You might have read our previous articles on password managers, and maybe even took our recommendation and installed 1Password on your computer. But maybe you stopped there. The password manager felt a little unfamiliar and you didn’t know how to get started.
That’s okay, we’re here to give you some specific advice on how to start using 1Password to safely and securely store your passwords. We’ll also show you some screenshots for easy navigation. For reference’s sake, these screenshots were taken on a MacOS device and we used 1Password version 7.4 (Desktop).
How to generate new passwords in 1Password
While 1Password can be used to store your previous passwords, it’s also a great way to *create* new passwords (long, strong, unique ones) that 1Password then stores for you. To create a new password, first open your 1Password and hit the ‘+’ icon (found next to the search bar) or go to File > New Item.
Once you click that, you’ll see a drop-down list of options available to you.
While you have the option to choose ‘Password’, we recommend using ‘Login’ as that’s likely to be the most applicable use case here. You’ll probably use 1Password most often when you need a new password for a new account so this option will allow you to store all the necessary details such as the log-in page and your username in addition to your password.
Once you hit the ‘login’ button, make sure the information is stored in the right Vault (if you’re using any shared accounts). Keep it in your Private Vault if it’s a login only you’ll access. If you plan to share the details with anyone else that has access to your 1Password (available for Family and Team & Business subscriptions), you can place the log-in in a shared Vault.
After choosing your Vault, you can fill the entry with the appropriate info. The name of the account, log-in information, relevant webpages, and even additional notes if you need to. Then hit the gear icon next to the password field to generate a password. 1Password will generate a password and then, if needed, you can change the password settings and specify what kind of password you need to create. Some accounts have different or more specific requirements for their passwords so this will help you create a usable password.
You can choose:
- Whether to use characters or full words.
- How to separate the words (for example, with hyphens or spaces).
- The length of the password (by characters or words).
- How many numbers and/or symbols should be used.
1Password’s default password generator creates a 24-character password with 1 digit and 0 symbols. If you change any of these settings, just hit ‘regenerate password’ and 1Password will create another password with the new specifications.
For most uses, we would recommend a password of 12-15 characters, and the use of 2 or 3 numbers and characters. You can go longer and more obscure for financial or other key accounts, but at 12+ you’ll have yourself a very strong password.
Once you’re happy with your password, just hit save and you’re done! If you’re creating a password in the middle of creating a new account, press the ‘copy’ button that will show up after you hit save. You can then paste in the password to finish creating whatever account you started. By default, 1Password won’t show you the password once you’ve saved it but you have an option to reveal it if you need it. However, you always have the option to copy it directly without needing to reveal the password.
After you hit save (above the name of the log in), you can always find the same password/login combination in the Vault you selected under the name you saved. If you have a lot of items in 1Password, you can use the search bar to quickly find any item.
A simple way to create complex passwords
Those are the only steps required to create a new password. If you’re on a mobile device or need to create a password for an app, we recommend using the 1Password app (available for Android and iOS devices). The user experience is nearly identical and it will make copy/pasting passwords much easier.