Digital Sharing for Apple Users: A Take Control Crash Course
by Joe Kissell

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Sync Passwords across Devices

As an enlightened Internet user, you know that you should use a unique password for every single site and service—and that each of those passwords should be long, complex, and random for maximum security. (If you have not yet achieved enlightenment, allow me to recommend my book Take Control of Your Passwords, which will set you on the proper path.)

You probably use automated tools to create, remember, and fill in passwords for you (and if you don’t, you should). But if you set up a password on your Mac and then don’t have access to it on your iPhone, iPad, or another Mac or PC, you’ll be grumpy.

Just a few years ago, syncing passwords across devices was difficult and annoying. But now there are multiple ways to do so. In this chapter, I discuss my two favorites, 1Password and iCloud Keychain. (If you need to sync certain passwords with family members or coworkers, flip ahead to Sync Passwords with Others.)

Sync with 1Password

1Password is, in my opinion, the world’s best password manager. It can generate, store, sync, and fill in passwords—plus credit card numbers, contact details, and other information. It works with every major browser and platform, and in many years of use I’ve found it to be secure, reliable, and convenient.

After setting up 1Password, enable syncing:

  1. Go to 1Password > Preferences > Sync (Mac) or Settings > Vaults (iOS).
  2. Select a vault (if you have more than one), and choose a sync method—either Dropbox (the more flexible option, since it can sync with non-Apple devices and supports additional features) or iCloud.
  3. Follow the prompts to set up syncing, and then repeat on your other devices.

Sync with iCloud Keychain

iCloud Keychain works only with Safari (for the time being, anyway), but it syncs usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers across all your Macs and iOS devices. It also includes a random password generator and autofill.

If you have not already set it up, go to System Preferences > iCloud (Mac) or Settings > iCloud (iOS) and make sure Keychain is turned on. If you’re enabling it for the first time, you’ll have to follow a series of prompts to create an iCloud Security Code.

Thereafter, when you enable iCloud Keychain on additional devices, you can use one of the devices where you’ve previously enabled it to approve the new device. (All this is spelled out in on-screen prompts.)

Once you’ve configured two or more devices to sync your passwords with iCloud Keychain, you need only visit a Web page for which you’ve previously asked Safari to remember your username and password (even if you did so on a different device), and Safari fills them in for you. If you have two or more passwords for a site, click or tap in the username field (and then, on iOS, tap Passwords) to choose the credentials you want to use .

**①** If you have two or more sets of credentials for a site, Safari lets you choose the one you want.
If you have two or more sets of credentials for a site, Safari lets you choose the one you want.

To create a random password for a new site, click or tap in the password field . Select Safari’s suggestion to fill it in and store it in your Keychain.

**②** Click or tap in a password field to have Safari suggest a random password.
Click or tap in a password field to have Safari suggest a random password.