How Do I Get Safari To Use 1Password Instead Of Keychain?

Screenshot: Shutterstock

Welcome back to our weekly technology-advice column. This week, we’re tackling a question from a reader who finds it annoying when his browser prompts him to save passwords on a service he’d rather not use. Does this sound like you? Read on.

Lifehacker reader John writes:

“I read your article about 1Password and Watchtower and I was wondering if you knew of any way to sync 1Password with Keychain? I have 1Password on Mac, iPhone, iPad, and on my Windows PC at work. It seems that, when I enter credentials on a website in Safari, it offers to save the credentials to Keychain or 1Password, choosing seemingly at random, and never to both. As a result, I often need a password that I don’t have easily available because it is in Keychain but not 1Password.”

Ah, I know this problem well — having your logins and passwords all over the place, which makes it difficult to remember which service you’re using to save which passwords.

My initial advice is to drop Keychain like a bad habit. Nothing against it, but if you already have 1Password, you should simply pretend Keychain doesn’t exist. There’s no need to split your passwords across two services, because that leads to lots of confusion, as you’re now experiencing.

Were I you, I’d start by checking out this importer utility, which should hopefully help you get your Mac’s Keychain passwords into 1Password without issue. You can also do things the manual way.

Pull up Keychain Access (by typing that into Spotlight) and look through your “login” and “iCloud” Keychains to see what you’ve saved. Double-click on the entries to find your user names and logins, make a new entry in 1Password, and repeat. This might take some time if you have a lot of logins, but it’s worth the effort.

From there, pull up Safari, launch its preferences, and click on the “Autofill” tab. Turn off all the options, which should get Safari to stop prompting you about Keychain. (You can also uncheck the option under the “Passwords” tab instead.)

Screenshot: David Murphy

I’m assuming you’re using it, but just in case, make sure you’ve also installed 1Password 7 for your Mac and turned on the extension in Safari (via the “Extensions” tab in Preferences). This way, you’ll be prompted by 1Password — not Safari — to save your passwords on sites.

Frankly, I find 1Password to be a little fussy to use on Safari (perhaps that’s just me). You can also switch to a different browser entirely, like Chrome or Firefox, which might make the password-saving process with 1Password (versus Keychain) even easier.


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