Suggestion: Change the gear icon that without prompt overwrites your password with randomness

When you go into the edit mode of an entry, there is a gear icon right-aligned to every password field. For example, like this:

To me, a gear icon implies functionality related to accessing settings and most likely, something that may involve another screen to pop-up and allow me to configure something in more detail. I've seen gears used for dropdown button style setting menus as well, but it seems the vertical ellipsis is a more common symbolic representation.

However, I have never seen it indicate a destructive action, like completely overwriting your password with a randomly generated one. A destructive action that cannot be undone and occurs without confirmation via a prompt that occurs when clicking an icon that we've become synonymous with something so innocent. At the very least, a confirmation would be nice before I completely wipe out my password and end up having to go through the process of resetting my password with that service because I rely on 1Password to remember my passwords and now that password is gone. Even if I was already logged into that service, many change password sites require the old password.

I feel like it's probably common to click around after a new update and try to see what new features get added. "Oo, dark mode enhancements!" "Ooo, more preference options!" "Ooo, I wonder if they added more configuration to that password field... maybe like adding recurring reminders to reset every 6 months or something nifty they thought up? Oh no, that was the generate password button and I need to reset this. Crap!"

A gear icon is not intuitive here at all!

1Password Version: 7.2.1
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: OS X 10.14
Sync Type: Not Provided


  • vplewisvplewis Junior Member

    @kinell In case it helps, you can always cancel the change you've made before you save the new password. And you can also review/retrieve your previous passwords by scrolling down to the bottom of the item window while it's not being edited and click "View Password History". hth

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @kinnell: Suggestion: As vplewis mentioned, don't save the change if you don't want a new password. Failing that, grab the old one again from "previously used passwords" (scroll down). We can also consider cosmetic changes for future versions. Cheers! :)

  • LarsLars Junior Member

    Team Member

    Welcome to the forum, @kinnell! I'm sorry for the confusion -- but don't worry. @vplewis is correct: you can cancel any changes you make to a record by clicking Cancel instead of Save at the top of the record. And you don't need to worry about inadvertently changed passwords or losing the current one, because (if there has been more than one), you'll see the View Password History button that will show you the previous passwords in reverse chronological order. Also (not sure if you know this, but just in case) changing the password in 1Password for Mac doesn't actually change it at the site in question, so you won't be left with a changed password at the site that you don't know and therefore have to recover your account.

  • @vplewis @brenty Being able to cancel changes is great to know and I don't know how I completely missed the button for Password History! And great to hear it may be considered as a cosmetic change for future versions.

    @Lars Thanks! Also, having a password replaced with a new one without recalling the old one but the service still using the old one which you cannot remember was the core issue. It required me to jump in and reset the password because I was under the impression that I could no longer access the previous password which was required to log in at the service. If the new password did update the site in question, there really wouldn't be that much of an issue because I can still use 1Password to log into the site, but there existing a disconnect between what the site is using and what is stored currently in 1Password was the presumed issue, but Password History & Cancel Changes, to the rescue! Thanks for your help!

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @kinnell: If nothing else, it can be confusing because differentiations websites have different workflows for changing passwords. Sometimes this is all done in a single form. Sometimes it's multiple steps on a page, or even multiple pages. We'll absolutely continue to try to work out ways that 1Password can help more in this area. Thanks so much for the feedback! :)

  • @brenty I'm not suggesting at all that 1Password should update a service's account password for me. I was just replying to Lars that yes, I know that 1Password is not doing that for me and contrary to his assertion, it would have been less of a problem given one could still log into their account hypothetically. Sorry for the confusing - not suggesting that at all.

    I think at the end of the day, my only suggestion in this situation would be to update the icon. A gear icon ⚙ does not imply "Generate New Password And Replace Your Current Password Form Field With It!", especially in the absence of any text or tooltip. It's great to find out about the Password History and being able to undo it by not saving the changes, but at the end of the day, it contributes to a less-effective, more haphazard user experience because you should only really use icon buttons that aren't labelled if the icon can effectively convey the action or if it's something that's become commonly known (ie: floppy disk for the action of "Save!").

    Thanks for being so receptive!

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @kinnell: Likewise! While think that "A gear icon ⚙ does not imply "Generate New Password And Replace Your Current Password Form Field With It to me!" would be more accurate, certainly it's something we can take into consideration as we continue to iterate on the design. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience! :)

  • BikrBikr
    edited July 2019

    I just switched to 1Password and I agree 100%! 👍

    In the week I've been using it, that gear icon has tripped me up multiple times! 😩

    I recommend either:
    1. Switching to a text-only button with the label generate
    2. Find a different icon and then present warning when clicked, "Generate and replace current password?"

    My pick would be option 1 as it's best to be clear and unambiguous, especially for infrequent actions. I doubt there's an icon to represent "generate" that'd be clear and identifiable to everyone (unlike a universal icon like "print").

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    Thanks for the feedback! Perhaps we can use a different UI for it in the future. In the mean time, if you generate a new password when you didn't want to, you can Cancel out of edit mode and it will be reverted. But even if you do change the password of a Login accidentally, you will find the old one in the item's password history. And with a 1Password membership, you've even got item history as well. Cheers! :)

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