Why 1Password Is Now the Best Password Manager for Mac

Why 1Password Is Now the Best Password Manager for Mac
Image: 1Password

For Mac enthusiasts and power users, 1Password has been the password manager of choice for more than a decade. But with a redesign and a new killer feature, we think 1Password 8 is now the best password manager for everyone using a Mac, period.

The app feels at home on Mac, and offers unique features the competition simply doesn’t. Mac’s built-in Passwords tool is excellent (and it keeps getting better every year), but 1Password now integrates seamlessly across all Apple products, Windows, and Linux, providing feature parity and instant sync.

Here is more compelling evidence why 1Password should be your password manager of choice.

A rock-solid foundation

Being around for more than a decade has its perks. 1Password has all the features you would associate with a good password manager: You can easily import data from other password managers, the autofill feature works across popular browsers, and it natively integrates with the password autofill features for iPhone and Android.

1Password’s two-factor authentication is also stellar. Once you enable the feature and add it to a site, it will automatically fill in the six-digit code 2FA right after your login attempt.

A killer feature: Universal Autofill

The biggest reason there’s so much excitement around 1Password 8 is its new Quick Access bar and its Universal Autofill feature, which put 1Password way ahead of its competition and do something even Apple’s own Passwords app can’t do.

The Quick Access feature can be brought up using Command + keyboard shortcut. Hit those keys to search for any login, see more details, or quickly copy the username or password, all without ever opening the 1Password app.

Universal Autofill, which works for any supported app or website, is even cooler. Let’s say you’re logging in to Zoom on your Mac. Previously, you’d have to open the 1Password app and copy-paste the password and 2FA code. Now, you can just bring up the Quick Access bar using Command + shortcut, and you’ll see the Zoom login option with the Autofill feature selected. Hit Enter and 1Password will autofill both your login details and the two-factor code.

This feature is active in many major apps already, but even if an app isn’t yet supported, you’ll be able to enable autofill for an app after you manually log in once.

The interface and workflow are best-in-class

When 1Password announced it was going to use Electron to design part of the app in the 1Password 8 update, there was quite a commotion among tech heads, but we’re happy to report everything is looking good thus far. 1Password runs quietly in the background on an M1 MacBook Air, and doesn’t drain the battery too much (if you were worried this would turn into a Dropbox scenario, don’t).

1Password has also refreshed its interface with newer, bigger buttons that mesh well with Apple’s new macOS design language. Still, thanks to the new Quick Access feature, most of the time you won’t even need to open the 1Password app at all.

Biometric unlock makes entering passwords even easier

Password protecting a password manager is a double-edged sword: You definitely need that security, but you don’t want to enter a 16-digit code every time you need to access a password.

That’s where 1Password’s support for Touch ID and Apple Watch unlocking really shines: You’ll be able to autofill passwords and open the app without entering your master password, as long as biometric authentication is set up.

Watchtower dashboard helps you gauge your security health

Telling someone (or yourself) to use a unique password on every single website is easy. Doing it is a whole different ball game. But there’s a way out of this mess, and 1Password’s Watchtower might help. This feature keeps an eye out for reused passwords and passwords that have already leaked online. The new Watchtower dashboard can give you an overall security report that highlights which logins need to be updated.

Don’t feel too bad if you have a lot of bad passwords: 1Password will help you change all of them, and will suggest a strong password that will be stored directly, so you won’t need to worry about remembering it.

Pro-level features like vaults and categories keep you organised

While 1Password 8 has simplified the interface (it is now much easier for new users to navigate), it hasn’t lost its power-user edge. 1Password supports a variety of data types, and can store anything from passports, to software licenses, to custom notes. Plus, you can create different Vaults for different users (work, personal, and so on).

It’s easy to share with between friends and coworkers

1Password’s Teams feature ($19.95/month) makes it easy to share passwords with coworkers. You can easily give password access to select team members, and share particular Vaults if you want. There’s also a guest account feature for temporary members.

1Password’s Family plan is built with privacy in mind. At $7.99/month for a family of 5 members, it’s an efficient way to secure your entire family’s many passwords. All family accounts are private by default, but passwords can be easily shared between members when needed.

The features are worth the monthly cost

1Password 8 packs a lot of features, but it comes at a price. With this update, 1Password is shifting to subscription-only pricing, and isn’t cheap.

But with this update, 1Password has already shown it is dedicated to improving the password manager with every major update, year after year. And that kind of active development takes resources. Pricing is a subjective matter, so it’s entirely up to you to decide if the continued development of 1Password, as well as all the new security features, are worth $7.99/month.

If not, you can always look at some stellar free and cheap alternatives, including Bitwarden (our favourite free password manager), Dashlane, and LastPass. You’ll find great features and security in both apps, but no other can deliver 1Password’s deep level of integration with macOS. And of course, the worst choice is using no password manager at all.

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