Different master password on iOS and Mac

Drew_AGDrew_AG 1Password Alumni
This discussion was created from comments split from: Master Password Change not reflected on other computers or mobile devices.


  • I'm new to 1password, so forgive me if I'm missing something. I just installed 1password on my phone, set up a master password, synced the datafile to dropbox, then installed 1password on my desktop and pulled the datafile from dropbox then set up a different master password on my desktop. All the entries inside both apps on the phone and the desktop sync just fine both ways, but the master passwords are still different. Does this indicate that you can access the datafile without having the original master password? And if not, how does it work that a different master password can be set up for a datafile originally protected with different master password? I'm sure I'm missing something obvious, it would just make me feel better to have an explanation of how this works. Thanks!

  • Drew_AGDrew_AG 1Password Alumni

    Hi @ncrusty, welcome to the forums!

    I moved your message to this new discussion as I think your questions are a bit different than the previous thread.

    If I understand, it sounds like you set up 1Password for iOS first and synced with Dropbox. Then you setup 1Password on your Mac and synced your existing data from Dropbox. The part I don't understand is how you ended up with a different master password on each one. After syncing 1Password for Mac with Dropbox, did you use the Change Master Password option in the Security settings of 1Password? If so, that change should sync to 1Password on your iPhone as well.

    Normally, changing your master password on the Mac should change it on the iPhone as well (or vice versa). But under a few circumstances, it's certainly possible to end up in a situation where a different master password is used for each one. The reason for this can get a bit complex, but essentially it's related to the fact that your master password doesn't directly unlock your 1Password vault (in fact, your master password isn't stored in the app or the vault at all, which is part of what makes 1Password so secure). Your master password decrypts a key, and that key decrypts your vault. When you change your master password, that re-encrypts the key with the new master password, but the key itself doesn't actually change.

    After changing your master password on your Mac, you may need to follow these steps on your iPhone is it's still using the old master password:

    • Unlock 1Password on your iOS device with the old master password
    • Allow it to fully sync
    • Once the sync is complete, go to Settings > Security > Lock Now
    • Try to unlock 1Password with the new master password

    Does that help? If not, or if I misunderstood your setup and what you changed, please let us know. Thanks!

  • Ok that makes sense. I definitely have different master passwords on each device. I was just concerned that it somehow meant that I could open my datafile on the second device without the original master password. But your description of having a local copy of the key stored on each device protected with it's own master password makes sense.

    As for how they got different, I originally set up 1password on each device, but each with it's own local datafile and it's own different master password, rather than sharing through Dropbox. After some tinkering I got them sharing and syncing the stored data through Dropbox, but the master password is the only thing that never syncs.

    I tried your instructions to get the phone to sync the master password but that still didn't work - the two are still different. But I'm actually using Windows 7 and an Android phone, so maybe that's the difference?

  • Drew_AGDrew_AG 1Password Alumni

    Hi @ncrusty,

    If you set up 1Password separately on your PC and Android phone with different master passwords before syncing them with each other, I suspect that may explain why they're still different.

    The steps I gave you before were for the iOS version of 1Password, but I'm not quite as familiar with the Android side of things to know if it should work the same way. If you want your PC and phone to use the same master password, the easiest thing to do at this point is to change it on one so it matches the other.

    In case you have more questions about that, I've moved this discussion to our Android forums. If you need anything else, just let us know! :)

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