Tips: How to Find Duplicate Passwords

We have talked a lot about the issue with password reuse but we haven’t mentioned on how to find them in 1Password for Mac.

The best way to do this is to first know the password you’re looking for, enter it into the search field of 1Password and press the enter key. You’ll get a bar that drops down to let you set the parameters for the search. For the duplicate passwords, set it to search everywhere and in the password fields only.

1Password Mac - find duplicate passwords

Tip: If there are more than one or two Logins that you’d need to change, save this list as a smart folder. On far right of the search bar, press the Save button to save it. This will let you come back to this list anytime and it’ll be updated after you update each Login with a stronger and distinct password.

After locating the other Logins with the duplicated password, you can tap on the arrow next to the URL in the Login item to visit the site  in your default browser and change the password on the site. 1Password will then prompt you to update the Login. Now, you have one less duplicate password to worry about.

I’ll talk about how to use the search field to locate all of your logins with weak passwords in my next blog post.

Other posts in this series

  1. More than just one password: Lessons from an epic hack (August 19, 2012)
  2. Password reuse strikes again, and a bit closer to home at Dropbox (July 31, 2012)
  3. Friends don't let friends reuse passwords (July 12, 2012)
  4. On password breaches and security processes (June 6, 2012)
  5. Two thirds of web users re-use the same passwords (June 7, 2011)
  6. Tips: How to Find Duplicate Passwords (April 29, 2011)
  7. When websites are breached, 1Password saves the day! (April 14, 2011)
  8. Security firm falls victim to password reuse (February 17, 2011)
  9. xkcd Hits Nail on Head (September 14, 2010)
7 replies
  1. Brian
    Brian says:

    It would be much more helpful if 1Password offered a feature such as: “Show all items whose password is used more than once”. You could then tell, at a glance, which ones are duplicated, without having to do a search on every password to find dupes.

  2. Sanjiv
    Sanjiv says:

    Yes, I agree with Brian. Having a button the reports duplicate passwords, as well as weak ones will be very useful.

  3. collide007
    collide007 says:

    1Password already indicates password strength in list view (if it’s not visible, ctrl-click the column headings area and select ‘password strength’ from the context menu. You will presented with a ‘progress’ bar of varying colour dependant on that password’s strength (red for really weak).

    The duplicated password feature has been requested before, hopefully they’re working on it.

  4. Peter
    Peter says:

    I’m with Brian. 1Password gets credit for preaching the importance of unique passwords and making it easy to actually use unique passwords.

    But they don’t make it easy to actually fix the situation, if you have a lot of passwords to search thought. People should not be doing repetitive tasks like searching for each and every password currently used to see which are used more than once. That’s what computers are for.

    (On a similar note, I think 1Password should ship by default with smart folders that show the weak passwords. It’s great that you can set this up, but the most effective way for 1Password to encourage best practices is to model it right in the app.)

  5. fellowweb
    fellowweb says:

    +1 for Bryan’s and Peter’s remarks.

    The lack of a simple way to identify the repeated use of passwords is the only thing that let’s me sometimes wonder about Agile’s interest in its users’ strong passwords.

  6. Khad Young
    Khad Young says:

    Thanks for the feedback, folks! :-)

    As collide007 mentioned, please also consider sorting your passwords by password strength to quickly prioritize your password changes. You can either sort by password strength in the Traditional or Widescreen layout (View > Layout) or, as mentioned in the aforelinked blog post, create a Smart Folder with “Password Strength” as a search criteria.

    We have some great discussions about this sort of thing in our forums. I would love to see you in there!


    Khad Young


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  1. […] you use 1Password on the Mac, take a look at Mike’s tips on how to use 1Password to help identify duplicate passwords and get you strong, unique passwords […]

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