Support Notes

User Guides

Release Notes

Support Notes

Password History and Safe Format Upgrades (iOS and macOS)

May 2018
SamuraiSafe now supports password history (retaining previously saved passwords). When enabled, the limit specified in Settings/Preferences indicates the maximum number of previous passwords to be retained for an entry. You can also create a custom limit for a particular entry.


Implementation of the Password History feature requires a password safe file format upgrade. This is unfortunate, and I have taken steps to ensure this shouldn't be required again. If the Password History feature is of no interest - there is no need to migrate your password safes.

Once you enable Upgrade Safe on Open/Create in Password History Settings/Preferences, and you open an old (V1) format safe, you will be prompted to upgrade to the new (V2) format. This is a quick and safe operation and doesn't involve any decryption/encryption of entries. A backup copy of the old version safe is retained automatically for iOS and macOS iCloud safes and may manually be saved for non iCloud macOS safes.

The backup copy is a precaution. Once you are satisfied the upgrade was successfull and you have opened the upgraded safe on all your devices, feel free to remove the backup.

Upgrading SamuraiSafe

New versions of SamuraiSafe support both old and new safe file formats, however if you open a new (V2) format safe with an old version of SamuraiSafe you will get one of the following errors:

ios error macOS error

Upgrading SamuraiSafe to the latest version will resolve the open file error.


If for some reason you are unable to update all your devices or you wish to stay with the old safe file format, you may revert a new (V2) format safe to the old (V1) format. You need to open the safe in order to perform this operation, then select Revert to SamuraiSafe V1 (under the File menu on macOS and under the Group view Settings icon on iOS). Note that any existing password history will become permanently inaccessible.

Turning off the Upgrade Safe on Open/Create Password History Setting will stop SamuraiSafe from prompting to upgrade old safes. This setting also governs whether newly created safes are new or old file format.

Change Warning Dialogs for iCloud safes on iOS 11 & macOS 10.13

February 2018

Apple has introduced in iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 low level notifications when iCloud documents are opened by an app. A side effect of these notifications, and the way SamuraiSafe is implemented, is that you may receive a warning of changes being made on other device, when a change has not been made — rather the safe has simply been opened on the other device.

iOS 11

This dialog may appear due to changes made on other devices, or in the case of iOS 11 or macOS 10.13, opening the safe on other devices:

Changes received!

Updates to the iOS version of SamuraiSafe (V1.4.17 released 7 Feb 2018) should eliminate the warning occurring when a safe is simply opened on another device.

macOS 10.13

This dialog is always valid and should not be ignored. Note the safe is automatically set to read only.

Changes received!

However if you make a change and on saving you get this dialog:

file has been changed by another application

It is quite likely spurious, and may simply indicate an open safe on another macOS or iOS device. However, simultaneous edits on different devices can cause this message to correctly occur.

Updates to the macOS version of SamuraiSafe (V1.3.15 released 9 Feb 2018) should eliminate the spurious save dialog message occurring when a safe is simply opened on another device.

Migration Tool: CSV to XML conversion

November 2016

SamuraiSafe for macOS directly imports XML format password files exported from either the Windows or Java versions of PasswordSafe. To assist in migration from other products, I provide a simple CSV to XML conversion program. It is an AWK script, which to run requires familiarity with the UNIX command line.

If your password data is available in an Excel file, it is easy to export into CSV format:
Click File/Save As... and select Comma Separated Values (.csv)

To run the CSV to XML converter, start the UNIX command line: Open Terminal (located in /Applications/Utilities) on macOS. Then type the following at the Terminal prompt:

awk -f convertCSVtoXML.awk < [full path to inputfile] > [full path to outputfile]

Warnings may appear on error output. You must have at least two valid header field names on line 1 on the input file. Rename if necessary.
Valid header field names are: group,title,username,password,url,notes (in any order).
Other fields will be ignored.

So valid input would be:

News,"Washington Post",bwsmith,987938721982,,"digital subscription"

You can get by with just title,username,password.

The converter conforms to the CSV standard (RFC 4180). Unfortunately some CSV generators don’t conform to the standard — which may mean some editing of the input will be required. Let me know if you get stuck.

Download convertCSVtoXML.awk     [SHA1=710186e888ce66abc396606d766d23ac1e61b17b] How to verify SHA1?

Note there are security implications to CSV or XML import/export as the plaintext may be stored permanently on your system inadvertently. To ensure any CSV or XML files are removed securely use rm -P on the command line to overwrite files before deleting them.


For SamuraiSafe product support, please email