Questions about syncing 1PW vaults on multiple Apple devices

I’m not a computer power user, but I’ve been using Macs for 20 years and have a reasonable understanding of how to get around in the OS X operating system. I am, however, having trouble with what AgileBits (AB) says should be simple with 1Password: getting it to work on multiple Apple devices.

What I want to do seems like something a lot of people would want to do:
* Use 1PW primarily on my MacBookAir MBA1
* Use it occasionally on my iPhone
* Allow my wife to use it occasionally on her MacBookAir MBA2 (and have the security of knowing that if one MBA crashes I still have access to the other).
* As an extra backup, and for when I’m traveling but don’t want to risk losing my MBA1, have a version of 1PW on my old MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion (OS 10.6).
* Use 1PW online somehow, on another computer, when I am traveling and need to access accounts.
The first four are all related (I’ll refer to that as “multiple devices:); the last is different (I’ll refer to that as “browser use”)

Re multiple devices
I’d like to sync with iCloud, but it looks like that is not available to me. The problem seems to be that when I bought 1PW a year ago I bought it from AB instead of the Apple App Store. Apparently things would be easy if I had bought from Apple and could just use my iCloud account. I found something on the AB site about why they can no longer support syncing via ICloud, but I didn’t see anything about offers to let me shift my registration to ICloud. Apparently I can only do that if I buy a new version of 1PW from Apple at full price:
* Is that right?
* Has AB made any arrangements for discounts for people in my situation?
* Would what I’m talking about work as smoothly as AB says it would on iCloud? Maybe it’s worth starting over.

A different point: It took me a while to figure this out, but it appears that the way I get the !PW software on another device is to just download it. My assumption, finally, is that I don’t have to buy the software again: it will function on my multiple devices because I will sync to the device that I originally purchased the software on. Since I’m having trouble with the syncing, I haven’t proved this yet on all devices, but I think that’s the way it goes. I found nothing in the AB user guide that made that point explicit and clear: that would have helped.

My current situation:
* I have 1PW purchased, installed, upgraded (to 5.0.2) and operating on MBA1(Yosemite OS X). Great software: both because of what it intends to do and how well it does it.
* I have a WiFi network at home.
* I have downloaded 1PW to my iPhone5.
* I have downloaded 1PW to my wife’s MBA2.

Given iCloud won’t work, my options appear to be (1) WiFi or (2) Dropbox. I wanted to do WiFi: I’m at home often with my MBA, my wife’s, and my iPhone; seemed fast and simple.

Iphone

  • I got error message on my iPhone (should have written them down) that said something like “your computer is not connected to the WiFi." it was, but maybe there is some file sharing setting (?). Anyway, I couldn’t do the syncing via my WiFi network.
  • I then spent time working through the Dropbox procedure. After I started the sync and it went on and on, I thought that I was synching all my dropbox folders: 100 Gigs of stuff that I had no need for on my iPhone but wanted on my MBA. I could find no way to just share my 1PW folder with my iPhone. I communicated with DropBox tech support. They said the syncing is not literally putting the full folders of files on my iPhone and gobbling up storage; it more like an alias on my iPhone that allows me to go to the Dropbox cloud and look at files when I want to. Eventually, however, I did get 1PW operating on my iPhone with the data from MBA1 using DropBox

MBA2

  • took me 10 minutes to figure out how to get launched. Yes, I’m an existing user, but I get to a bunch of info about 1PW and I can’t find a way out. Eventually I see the button in the bottom right corner “Let’s get started” or something.
  • I expected to be asked to hook up to my vault on my MBA1 via either WiFi or Dropbox to 1PW. That didn’t happen. The only way I could find to be allowed to move forward was to create a new vault, which I called test.
  • I went to Preferences: it tells me that I have synced to DropBox/1Password/ 1password.agilekeychain 5 minutes ago. But if I click on that, it opens the test vault, so I’m not syncing to the DropBox that I created on MBA1.
  • That’s where I’m stuck now. I can get into test (an empty vault) or I can create a new vault. But I cannot figure out how to sync with my existing vault on my MBA1, which has a 100 user ids and passwords that I don’t want to re-enter.
  • It looks like connecting MBA2 to MBA1 by WiFi is not an option: the check box says”use WiFI to sync this Mace with iOS devices.
  • I thought of just copying files from my MBA1 on to a thumb drive and then copying them to MBA2, but I don’t know what files to copy, where to find them, where to put them, or whether that would work.

Macbook Pro OS 10.6.8

  • I downloaded 1PW version 3.8.22
  • Open and can choose “New data file” or “find existing” I want an existing vault, and the icon has the “sync” symbol, so I go that way.
  • But that gets me to the Mac Finder browser. So I have to find my way to something that isn’t on the computer.
  • Maybe I’m supposed to transport some files from my MBA1 via a thumb drive, but same questions: Idon’t know what files to copy, where to find them, where to put them, or whether that would work.
  • That’s where I’m stuck now.

Re browser use of 1PW

  • I see references in AB discussions to 1PasswordAnywhere (1PWaw). Sounds like what I want.
  • After various searches on AB I finally got to instructions.

    • Go to Dropbox √
    • Click on 1password.agilekieychain √
    • Click on 1password.html Nope. I don’t have that file. I just have a folder “a” and a folder “data”
    • That’s where I’m stuck now.
  • If I ever get unstuck, I assume that the way I use 1PWaw is on a browser via DropBox, and that I don’t need to install any software on the computer I am using.

  • as an alternative, I’m comfortable with the idea of have 1password.agilekieychain on a thumb drive that I insert into the computer I’m using, but I don’t know if that works…I can’t find any instructions on the site.

Feels like I’m paying a big penalty for not understanding when I bought the software that I should buy it from the Apple App Store.

Thanks for any help anyone can give me.

Comments

  • Hi @tmax‌

    Okay, there's a lot to cover in that post so I make break it up over a couple.

    Let's start with the licensing and versions which are MAS (Mac App Store) and Web Store (direct from us). As of the new iCloud (sometimes referred to as iCloud Drive) Apple decided to enforce restrictions on who could use the iCloud frameworks, limiting access to MAS applications. Unfortunately the new iCloud sync uses such a framework (called CloudKit). For many reasons the decision makers felt there wasn't any choice but to move to CloudKit and a little more on this subject can be found in the announcement, iCloud Changes in the Website Version of 1Password 5. As one of your machines is running Mountain Lion, iCloud Sync was never going to be an option I'm afraid as when Apple introduced the new iCloud they created a split between their latest OSes (Yosemite and iOS 8) and all the older versions. iCloud Sync also doesn't have 1PasswordAnywhere which you expressed an interest in.

    So while I understand why not having iCloud Sync may seem frustrating it probably wasn't going to be your best bet anyway even if you had purchased the MAS version. The announcement also covers the questions relating to people wanting to move to MAS after being Web Store customers. Essentially, Apple don't offer a way to migrate users and they don't offer discount codes that may allow us to offer you a discount. What we did at the time was we discounted the MAS version for a while after the release of Yosemite. Related is the fact that new Web Store customers can always make use of the 30 day refund period if they want to stop using that version and purchase the MAS one instead but it does depend on when you purchased.

    Regardless of whether you purchase 1Password from us or Apple's MAS you are entitled to run it on the same number of machines. The licence allows for you and five other family members in the same household to install 1Password on as many Macs as you own between you so your machines are covered. All you have to do is use your existing licence file to licence the additional copies. If you had purchased via the MAS then you may need to use Apple's Family Sharing to achieve the same coverage but it is possible there too (but all the Apple IDs are then linked).

    Now our licences are per platform, so a licence for 1Password for Mac only covers OS X. 1Password for iOS is a free download with an optional in-app purchase for additional features. Anybody can download 1Password for iOS but because of how Apple have set things up you can't share the in-app purchase with another Apple ID (it will however apply to all iOS devices using that one Apple ID so it is per platform and not per device).

    That should cover your licensing queries. I'm going to leave the syncing woes for the next post.

  • tmaxtmax
    edited December 2014

    LBT: Thanks for the quick response re licensing. The key points seem to be:

    1. I bought from your Web Store, not MAS.
    2. Without an MAS version, I cannot use iCloud syncing
    3. Apple will give me no discount to convert to MAS. AB did offer a discount on MAS, but only "for a while" so that deal may have expired.
    4. BUT (the good news): Given what I want to do, I might be better off with the AB Web Store version.

    If I've got that right, then I'm looking forward to installment 2 to set me straight on how to make my AB Web Store version work on multiple devices, given the situation I described previously.

  • Hi @tmax‌

    Syncing. Let me see if I've got this correct

    1. MacBook Air (1) running Yosemite & 1Password 5.
    2. iPhone 5 running iOS & 1Password for iOS - I'm guessing iOS 8 and 1Password 5.
    3. MacBook Air (2) running unknown version of OS X and 1Password with a test vault containing nothing of value.
    4. MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion and 1Password 3.

    Of these 1. and 2. are syncing correctly via Dropbox while 3. seems to be syncing a test vault and 4. is still in the set up stage.

    If any of that is wrong you're probably best to stop reading and simply correct me.

    Assuming I'm correct though.

    The first thing to do is confirm that 1. and 2. are indeed syncing. On both 1. and 2. can you create a test item with appropriate titles e.g. on the MacBook Air create a test item with MBA somewhere in the title and on your iPhone have the title include the word iOS. If syncing is working properly then afterwards both devices should have both test items.

    Assuming that is all good we need to identify the agilekeychain being used. On your Mac open 1Password and enter 1Password's preferences. Switch to the Sync tab and you should see a Change Syncing... button and above that a Finder like representation of where the agilekeychain is in your Dropbox. Make a note of this location. It will probably read something like [username] > Dropbox > 1Password.agilekeychain where [username] is whatever you titled your OS X account. I suspect that is the location given your MacBook Air (2) isn't syncing and is using [username] > Dropbox > 1Password> 1Password.agilekeychain.

    Now on your wife's MacBook Air (2) I want you to follow the the guide for Starting Over and you want to follow the section for the Web Store version. Please note the steps are important. You want to ensure 1Password mini isn't running and rebooting the Mac is important because of aggressive caching that is in OS X. At this point it will be like you haven't run 1Password before.

    Now I want you to visit the Dropbox website and search your Dropbox storage for agilekeychain. It should return two, one at /1Password/1Password.agilekeychain and another at the location I asked you to make a note of. You will want to delete the test vault, the one created on the MacBook Air (2). All going well it should be easy to determine which is which and you can have confidence that deleting the one at /1Password/1Password.agilekeychain will leave your real agilkeychain alone. If in doubt do let us know what you're seeing so we can help you determine what is going on.

    This would be a good time for a sanity check. You mentioned a missing 1Password.html but I'm hoping it was maybe the wrong agilekeychain. Follow the 1PasswordAnywhere guide and let us know if you're still missing the 1Password.html file - it should be at the same level as the folders a and data, just inside the 1Password.agilekeychain.

    Assuming we're still good and with the errant agilkeychain removed you should be able to follow this guide as an existing user Getting started again on a new computer. 1Password may locate your agilekeychain for you and simply ask for your Master Password but if it doesn't then the guide will help you with the steps. As you're syncing via Dropbox it is assumed you have Dropbox installed on this Mac and it is syncing properly.

    1Password 3 on your old MacBook Pro is a slightly different beast but it shouldn't be any more complex. Again, it's assumed you have Dropbox installed and syncing properly. It should then be a matter of saying you're an existing user and pointing it to the 1Password.agilekeychain in your Dropbox folder.

    If you have any questions, if any part of this is unclear and you need it expanded on please let us know. Otherwise hopefully we'll be hearing of your syncing success :smile:

  • Re current hardware and software—you were close. Exactly:
    MacBook Air (1) running Yosemite & 1Password 5.
    iPhone 5s running iOS & 1Password 5 for iOS 8
    MacBook Air (2) running OS X Yosemite and 1Password with a test vault containing nothing of value.
    MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion and 1Password 3.
    Of these 1. and 2. are syncing correctly via Dropbox while 3. seems to be syncing a test vault (I think so) and 4. is still in the set up stage. √

    Re MBA1 and iphone: I did the test. They are syncing via DropBox. √

    follow the the guide for Starting Over and reboot on MBA2 √

    Up to here, I think everything went as you said.

    Dropbox. Got there. You said: "It should return two, one at /1Password/1Password.agilekeychain and another at the location I asked you to make a note of. You will want to delete the test vault, the one created on the MacBook Air (2)." It only shows one: /1Password/1Password.agilekeychain. In other words, I don't think I ever got MBA2 synced to MBA1. Still, I followed your instructions and deleted /1Password/1Password.agilekeychain

    So I went to MBA1 and told Dropbox to share the 1PW folder with MBA2. When I click on agilekeychain it shows the 1Password.html file. Progress.

    Back to the MBA2. When I now open 1 PW I get a screen with this choice: "I'm new..." or "I've used 1PW before." This is where I got messed up last time. I've used it before (I've already got a vault, but on another computer.) I get a choice of "I'm new" or "I've used 1 PW" Since I have a vault on MBA1, I choose the latter. Now I get a question about "which Device". Since I now have, I hope, the agilekeychain in my MBA2 dropbox, I choose that. And, then, voila "Welcome to 1PW5...we found your data...." I type in my master PW and the miracles keep happening: I'm on MBA2 and into my vault.

    So I used your test: I created a new login on MBA2, checked MBA1 and iphone. Success!

    Looks to me like I have now successfully used DropBox to linked MBA1, MBA2, and iphone.

    Left to do: 1PW3 on old MBPro. Haven't tried it, but as you said, should be easier now that I understand this better.

    So, STILL OUTSTANDING: getting 1PasswordAnywhere installed and running. You said: "You mentioned a missing 1Password.html but I'm hoping it was maybe the wrong agilekeychain. Follow the 1PasswordAnywhere guide and let us know if you're still missing the 1Password.html file" I tried to access this file in Dropbox on MBA1 and got this message: "The file is in use and is already being synced to the primary vault." So I could not open agilekeychain on MBA1. I then tried on iphone. I could open it and can see 1 Password.html. Same on MBA2: I can see 1 Password.html. I'm not sure if it makes any difference where I install it from, or if I have to install it separately. Seems like installing it from device, and only once, should be fine: I don't need it on devices I already have; I need it when I'm traveling and using some unknown computer.

    Thanks, LTB for the troubleshooting and detailed instructions. Almost there.

  • Hi @tmax‌

    When you say

    access this file in Dropbox on MBA1 and got this message: "The file is in use and is already being synced to the primary vault."

    Are you trying to open the 1Password.html file from within the Dropbox website (see image below)

    You shouldn't need to install anything, simply trying to open 1Password.html in a browser should be enough. Now trying to open it locally by double clicking on the file in a Finder window may not work due to local file restrictions in Safari. There are ways round that depending on your browser of choice but that's why we talk about accessing it via Dropbox as that gets round the issue. Does that help at all?

  • LBT: thanks, again. I think the problem was that I already had 1PW open on my MBA1 and then tried (without meaning to) open it again by going to Dropbox. I closed everything, started with Dropbox, and then was able to open 1PWaw in a browser.

    I keep getting closer but I have not been able to solve the next problem. In 1PWaw I can see all the logins in my vault, but I had expected to click on them and be taken to the URL. I've tried clicking and cntrl-clicking everywhere. I can highlight URLs, logins, and passwords and eventually make everything work via cut-and-paste, but I doubt that is what AG designed. I've tried in both Chrome and Safari: same problem. I can't find anything on AG help that gives special help for 1PWaw.

    And, I'll impose on you with one more question that I assume AG has heard before. I like the idea of 1PW generating random, long passwords for many of my sites (e.g., banks). But I can't get past the worry that someday 1PW is not going to work, and then I won't know how to access my key accounts. The solutions I have thought of:
    1. Don't worry about it: that will never happen because.... ? (that's what AG would have to tell me)
    2. print a hard copy of the passwords. That's obviously less secure
    3. Store a master password file in a vault created by a different software vendor: e.g., LastPass.
    4. Worst case, it's not fatal, it's just inconvenient. I can go to the sites I need to get to an tell them I've forgotten my password. I don't like the thought of doing that for each of the 80 sites I have in my vault, but I probably only have 20 sites that need really secure passwords.

    LBT: you've been great. Couldn't have got there without you. Happy New Year to you.

  • MeganMegan 1Password Alumni

    Hi @tmax,

    I'm glad to hear you were able to get 1PasswordAnywhere open in your browser.

    In 1PWaw I can see all the logins in my vault, but I had expected to click on them and be taken to the URL. I've tried clicking and cntrl-clicking everywhere. I can highlight URLs, logins, and passwords and eventually make everything work via cut-and-paste, but I doubt that is what AG designed.

    Actually, this is precisely how 1PasswordAnywhere was designed. It's a read-only copy of your 1Password database. It doesn't have the full Go & Fill powers of the main app, it's simply meant to provide quick access to your database when you're at a computer that does not have 1Password installed.

    I like the idea of 1PW generating random, long passwords for many of my sites (e.g., banks). But I can't get past the worry that someday 1PW is not going to work, and then I won't know how to access my key accounts.

    Actually, because 1Password is an app and not a service, this really isn't something to be too concerned about. (Yup, I'm completely biased, but hear me out!) You have purchased the 1Password app, and you have complete control over your 1Password data - it is never stored on our servers. Even if AgileBits winked out of existence at the stroke of midnight tonight, the 1Password app would continue to run just fine on your computer. Clearly we wouldn't be around to offer bug fixes or shiny fancy updates, but you would still have access to your password database via the existing app.

    If your concern is more related to the app ceasing to function, well ... we do our best to avoid catastrophic app failures by extensively beta testing versions before releasing them to the public, so I'd like to think that the app will never completely stop functioning while our intrepid developers are around to prevent disaster. Additionally, because you are using 1Password on multiple platforms (both Mac and iOS) it is even more unlikely that both the Mac app and the iOS app would short-circuit at the same time. And, as you've noticed, 1PasswordAnywhere is a handy little bonus that will allow you to view your 1Password data, even if you have no access to either the Mac or the iOS app.

    To more directly address one of your proposed solutions:

    1. print a hard copy of the passwords. That's obviously less secure

    We've worked so hard to give users a better option than the "Internet password log book" that you can still find in some bookstores, so hopefully printing out all your passwords isn't necessary. If you feel that this is a type of backup that you would like to have, I would strongly recommend storing it in a secure place like a safe deposit box or a safe. (Keep in mind that this copy would have to be updated whenever you change a password or it could quickly become useless.)

    (There is a 1Password Emergency Kit written by some dedicated users that helps to deal with the passing of digital data in case of an emergency. It's not quite what you're talking about here, but I thought you might find it useful nonetheless.

    I hope this helps, but if you have any further questions, we're here for you!

  • All clear. My objective was to have 1PW running by the end of the year. Thanks to all your help, I made it.

  • JasperJasper

    Team Member

    On behalf of Megan and littlebobbytables, you're welcome. Please let us know if you have any other questions! :)

This discussion has been closed.