How to Backup Your LastPass Passwords to 1Password

LastPass-to-1Password.jpg

No, LastPass fans, the title of this post doesn’t mean that you need to tell me I’m an idiot for switching. LastPass is still my favorite password manager, although I do enjoy 1Password’s user interface. I recently decided, though, that it would be prudent to have a backup of my passwords in a secure place, outside of Lastpass. I already had a license for 1Password, so that seemed like the perfect spot. Here’s how I backed up my LastPass passwords to 1Password. You could use the same method to migrate from LastPass to 1Password, too.

While the basic version of LastPass is free, 1Password is not. I had a license that I obtained when I purchased a Mac bundle a year or so ago, so you might want to see if the app appears in a bundle again. Also, please note that the screenshots below were all taken on my Mac, but 1Password does have a Windows version, and LastPass is available on Windows and Mac as well.

To backup my LastPass passwords, I found a pretty easy method that worked for me. It involved going to Advanced > Export in the LastPass menu (I did it from within the Safari browser plugin).

LastPass advanced options

 

When you’re asked what type of file to export, choose “LastPass CSV File.”

LastPass export format

 

Depending on your settings, you may be asked to log in to LastPass again. Do so, and then pick where to save the file. I saved it to my desktop.

Now, head on over to 1Password. My license is for version 3 of 1Password, so the procedure might differ slightly if you’re on version 4. After opening the app, I had to set up a brand new (i.e. empty) data file. I then went to File > Import. You’ll be presented with “Step 1,” where you choose the file format. I chose “CSV or Delimited text.”

Import Format LastPass to 1Password

 

Hit “Continue” to move to step 2, and leave things at the default character encoding (UTF-8). Click “Choose File” and select the file you saved to your desktop (or wherever you saved it) and then click “Start Import.”

1Password import passwords

 

The next screen won’t look quite right at first:

Screen Shot 2013 02 22 at 3 49 25 PM

 

You need to change the “Delimiter character” drop down from “Tab” to “Comma.” When you do so, you’ll get something that looks better (I’m only showing the top part of the screen, so my passwords aren’t revealed):

1Password comma delimiter.png

 

You still aren’t done, though. At the top of each column on the bottom of the screen, you need to select each drop down item, and tell it what type of data is in that column. Mine looked like this:

LastPass to 1Password value columns

 

From there, it was a matter of hitting the “Continue” button, and letting 1Password go to work.

There is at least one other way to do this, that I didn’t try. I imagine that you could load the browser extension for 1Password into Firefox, Chrome, or Safari, and just import them directly from there. If anyone has tried that, let us know in the comments how it worked.

Oh, one final tip: when you are done, make sure you securely dispose of the file you exported to your desktop. I use a program that securely shreds and overwrites that data.

Evan Kline

Hello, I'm Evan. I write about tech from my perspective – that of the average 40-something tech geek. You can also find me on Twitter and at my real-life job as a lawyer.    MORE ABOUT ME.

6 Comments:

  1. Definitely a useful article for importing your data, while you were looking at password solutions did you look at RoboForm at all? I switched to it after LastPass had their first security breach.

    • I’m a little leery of RoboForm. I remember a discussion on comments on another post, where people were complaining that RoboForm reneged on their lifetime upgrade deal that had been advertised (and enticed some people to buy the product), and then quietly rescinded with no mention when they came out with a new version. I never researched this issue to see if those complaints had merit, but I’ve had no incentive to give RoboForm a chance.

  2. I’ve been using Lastpass for a good year now I think, and can’t live without it :-) However I’m aware of the security breach, so I might consider backing it up somewhere else, so thanks for the article Evan!

    • I hope that a security breach wouldn’t result in deleted data, but that would still be a good reason for a backup. My bigger concern would be someone accessing my passwords.

  3. I’m a fan of open-source KeePass and use it on both Windows (work/home) and Mac machines, using Dropbox to add the sync capability between everything. Of course, the Dropbox file also serves as an automatic backup and even lets me revert to a prior version in case I errantly delete something. Works without me having to think to do it and doesn’t cost a thing, either.

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