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Slim your 1Password 3 Backups

TJ Luoma, @tjluoma

1Password is one of my very favorite and most essential Mac utilities. Combined with Dropbox, I can have all of my login information synced to all of my Macs.

The other day I noticed that 1Password had gained a lot of weight, specifically around the backups area. I'm not usually one to comment on such things, but we weren't talking about "love handles," 1Password's backups had gone from 1MB to 21MB literally overnight. On August 28th, the backups were 1MB, and on August 29th, the backups were suddenly 21MB.

Wait? Did you say August 28th? Isn't that when Snow Leopard was released? Yes it was. And wasn't that when you switched from 1Password version 2 to 1Password version 3? Yes it was. Could that have something to do with it?

I contacted 1Password's excellent support staff who correctly diagnosed that the increase was related to the preview images which are used for Login and Software License icons. (These can be found in the 1Password.agilekeychain/a/default/thumb folder.) Each preview image take about 100K. With 600+ items in my agilekeychain, this quickly added up.

Fortunately, this is easily fixed. If disk space is a concern, the icons and previews can be deleted using 1Password > Preferences > General > Remove all icons and previews. I also unchecked the box next to "Automatically download icons and previews for new Logins." After I did that, the backup size went from 21.5MB to 889KB!

Why worry about space with today's hard drive spaces? I have 1Password set to backup to my Dropbox account, which is limited to a total of 5GB. Plus this meant having to upload 20+MB every day versus <1MB. Personally I neither use nor need the icons, so it's no loss to me, and it makes a big difference.

Many thanks to the 1Password folks for helping me get to the bottom of this mystery!

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