Switching from Apple Keychain to 3rd party password management app?
February 11, 2022 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Have you switched from Apple Keychain to 3rd party password management app? Will 3rd party apps integrate with apps (including browsers) better than Keychain, on MacOS and iOS?

I never switched to password management, keychain just kind of took over. So now I have a bunch of passwords that are to secure to remember, and half the time I have to go manually into the keychain app to fetch them.

This includes browsers other than Safari, the Terminal, and probably half of all apps that use passwords. I have quite a few cloud-connected apps, so the annoyances pile up over time.

And while it's not as common, a lot of websites interact very badly with Keychain as well.

It's a pretty time-consuming process, switching password managers and getting used to a new ones.

So I was hoping to hear from someone who's used Keychain, switched to Lastpass, 1password or any of the others, with success.
posted by svenni to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Yes definitely. 1Password is it. Totally just as smooth on both iOS and macOS.

Only small annoyance I’ve hit on iOS is that when you periodically need to reauthenticate with your master password (like after a restart, instead of just Face ID), if you do that in the widget (i.e. when you’re autofilling a password), it doesn’t “save” the reauthentication.
posted by supercres at 10:07 AM on February 11, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I used 1Password until it went to a pay service, then I used Lastpass until I got fed up (it seems fine on PC, but on MacOS I wanted to dropkick it into the sun). Now, I use Bitwarden, which I've found to work very well on both Mac and iOS. Throughout Keychain has kind of just been there also.

To make this latest switch, I exported my password list from Lastpass and uploaded it into Bitwarden. I still let Keychain remember things if it wants to, but only manually add things to Bitwarden. That means that sometimes Keychain fills in options faster than Bitwarden, but if I cue something to fill I select Bitwarden as my option. It sounds like it'd be annoying, but I haven't found it to be so in practice.
posted by past unusual at 11:02 AM on February 11, 2022

Best answer: I use 1Password and dig it.

Just one note that eases use. There’s an iOS setting to choose to only use 1Password (or Keychain, or both) if you make the switch to another password manager selecting that option makes for a more user friendly experience as you won’t get the “multiple password manager” options you’ll get with both enabled.
posted by bitdamaged at 11:39 AM on February 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Not sure to what extent you want Terminal integration, but with 1PW, I hit shift+cmd+space (customizable) to open search, find the entry, and then copy the password with shift+cmd+c and paste into the Terminal prompt. I would love autofill based on which server I'm connecting to or sudoing on, but I haven't found a way.
posted by michaelh at 12:38 PM on February 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: nb: There is a 1Password CLI that I’ve considered integrating into my workflow, but it hasn’t seemed worthwhile to get set up when hotkey+search is so quick. Others have integrations for eg iTerm2.
posted by supercres at 1:17 PM on February 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I used Keychain for a long time and then switched to 1Password and have since switched back. Assuming you use Safari as a web browser, I find Keychain more elegant.
posted by 10ch at 4:34 PM on February 11, 2022

Best answer: Another vote for Bitwarden, especially if you're trying to avoid paying for another subscription service. I used to be a diehard 1Password fan, but once they switched to a subscription model and made using their cloud servers mandatory instead of allowing their customers to keep using a local vault, I switched over to Bitwarden.

It also doesn't hurt that Bitwarden is free, unless you want a Family account, but even that is reasonably priced, unlike 1Password.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 8:18 PM on February 12, 2022

Response by poster: I'm happy with paying for ease of use, since passwords are by their nature not long-term storage. I guess I would like to back them up, but I'm sure I can do that too?

Can you migrate easily from keychain to 1password and back?

That way I could have a failsafe. And I'm not sure if cloud-only would pose a problem, since all the passwords are for online services. But I'll look at bitwarden too.

This is a great thread, thank you all!
posted by svenni at 10:16 AM on February 13, 2022

Best answer: For something as important as a password manager, I have no problem paying for the app either. I've paid for 1password since it was launched and it had always been my favorite password manager (I've tested almost all of them) UNTIL they started forcing customers to use their cloud servers to store and sync their passwords, rather than allowing them the choice to use local storage only, as they had been able to do in previous versions.

From a security perspective, many people just don't want something as important as their passwords, credit card info, logins to their banks and brokerage accounts, cryptocurrency keys, etc. stored online. Period. It doesn't matter how safe the company claims their servers and apps are: using cloud storage for that kind of valuable information is a hard no because it's a security risk some aren't willing to take.

Can you migrate easily from keychain to 1password and back?

Theoretically it should be easy since you should be able to import new passwords created on either app into the other, but in my experience it's always been kind of kludgy to actually do so.

If you want to avoid having to import and export, you can just use Keychain as well as your preferred password manager simultaneously (just remember to save your newly created passwords and logins to both) until you decide which one you like best. At that point, you can then set one or the other as your default password manager and disable the other.

This link shows you how to disable Keychain.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 11:24 AM on February 13, 2022

Best answer: I use BitWarden on my iPhone ad it works a treat. I have my phone set up to use my Chrome and BitWarden password managers. But you can use KeyChain as well. You just have to pick no more than 2.
posted by kathrynm at 4:22 PM on February 13, 2022

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