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Switching from 1Password to Bitwarden for password management

· 4 min read
Josh Wong
Content Strategist & Technical Writer

After using 1Password for more than 10 years, I recently switched to Bitwarden as my password manager. Switching to Bitwarden was a commitment that I needed to act quickly on since my 1Password subscription was up for renewal. This post details my reasons for switching and walks through the process of how I migrated my data.

Why I decided to switch

Let's be real here: The primary reason for switching was cost.

I needed to decide if paying $59.88 (about ¥9,500 at the current USD to JPY exchange rate) for the Families plan for another year at the current price was worth the cost. Because of this, I started researching other password manager solutions.

note

1Password is a great password management solution for businesses, primarily because you can centrally manage passwords and access to those passwords for everyone in an organization. Also, as of publishing this blog post, 1Password offers free access to their Families plan if your organization is using 1Password for Business, which is a nice perk!

I decided to switch to Bitwarden primarily because of the following:

  • Cost. Bitwarden offers a free version, which I imagine is enough for most users. Among the plans available, I decided on the Premium plan since I wanted to use some of the features available in that offering.
  • Open source. I liked how Bitwarden's core password management solution is [open source(https://bitwarden.com/open-source/). In addition, Bitwarden offers a self-hosted solution that I might consider setting up in the future.

Migrating my data

The first step was to export my data from 1Password in the .1pux format, and then import the data into Bitwarden. This was where I hit a few snags.

When importing my data into Bitwarden, I encountered a few issues:

  • "Sign in with" isn't supported in Bitwarden. All login credentials that use Sign in with Google, for example, show my email address with no indication that those credentials are tied to my Google account. Instead, the entry in Bitwarden looks like I have a username without a password saved.
  • Created and modified dates for entries weren't migrated. The date of all login entries have a timestamp of when I imported the entries, not when those entries were actually created and modified.
  • Archived login entries were mixed with unarchived entries. Login entries that I had labeled as archived and placed in a folder away from the active entries were mixed with active login entries. Fortunately, I had made notes of when I'd archived entries in the Notes field, but having entries for both valid and invalid login credentials was frustrating.
  • Loss of Markdown formatting in login entry notes. Bitwarden doesn't support Markdown in the Notes field of entries, so some of my notes are a little hard to understand at first glance.

None of these issues were showstopping. In fact, they probably did more to highlight how much I was relying on certain functionality that I didn't really need to use.

In fact, I reduced the number of entries that I'd previously archived and would probably never look at again. Some spring cleaning of unnecessary data decluttered the entries I'd saved and contributed to a fresh start.

A dachshund running with a key in its mouth with an open padlock in the background - Microsoft Copilot AI-generated image

A cute yet malicious doggo (AI image generated by Microsoft Copilot)

Getting used to Bitwarden

Naturally, especially after using 1Password for more than 10 years, the UIs across Bitwarden for desktop, mobile, and browser felt quite a bit different from the UIs for 1Password. However, after a few days, I was used to the layouts, features, and how to configure settings across platforms. Simply put, Bitwarden offered all the essential functions I needed, just organized and presented a little differently compared to 1Password.

In addition, usability across platforms has been just as easy as my experience with 1Password.

Wrap-up

While 1Password served me well for more than 10 years, I've been happy with my switch to Bitwarden. I've been able to meet all my password management needs at a lower cost while supporting an open-source solution, without sacrificing usability.

Again, I think 1Password is excellent for organizations. However, if you're looking for a password management solution for yourself or for your family, Bitwarden is definitely worth a look.

Remember that the most important thing is to use a password manager, regardless of which one you choose🔐