1Password 3 for Mac and 1Password 4 for Mac do use the same file format.

    To keep 1Password 3 and 1Password 4 in sync using Folder Sync, try this:

    • Open 1Password 3 and go to Preferences > General
    • Click on where it says 1Password.agilekeychain in the file path to open a Finder window to the correct place
    • Keep that Finder window open

    • Open 1Password 4 and go to Preferences > Sync

    • Click Folder Sync then Choose Folder
    • Now drag the 1Password.agilekeychain file from the Finder window into the Choose Folder prompt, and it will link up to the correct location

    And there you go - 1Password 3 for Mac and 1Password 4 for Mac are now synced up auto-magically. :)

    1. I have a similar solution, but using dropbox instead of folder sync.
      • Mac 1Password 3 has both dropbox and wifi sync enabled.
      • Mac 1Password 4 has dropbox sync (same Mac as above)
      • iPad 1 with 1password 3 has wifi sync to the Mac
      • iPhone 5 withe 1password 4 has dropbox sync

      • Everything works together smoothly. You still have to have Mac 1Password3 and iPad 1Password 3 running at the same time for them to wifi sync, but that is how it had always worked.
    2. I too am quite upset that "wifi sync" is not "wifi sync". Nowhere in the blog post did they mention that "wifi sync" was incompatible with 1password 3. The workaround makes me less angry.
    3. BTW: When I tried to create a password for this site with the "Fill" option under "Password Generator" in 1password 4 for the Mac, I got a "Passwords don't match". It is disappointing that your tools don't work smoothly with your own site.
  • MeganMegan 1Password Alumni

    Hi @Bonafide_Duck,

    Thanks for providing your set-up! I'm glad that you were able to find a solution to keep 1Password 3 and 1Password 4 all synced up. I do apologize for any confusion as a result of the blog post.

    As far as this forum site not accepting a generated password ... that is a bit strange! (We are using a third party service here, so it's not quite our own site, but I certainly see your point.) Some sites don't like our "Animate form filling" option. Unchecking that option, or the "Automatically submit logins after filling" option can often make things smoother in situations like this. If you are seeing this consistently, regardless of if those options are checked or not, please let us know and we'll do some further investigating. :)

  • I removed 1Password version 3 from my Mac after installing version 4. Reading this post, it seems there is no way for me to keep syncing between version 3 which is currently installed on my iPad and iPhone. Having to pay a considerate amount of money to upgrade to version 4 in order to keep functionality working for which I already payed is unacceptable. Not having the sync option renders one of the key selling points useless. I just got a new iphone and reinstalled 1Password 3. I am not going to spend hours manually copying my passwords.
    I think this update strategy with no backwards compatibility is customer betrayal. I suggest you come up with some way to restore the sync option, or otherwise provide a free upgrade to 1Password version 4.

    A disgrunted customer.

  • JasperJasper

    Team Member

    Hi Aran,

    I'm sorry for the inconvenience here! We agree that the situation isn't ideal.

    Unfortunately, Dropbox discontinued the API used by 1Password 3 for iOS after it was removed from the App Store in 2012. We’d like to update 1Password 3 for iOS, but we can’t since it was removed. Apps removed from sale can no longer be updated. And as a small team we need to focus our development efforts on making the current versions of 1Password even better.

    Wifi sync was completely re-written in version 4, so you must have the same version of 1Password installed on both your Mac and your iOS device to be able to sync using wifi (either v3 to v3, or v4 to v4).

    However, if you don't want to (or can't) upgrade to 1Password 4 for iOS, you can use 1Password 3 for Mac as an intermediary between version 3 on iOS and version 4 on Mac. This means you'll open 1Password 3 for Mac to do a sync with the iOS app, then the changes will automatically sync between the two Mac versions.

    If you're interested in doing this, here's how:

    • First, you will need to download 1Password 3 for Mac again if you no longer have it.

    • Next, you need to setup sync between version 3 and version 4 on your Mac.

      • Setup Dropbox or local folder sync in 1Password 4 for Mac (if you haven't already).
      • Open 1Password 3 and select the .agilekeychain file that you created above when setting up Dropbox or folder sync.
    • Now you're set to sync 1Password 3 for Mac with 1Password 3 for iOS, and have the changes sync to 1Password 4 for Mac.

    Please let me know if you have any questions. :)

  • Jasper,

    Thanks for providing the download link for 1Password 3. As was mentioned earlier, it is no longer available for download in de App Store; I hadn't thought about the option of downloading it directly from your site. I've been able to set up sync again, thank you for that. I do need a license key however; it's now running as a trial version. I will contact you for that as you mentioned.

  • MeganMegan 1Password Alumni

    Hi Aran,

    On behalf of @JasperP, thanks so much for letting us know that you're all sorted out. I'm glad to hear his instructions helped you! We'll be happy to hook you up with that 1Password 3 for Mac license via email. :)

  • I have the reverse problem: I have 1Password for iOS 4.5 and a Mac with 1Password 3. On this Mac's OS, 1Password 4 is not supported. Any ideas how I can sync between iOS 1Password 4.5 and Mac OS 1Password 3?

  • MeganMegan 1Password Alumni

    Hi @D_Hope,

    You can keep 1Password 4 for iOS in sync with 1Password 3 for Mac using Dropbox. Here are the instructions for:

    Please let me know if you run into any snags during the process. We'd be happy to help!

  • Hello,

    I was very happy to learn from @JasperP that "you can use 1Password 3 for Mac as an intermediary between version 3 on iOS and version 4 on Mac," but on the download page the latest version link reads "Download 1Password 3.8.22 for OS X Snow Leopard / OS X Lion."

    Will 1Password 3 also work (and sync properly) on Mavericks?

    Thanks for an awesome product. I personally feel your prices are quite reasonable for the software and ressources you offer.


  • MeganMegan 1Password Alumni

    Hi Phil ( @Unruffled_Obfuscate ),

    Thanks so much for your kind words about 1Password! Now, because 1Password 3 was not designed for Mavericks, so there might be a few glitches. (For example, if you need to import data, you will need to run an import script to kickstart the process.) But it should work smoothly enough to allow you to keep things in sync with an older iOS device.

    If you hit any snags, please let us know and we'll do our best to get things sorted out for you!

  • Hi Megan,

    Thanks for your reply. I'll go ahead and let you know if I do hit any snags.

    All best,

  • MeganMegan 1Password Alumni

    Hi Phil ( @Unruffled_Obfuscate‌ ),

    I've got my fingers crossed that things work smoothly for you, but you know where to find us if they don't! ;)

  • Hi,
    I have a 1password for iPhone (vers 5.1) and 1password for Mac 3.8.22. I need to sync the Mac version to the data in the iCloud, but I couldn't the way.

    Please help me...

  • MrRooniMrRooni

    Team Member

    Good evening, Yüksel. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news here but there is no way to sync 1Password 5.1 for iOS with 1Password 3.8 for Mac. They use two completely different mechanisms to sync with iCloud. You can, however, sync these two versions of 1Password via Dropbox.

This discussion has been closed.