Upgrading from standalone to membership: 1pif import fails to convert folders to tags

edited January 2018 in Memberships

I'm in the process of upgrading from 1Password standalone to a subscription-based membership.

I understand that folders are no longer supported and we need to use tags instead. However I read on several discussion threads that if you export data from a standalone vault into a .1pif file, and then import that into a 1password.com vault, then it converts your folders into tags.

However, this is not happening when I try this using 1Password 6 for Mac. The only tags I can see are the ones that I already had, and one "import" tag. I don't see any of my folders appearing as tags.

Any idea what I'm doing wrong?

1Password Version: 6.8.6
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: 10.13.2
Sync Type: None yet


  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @semblance: Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry for the confusion! I'm not sure where you got the idea to export and then re-import your data, but that won't "convert" anything. You can, however, use the official migration process to do this:

    Move your existing 1Password data to a 1Password account

    That transfer everything to your account from your Primary vault, so that you don't have to do any of this manually. I hope this helps. Be sure to let me know if you have any other questions! :)

  • semblancesemblance
    edited January 2018

    Hi @brenty, I already read that link. It says "If you have more than one vault, 1Password won’t ask to move your data to your new account. Learn how to move your items manually" - and the instructions for moving items manually basically says select the items, right click and copy/move. But this does not convert the existing folders into tags. So it destroys information in the process of moving it.

    So I dug deeper on this topic to try and find a migration process that preserves your data.

    In this post, the first reply from @MikeT says: "There is a known issue where if you open the local vaults in 1Password 6, the folders structure are not converted to tags on the fly. It does work if you import them as 1PIF into an 1Password.com account". There's a screenshot of how this is supposed to work at the end of this thread.

    But when I try this, it does not work.

  • Any other ideas?

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @semblance: Thanks for clarifying! Since you didn't mention it, I didn't realize you had more than one vault. That's correct: folders are only converted to tags during migration. There are a couple ways of transferring the data over and maintaining your organization though, even though that isn't a straightforward option for you:

    • If you don't have a ton of folders, you may find that creating a new vault for each may be a good option for you. You can then select a folder's items and copy/move them over to the new vault you'll be using to organize them. You should be able to just move the items from the old vault to the new one in that case
    • If you do have more folders than you'd want to create vaults for and/or you just prefer tags for everything, you could migrate vaults individually...

    In that case, you said you have multiple vaults, but your post says "Sync Type: None yet". Are you not using Dropbox for these vaults currently, and they're literally only on your Mac? (This only matters if you prefer the second option though, so you can ignore the question otherwise.) Let me know how you'd like to proceed and we'll come up with a game plan. :)

  • semblancesemblance
    edited January 2018

    Hi @brenty, I have hundreds of folders, so creating a separate vault for each folder isn't feasible.

    I use folders for the following:

    • Flexible Categories. Since there's no option to create your own Categories, I abandoned them (they're always hidden in the LH navigation) and I use Folders instead, under a top-level folder called "items"
    • I also have hundreds of confidential Notes stored in a separate elaborate folder hierarchy under a top-level folder called "notes", which I find completely intuitive and allows me to quickly and easily navigate to any of my Notes

    If there's a way to migrate the vaults individually that would be great.

    Yes I'm using Dropbox sync currently, I think I just said None Yet because I haven't migrated my data into 1Password.com yet.

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @semblance: Great! That makes sense. There isn't a way to migrate individual vaults the way you're asking, just the Primary → Personal/Private migration. But since your vaults are currently stored in Dropbox it should be pretty straightforward to do use this process with each of them one at a time. You can reset 1Password, set it up with one of your vaults, and use Tools > Migrate Primary Vault to Account. Just repeat that for each vault (likely moving the data to its own vault in your account as desired after migrating), and that will convert all of your folders to tags in the process. Cheers! :)

  • OK thanks @brenty - let me give that a go.

  • rickfillionrickfillion Junior Member

    Team Member

    Let us know how that goes. :)


  • semblancesemblance
    edited February 2018

    I tried this, but my folders are still not getting converted to tags. Here's what I did:

    • Ensured my local vaults have synced to Dropbox
    • Turned off Dropbox syncing on all local vaults
    • Move my known good .opvault files into a backup folder
    • Locked 1Password
    • Choose Help > Troubleshooting > Reset All1Password Data
    • Restart 1Password
    • Restore ONE of my .opvault files back into my Dropbox folder (the one I want to import first)
    • Select Dropbox, locate the .opvault file, and successfully import the data into my local Primary account
    • Log into my 1Password account using my sign-in address, secret key, and master password
    • Switch to my new Private vault
    • Choose Help > Tools > Migrate Primary Vault To Account...

    The data imports successfully, but NONE of my folders appear as tags. What am I doing wrong?

  • Any suggestions?

  • LarsLars Junior Member

    Team Member

    @semblance - I'm sorry for the confusion here. At the present time, we actually do NOT convert Folders into Tags in the conversion process. It's something we'd like to add -- because many users definitely would be interested in such a conversion -- but at present, folders are not supported in any way in 1Password accounts. To be clear, they're not likely to be supported in the future, either, for a number of reasons, but we would like to get a conversion process working. Apologies for the confusion.

  • semblancesemblance
    edited February 2018

    @Lars now I am confused because in this post @MikeT said folders get converted to tags "so you don't [lose] any structure when you import data or migrate to your 1Password account" - and there are even gave some screenshots showing how it works.

    And in another post he says actually that doesn't work - but "it does work if you import them as 1PIF into an 1Password.com account". This brings us full circle to my first post in this thread where I tried importing as 1PIF - and it didn't work.

    Now you are saying neither method works?

  • LarsLars Junior Member

    Team Member

    @semblance - unfortunately, yes -- that post is over a year old, and a lot has changed in that time, particularly on the 1password.com server side. One of the things we're looking to straighten out in upcoming releases of 1Password client apps is that very conversion process. Moving forward, it needs to be (to the degree differing OSes make it possible) as consistent across multiple platforms as possible, which takes coordination between the different native apps (Mac, Windows, iOS and Android).

    For the present, if you're using 1Password for Mac, that ability doesn't exist. If you have a Windows PC running Windows 7 or later, onto which you can install 1Password 6 for Windows, then you can use the OPVault import feature to perform the task, which should be able to convert folders to tags in the manner you were hoping for.

  • semblancesemblance
    edited February 2018

    Thanks @Lars.

    I fired up my Windows 10 virtual machine, installed 1Password for Windows, and... success!!! I was able to import all my vaults, and my folders were converted to tags :)

    I had to rename the tags, so that "items\network-devices" became "/items/network-devices". That was not just because I'm a Unixy kind of guy, but more importantly so that the leading "/" ensured my tags-that-used-to-be-folders appear together at the top, rather than jumbled up with all my other tags depending on the alphabetical ordering of the top-level folder names. That is something for you to consider for if/when you support this feature more widely future...

    I am glad that no-one suggested applying folders as tags manually. This was mentioned in another thread. Apart from being time-consuming, this would have reset the last-modified timestamps of every single item to today's date. Personally I find last-modified timestamps to be very useful metadata that provide vital context when navigating my data. If the import process required me to destroy that metadata, that would not have been good.

    Anyway, one more issue. 1Password's local backups only seem to include my standalone vaults. What about my account vaults? I'm sure the new 1Password accounts sync service is very resilient and highly available so I'm not too concerned about server-side issues. But what if I accidentally change or delete data on my side? How do I roll back to an earlier version of my data?

  • LarsLars Junior Member

    Team Member

    @semblance - Glad to hear you were able to get things done using 1Password for Windows -- I'll let the Windows team know; they'll be pleased. :)

    Regarding your 1password.com vaults, yeah -- local backups is something we're looking at for the future. It's been a lower priority than some other things up until now because there's already robust, iterative backing up of your data on the 1password.com servers, as well as your own local cache of the current data on your device (which is what allows you to use your 1password.com account data when you don't have an internet connection). But we do plan to add local backup capability to 1password.com accounts in the future.

    For the present, you can restore individual items in the web interface of your account: sign into your account in a browser, then view the individual item you wish to restore. Near the bottom, you'll see a button called View Item History. Clicking it will reveal every change made to the item since the account was opened, and you can restore to any of those previous states of that item by first clicking the View button to the right of the change you want to restore, then clicking Restore at the bottom right of your screen. If it's a case of an item you actually trashed, the item will be in the trash (and can be restored from there) unless you specifically took the step of emptying the trash.

  • semblancesemblance
    edited February 2018

    Hi @Lars. Good to know you can restore previous versions on individual items. But as you hinted, there will be cases where you need to restore an entire vault to a known good version.

    Actually this happened to me recently. I thought I might have found a bug in 1Password - and in fact this was one of the main reasons I upgraded to use 1Password accounts. I wanted to see if I got the same behaviour using 1Password accounts, before reporting anything here. This was because the last time I reported an issue with standalone vaults, the response from AgileBits implied that it would be better to upgrade to 1Password accounts.

    So let me describe what happened. While using standalone vaults, I created a new Login on my iPhone and wanted to add some tags. I could not see a way to select existing tags, and I did not want to type them in full in-case I mis-spelled them and accidentally created new tags instead of adding existing ones. So I looked for a way to copy-and-paste existing tag names from elsewhere in the app .

    Still in the iOS app, I went to the Organize view, and the only way I could see to copy an existing tag name was to tap Edit, select a tag, and then tap Select All, Copy, and Done. Now, it always slightly worries me when you have to edit something just to copy it: will there be side-effects, even though I didn't change anything?

    It turns out my fears were justified (or so it seems). Later on, using the Mac app, I noticed that two of my top level folders had both got mysteriously renamed to have the same name as one of my tags! There was NO obvious explanation - I certainly hadn't renamed the folders myself, either on iOS or the Mac.

    So then I repeated the same process again, to see if it had anything to do with the behaviour I just experienced. I went back to the Organize view on iOS, tapped Edit, selected a tag, and then tapped Select All, Copy, and Done. That's it - nothing else.

    When I checked on the Mac version again, I found that one of my tags had now disappeared completely! It was a tag that was previously assigned to dozens of items.

    At this point, it appeared to me that simply editing tag names on iOS and clicking Done (even without making any changes) was making my 1Password database become more and more corrupt.

    I then had no choice but to do a complete restore of my entire vault to a known good version, chosen from my local backups. In a situation like this, restoring individual items just does not cut it - I had no idea which items were affected.

    Whether the above really is a bug is not the point here. The point is there are many potential situations in which you might want to restore an entire vault, because either a large number of items changed, or you're not sure which items changed. It could be due to user error, or a software bug, current or future.

    My original plan was to see if I got the same behaviour using 1Password accounts. But since there's no way to restore an entire vault using 1Password accounts, I'm too scared to even try it!

    If I get the same behaviour again using 1Password accounts, I'm basically screwed, right? This is not giving me a warm fuzzy feeling...

  • LarsLars Junior Member

    Team Member


    Whether the above really is a bug is not the point here.

    I take your meaning, but pardon me if I say that it actually IS important for US. I've passed along your experience to our developers to see what can be done to make adding and/or editing tags a more reliable experience. One of the challenges with something like this is that the function and behavior of tags may differ from platform to platform, and we need to be able to develop a method that allows consistency AND reliability no matter what platform you're using.

    With regard to backups, you're not wrong there, either. To make sure I am being clear, we haven't and don't assert that being able to restore backups of an entire vault - or even your entire database with all vaults - isn't important. It is. And we're working to make that something users have available sooner, rather than later -- though, as with most feature updates, I've nothing official to announce with regard to it.

    My best advice to you is that if you notice what appears to be a bug - especially one that seems like it might be able to corrupt your data - let us know as quickly and completely as you can, and more importantly don't take any actions regarding it until you hear back from us. 1Password is relatively stable at this point twelve years in, but all software has bugs. There's the old joke about "Doctor, it hurts when I do this!" "So don't do that." I mention it not to be flip or dismissive but because the last thing we want is for a user to stumble onto a bug that winds up causing him or her a headache or - worse - risks corrupting/losing their data. That's why I'll repeat this as much as a user of 1Password who keeps all his own most-important data within it as I do from the perspective of an AgileBits employee: if you see behavior you think shouldn't be happening, let us know instead of trying to proceed on your own.

    In this specific case, I'd say: set yourself a reminder to set/edit tags when you get back to your Mac, instead of trying to do them on the fly. Obviously, that's not as convenient as it could be, but I'd argue it's less inconvenient than having to reconstruct your vaults due to data corruption. Thank you very sincerely for bringing both of these issues to our attention; they were great questions/issues.

  • semblancesemblance
    edited February 2018

    Thanks @Lars for your response. It's very encouraging that something might be in the pipeline regarding versioned vault backups.

    And thanks also for passing my report about adding tags to items on iOS on to the relevant team. For now I'll do all my "tag management" on the Mac version just in case there is an issue.

    And if I experience any other weird behaviour I'll let you know!

  • LarsLars Junior Member

    Team Member

    @semblance -- hey, thank you for helping keep us on our toes. We feel very fortunate to have such a sharp-eyed, intelligent user base who aren't shy about sharing what they find and what they wish for with us!

  • semblancesemblance
    edited February 2018

    Actually one more small thing @Lars.

    While trying all the different ways of importing in order to convert folders to tags, I have in the process accidentally deleted my "Starter Kit" items.

    I already have Login which I created manually containing my 1Password.com sign-in address, secret key, Master Password and "Emergency Kit" (which I also printed out and stored in a safe place).

    However I'm not sure if this covers everything that was in my "Starter Kit", and I seem to remember that one of the Starter Kit items was "special" in that it had a 1Password icon, whereas the Login I created manually doesn't.

    Is there any way to recreate them?

  • semblancesemblance
    edited February 2018

    It's OK - I managed to recreate the "Starter Kit" by sharing a vault with a family member, cloning the family member's Starter Kit items, and editing them where required.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Glad to hear you were able to find a workaround. :)


  • Hi 1Password Team,

    I'm fallen in a similar upgrade from stand-alone-version to subscription version trap of faulty converted folders to tags.
    My Setup
    License: stand-alone multi host license for 1Password V4.2.2 from 2014.
    iOS: iPhone XS Max with iOS 12.0.1 1Password version 7.2.1 + iPad with same software versions.
    Mac OS: Macbook with El Capitan and 1Password 4? (currently not used because not my main computer and during migration process not located at my home)
    Win: Desktop Computer with Windows 10 Pro Version 1803 and 1Password
    1Password setup:
    One Vault in agilekeychain sync via Dropbox over all 4 devices.
    Used a mix of folder structure and tags
    Content of my vault: 589 items in total.

    Process of falling into the trap / How to reproduce:
    1. Registered new 1Password subscription account on your website. Vault status = empty
    2. Using my iOS 12.0.1 1Password version 7.2.1 with your instruction on this page: Migrate your data on your main device to add my new subscription to my 1Password iOS app and followed the guide step by step.
    3. On Step 7 of the above mentioned guide your migration process announced what it currently does with a sophisticated seriousness. E.g. it tells me it's now converting my folders to tags.
    4. After migration process has finished I went to my 1Password website and logged into my account to check if the conversation form folders to tags went as advertised. BUT NO, BUG No. 1. There were tags named like the folders I had before but beneath this tags were no items.
    5. Even worse there where items which got wrong tags assigned were was no logical relation to!!!

    6. After adding 1Password for Windows Version 7.2.581 to my subscription account and see the same messed up tags I was bumped. Because I though 1Password subscriptions are existing for a while and also 1Password 7 is out of it's baby shoes this migration stuff should be rock solid.

    So, after getting afraid my folder organization scheme is no longer existing I started to search for help. This is why I found this thread. There was no thread / I found none which mentioned this topic in your iOS category.
    After reading this thread completely I decided to give the 1Password subscription account a second chance.
    There was no easy way to complete Reset my 1Password Account, either deleting the main vault (Personal) to start over with a second import process. I simple went to the 1Password 7 app and deleted all items by selecting them with Ctrl+A and moved them to trash.
    I could see how they live vanished chunk by chunk on my 1Password account on your website app.

    BUG No. 2:
    The items than still exists in the trash. I could see them in the Windows App and Web App. After clearing the trash in the Windows App there where gone in the Web App but not in the Windows App. I had to lock the Windows App and unlock to get an empty trash.

    So after having a virgin empty primary (Personal) vault, I used the Windows App function 1Password->Import to import my old agilekeychain from the Dropbox folder. AND TaDa all folders were correctly converted to tags and now false conversation has occurred.

    Finally I'm happy with the new 1Password 7 on Windows and will try to convience my familiy members to join me inside a 1Password family subscription account....

    Perhaps you can use my description to hunt the 2 bugs.
    I would be glad to help with tests + diagnostic data if needed. 8-)


    Greetings from long time customer

  • MeekMeek

    Team Member

    Hey Jens,

    Thank you so much for your detailed writeup of your experience switching to a 1Password membership. I'm really glad everything worked out in the end, but I'm really sorry for all the trouble you went through. I really do hope that we can track down whatever went wrong the first time - we'll be in touch should we need any more information.

    I hope you enjoy your membership now that you have it all set up properly!

  • Check! :-)

  • LarsLars Junior Member

    Team Member


This discussion has been closed.