What do I do if I forgot my master password?

1Password creates your data file using the password you provided when you first launched the application. This password is not kept anywhere and it is never logged. Furthermore, there is no “back door” mechanism to recover your data or password. This approach is very important in order to be able to say that 1Password keeps your data safe and secure. However, because of it, once your password is forgotten, there is nothing we can do to help you recover it.

Before deleting the data file and starting all over, you should verify that you are not overlooking one of these common occurrences:

The Caps Lock Key

When passwords stop working, it is frequently because the caps lock key is depressed when it shouldn’t be or isn’t when it should be. Try typing your password with it on and off (because it may have been on when you typed the original password).

The Num Lock Key

Similarly, verify that the num lock key has not been accidentally enabled.

Keyboard Layout

In System Preferences, there is a preference pane called International. Here, you can use different keyboard layouts for different languages. The keys on your keyboard would then show one thing but the character that is created by pressing the keys might be completely different. If you are using a layout different from the one that was active when you created your Master Password, the characters may be mapped to different keys. If you aren’t sure which keyboard layout you used, try entering your Master Password using all of the layouts that you may have used.

Restart Your Mac

This is not a very scientific suggestion, but there have been instances where some installed software influences how keystrokes are processed and thereby affect password entry. By restarting your Mac you will stop these applications and also restart any other “misbehaving” applications.

Search Login Keychain

If you selected “Remember password in login keychain” you can use Keychain Access to view your password. This is usually only helpful when switching computers as 1Password would normally unlock automatically if you have this option enabled.

To do this, open Keychain Access (found in /Application/Utilities) and search for “1Password Master Password”. Double click on this item and click the “show password” checkbox. OS X will prompt you for your login password before revealing the password to you.

Restore From Backup

If you recently changed your password and then forgot the new one, this suggestion will help if you remember the old password. Restore your data file from one of the several automatically created backup files.

Start Over

Once you have tried all the passwords you can think of and the suggestions above, there is nothing you can do but start over.

After starting over again on the Mac, if you have previously sync’ed your 1Password data with one of the 1Password mobile apps using the built-in Wi-Fi sync method, you can easily restore your data during the next Wi-Fi sync. Follow the device-specific instructions for iPhone/iPod touch or for iPad.

Wi-Fi syncing is bidirectional, so your new, empty, 1Password data file on the Mac will receive whatever 1Password data your mobile device may currently have. Even if it is somewhat out-of-date — that may be better than nothing at all.