1Password data file sync solutions

All of your 1Password information—including Logins, Secure Notes, Software Licenses, Wallet items, and more—is saved in a data file named 1Password.agilekeychain. If you want to be able to use your 1Password information on more than one computer, there are a number of third-party solutions for keeping this file in sync, our personal favorite being Dropbox.

Dropbox

Dropbox icon

Dropbox is a file syncing and sharing service that works on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and Blackberry. It skyrocketed in popularity in recent years because of its security, fast sync speed, reliability, and flexibility. It offers 2 GB of space—far more than the Agile Keychain needs—for free! When you install Dropbox, it creates a folder on your computer that looks and acts like any other folder. The difference is that when you save or update files in this folder, the changes are immediately synchronized with your Dropbox storage space “in the cloud” and any other computers on which you’ve installed Dropbox.

Dropbox features “versioning,” which means it maintains previous versions of a file in case you ever need to recover an old edition. While all files are kept private to your account by default, Dropbox also allows you to share files and folders with other users and even collaborate on them.

Because of these and other features, including support for 1Password’s unique Mac-based “file bundle” format, Dropbox is a great choice for syncing your 1Password data file between all your computers. In fact, 1PasswordAnywhere works great from Dropbox’s website! Here’s how you can configure Dropbox syncing on your Mac.

MobileMe and iDisk

Because of the issues we and our customers have experienced when using iDisk to sync the 1Password data file, we recommend against syncing via MobileMe’s iDisk. Instead, please use one of the file-based syncing solutions described in this document.

Other Sync Solutions

The 1Password data file is a file bundle that relies on particular features, called resource forks, which are not handled properly by all sync solutions. If you decide to use a sync solution besides the options we recommend and support, you will need to ensure that it understands those file features.

There are many third-party sync solutions made by other software companies that can handle the resource fork options 1Password requires, including:

While this is not an exhaustive list, it includes some popular options and is a great starting point for finding a solution that suits your needs. If there are certain known issues, the information will be provided here at the bottom of this document.

If you need a solution to sync with 1Password on your iOS device(s), Dropbox is currently the only option. Here’s how you can get automatic syncing across all your devices with Dropbox. Fortunately, as of version 0.8, Dropbox supports both file bundles and resource forks that the 1Password data file format requires.

File-based sync solutions are very simple in nature, and simple is good! By being simple, these tools are fast, robust, and many (like Dropbox) even provide revision history so you can “go back in time” and restore accidentally deleted information. They are usually able to sync a changed file to all your machines in just a few seconds. By doing things so quickly, the typical dangers of modifying the same file on multiple machines simultaneously are greatly reduced.

Issues with other Sync Solutions

SugarSync

SugarSync does not support either file bundles or resource forks, as mentioned by the SugarSync Documentations. You’d need to close 1Password before syncing to the other computers and repair the keychain on those computers after the sync is done.

ChronoSync

The following settings are required to sync the 1Password data file correctly:

RSync

RSync tools should use the -E or –extended-attributes on Macs which will copy the resource forks along with the extended attributes.