How-To Geek

How to Use 1Password on Any Computer, No Installation Required

1Password is a great password manager, but it normally requires you install a desktop program. Enable 1PasswordAnywhere and you can access your vault from your web browser on any computer, even a Chromebook or Linux PC.

AgileBits is trying to wean people off of this feature, but–unfortunately–it hasn’t provided any equivalent functionality. You can still gain web access to your 1Password vault by changing a few settings, and it will continue to function as long as you don’t migrate to the new database format.

How to Enable 1PasswordAnywhere

You’ll have to use the old AgileKeychain format for your 1Password vault instead of the new OPVault format if you’d like to do this. The new OPVault format encrypts more metadata. For example, URLs stored in the database like “bankofamerica.com/signup” are encrypted in OPVault, but not the old AgileKeychain format. However, AgileBits still argues that the AgileKeychain format is completely secure, so this may not be a concern to you.

To use AgileKeychain, you’ll need to click the “Help” menu, point to “Tools,” and uncheck the “Enable OPVault for Dropbox and Folder sync” option.

You’ll also need to sync your 1Password vault with Dropbox to do this. 1PasswordAnywhere was designed to work directly on the Dropbox website, so it won’t necessarily work if you sync your vault with another cloud storage service, like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. It also won’t work if you sync your 1Password vault using Apple’s iCloud service.

To ensure you’re syncing with Dropbox, open 1Password’s preferences window on your computer, select the “Sync” tab, and confirm 1Password is set up to sync with Dropbox here.

If it’s set up to sync in OPVault format, you’ll need to set the sync option to “None” and then set it back to “Dropbox.” If you changed the option above, 1Password will use the .agilekeychain format instead of the .opvault one.

How to Access 1PasswordAnywhere on Any Computer

You should now be set up to access your 1Password vault from anywhere you have a web browser–even Chrome OS and Linux, which 1Password doesn’t support.

To get started, go to the Dropbox website and sign into the account you use to sync your 1Password vault. If you’re using the default sync structure, you’ll need to navigate to Apps > 1Password > 1Password.agilekeychain. You should see a 1Password.html file here.

Unfortunately, if you’ve recently created your 1Password vault, you won’t see this file. 1Password will no longer created the 1PasswordAnywhere file as part of new vaults, which means you won’t have access to 1PasswordAnywhere. However, you can still download it from AgileBits and it will continue working just fine as long as you continue using the .agilekeychain format in 1Password.

To do so, download 1Password.html from AgileBits. (This link was provided by an AgileBits employee, so it should be safe.) You can then extract the .zip file, click the “Upload” button in Dropbox, and then upload the 1Password.html file directly to the 1Password.agilekeychain folder. You need to place it inside the 1Password.agilekeychain folder–it can’t be anywhere else.

Once you have the 1Password.html file, click on it in the Dropbox website to load it in your browser. It will load as a web page and prompt you to enter the password you’ve secured your 1Password vault with.

Once you have, your vault will be unlocked and visible to you in a browser tab. You’ll be able to browse your vault, search it, and copy-paste your usernames and passwords.


1Password is moving away from this feature, so you may want to consider using LastPass or another password manager that offers web access if that web access is important to you down the road. The new 1Password for Teams provides a web-based interface, but it’s designed for groups and families. It’s no help to you if you’re just using 1Password for your own personal use.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 03/6/16

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