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We’ve long recommended that everyone use a password manager like 1Password instead of attempting to memorize or write down passwords. Although there are other password managers, 1Password is the leading solution for Apple users, thanks to a focus on macOS and iOS from its earliest days.

1Password offers numerous benefits, including:

The hardest part of getting started with 1Password, like any password manager, is overcoming the inertia of trying something new. Here’s what you’ll need to do.​

1: Sign Up for a 1Password Account

In this step, you’ll decide which 1Password plan is most appropriate. For individuals, 1Password costs $2.99 per month, or 1Password Families is $4.99 per month for a family of five. For businesses, 1Password Teams adds features and admin controls for $3.99 per user per month, or 1Password Business provides significantly more admin controls for $7.99 per user per month. You can compare the individual and family accounts, along with the Teams and Business plans, but if you’re still unsure which to pick, ask us for help.

Once you’ve decided on a plan, click through to the associated page linked above and sign up. Of course, if your family or business already uses 1Password, the person who created the account should invite you first.

Make sure to create a master password that’s strong yet easily typed because you’ll need to enter it regularly (or use Touch ID, Face ID, or an Apple Watch) to unlock 1Password. Since you’re putting all sorts of valuable eggs in your 1Password basket, be sure to download and fill out your Emergency Kit in case something happens to you. It also contains the QR code that makes it easy to sign in on new devices.

2: Install the 1Password Apps and Extensions

Next, install the 1Password app on each of your devices and connect it to your 1Password account. 1Password provides instructions for each, but in short:

With any security solution, there’s a tradeoff between ease of use and security. 1Password provides options so you can adjust that tradeoff to your liking.

3: Save and Fill Passwords

Now it’s time to start using 1Password. The first thing you’ll need to do is save your website logins as you go—you’ll need to do this only once per site. Again, 1Password provides instructions for both the Mac and the iPhone or iPad, but here’s a summary:

With logins saved in 1Password, when you want to sign in to one of those sites in the future, it has just become extremely easy.

We’ve just scratched the surface of what 1Password can do. If you explore the 1Password support site, you can learn how to enter two-factor authentication codes (1Password calls them one-time passwords) automatically, create and share vaults with others, add and auto-fill credit card information, and use the Watchtower feature to see which of your logins use weak or duplicate passwords.

(Featured image assembled from originals by 1Password)