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November 1, 2021

Copy your 1Password account to your new computer

Nick Bolton
Nick Bolton
CEO of Symless

Works on a Windows PC, a Mac, or on Linux.

I was setting up a new computer today, along side my existing computer. Incidentally, the new one is Windows, but this also applies to Mac and Linux. One of the first apps I always install for any OS is the 1Password app (usually after I install Chrome).

After installing 1Password, you're faced with the login screen where you're supposed to enter the very long, and difficult to type, 1Password secret key (looks a bit like A3-FBAAA4-JQGTE-BRT8DP-EC3BH-W78BW-9DAHH, and no that's not a real one).

Here's how

  1. There's a few ways to copy your secret key (depending on your OS), but on Windows, I open the 1Password app, go to Account, mouse over the secret key, then click Copy.
  2. Almost automatically, I then installed Synergy and copy/pasted the 1Password secret key over (just like if my new Windows computer was a 2nd screen off my Mac) from 1Password on the old computer directly to 1Password on the new computer.
  3. And, done. That's it really. End of post.

But, it got me thinking, a lot of people don't know that it can be done this simply and easily... So how does everyone else do it? Well, most people probably Google for something like "how to copy 1password to another computer". According to the top result, one approach suggested on the 1Password forums (back in 2015) was to use Dropbox. Certainly, Dropbox is a great tool (there's also Google Drive), but for something as simple as a string of text, using cloud file sharing is unnecessarily complicated. Instead of just copy/pasting your secret key (like in Synergy), with Dropbox you have to create a file, wait for it to be uploaded to the cloud, then wait for it to download on your other computer (or use the web UI), open the file, then copy, and finally paste the secret key into 1Password.

I hope that by spending time writing this blog post, this helps someone save some a few moments next time they setup a new computer!

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Nick Bolton

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