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running ver 4 side by side with ver 5

I have a 5 pro license but was not a big fan of the user interface in ver 5 so continued to use ver 4 which displayed much more data in the browser screen. I have an iphone that could run into problems continuing to run ver 4 if I upgrade the ios version.

I understand it is not possible to sync from a ver 4 data file to a ver 5 data file. The initial setup of the ver 5 does an import from the ver 4 data file or from a backup file. The storage location for the ver 5 data file is different from the ver 4 location when using Dropbox.

My question is, can I run ver 4 and ver 5 simultaneously on the same platforms, in my case android, windows, macos and ios syncing to dropbox safely. I understand any changes to the data bases will have to be entered in both versions. I would like to run parallel for awhile before deciding about switching.

I also still use mbackup periodically via windows. Will there be any similar program for the newer versions.

Thank you,


Hi Peter,

Thank you for contacting us. I need to make sure I'm understanding what you're saying here. mSecure 5 displays almost identical data as mSecure 4 on iOS. Are you running mSecure 3 on a desktop computer, and is that what you're referring to when you talk about being able to see more data in the browser screen?

Also, the data in mSecure 4 is only migrated the first time your account is set up in mSecure 5. After the account has been set up, the next time you sign in to the app, you will not be asked to migrate your information. However, even if you aren't being asked to migrate, you can still restore from a backup created in mSecure 4. To transfer your data from v4 to v5, you can use the instruction in this help article: Transfer information from mSecure 4 to mSecure 5 on your mobile device

One other quick note, mBackup is not compatible with mSecure 5, so it will no longer be needed after you have upgraded.

I should have been clearer about the version I am running. It is ver 4 on android and version 3 on windows and mac osx all syncing via dropbox.

My comment about the UI came from when I was testing the beta for ver 5. I found the UI was inconsistent in layout across the various platforms. The bigger issue was in listing the contents of the database especially in android, FAR more entries were displayed in the ver 4 screen than in the ver 5 screen. There was simply too much wasted white space in the screen layout.

I was just trying to confirm that once I set up ver 5 and complete the import from the ver 4 database I can run both versions with no interactions between them,

Thank you,


Hi Peter,

You can run both mSecure 3 and 4 alongside mSecure 5, but we don't recommend doing that. Many customers have ended up entering different sets of data in v3/4 and v5, and when they want to update the data in v5, they find it's not possible to merge the data together. The only way to get data from the old app to v5 is to restore from a backup file which overwrites all of the data stored in v5.

If that makes sense, just be careful in using both versions of the app knowing data can only be merged manually in the future.

I appreciate the answer to my question. I do understand the risk of running parallel. I have actually been doing that for several years when I decided not to use ver 5 and wasn't sure how long ver 3/4 would continue to work. I set up an open source program that works on all my various operating systems including one not supported by msecure.

I gather from what you are saying the backup file storage format is the same between the v3/4 and v5/6 programs? What is the recommended process for "zeroing" out a ver 5 database? It used to be you would set a threshold for repeated password failures, exceed it, and let the program delete the database,

Thank you,


While the storage format is not the same between the different versions of the app, we always make it so that the newest version can restore from older backups. So mSecure 4 can't restore from v5 or v6 backup files, but mSecure 6 can restore from both v4 and v5 backups. The same goes for mSecure 5. It can't restore from v6 backups. When it comes to syncing information, the different versions simply aren't compatible. This means that if you are using mSecure 4, your data cannot sync with mSecure 5 or mSecure 6. The only way to sync information is if the versions are compatible with one another.

With v5 and greater, starting from scratch is different than in older versions of the app, and that's because v5 and newer are all connecting to a centralized account system. Because of this, the apps have to make use of a common account key in order to provide the necessary protection to data stored in cloud services. While v5 still has a self-destruct feature, the account has to be reset as well in order to "zero" out the system or start from scratch. However, in your case, unless you want to do that for some reason I don't know about, you shouldn't need to reset your mSecure 5 app/account.

Also, I did need to let you know that in v6, we have implemented a merge feature when restoring from backups. This means that when you start running mSecure 6, you will be able to restore from a backup made in mSecure 3/4, and you will be able to merge your data rather than simply overwrite it. There are some things to consider when doing this, because it's still possible get what appears to be duplicates of records when using the merge feature. The reason for this is because the merge is processed by analyzing record IDs in the system. So if you manually created all your data in mSecure 5, all of the records, even the ones that have the exact same data stored in them as in v3/4, will have different record IDs. In that case, all of the records created in mSecure 3/4 would be imported alongside the records in mSecure 6 during the restore. It can be complicated, but if you were going to do a merge, you could contact us again, and I can help you through the process as needed.

Alot of good information. Can you explain what happens when you reset your account on one specific device. How does that effect other installations of msecure on other devices? You say the account key is needed to ensure protection for data stored in the cloud. How exactly? Trusting a disaster recovery system requires testing it which why the questions about zeroing out.

If I maintain a dropbox sync source can a new device or a zeroed out device do its' initial sync from that location rather than looking for a v 3/4 data source or backup file?

The new merge feature in v6 sound interesting. Does an user have the ability to see the record ID to be able to determine if the record originally is a v3/4 or v6 source?


When you reset your account, it's always best to reinstall mSecure on all your devices, or, if you use a Mac, to reset the database file, so you can start from scratch. An account reset removes all encrypted data from your mSecure account if you are using mSecure Cloud syncing, and it resets the account key for your mSecure Account. In the end, there's no reason to ever reset your account unless you are wanting to start from scratch, so the apps running on each device should be reset to a fresh state before continuing to use the app.

Also, one thing important note, the account reset will only ever have an effect on mSecure 5 and newer versions of the app. There was no account system in older versions of the app, so those versions aren't connecting to our account system and don't know about mSecure accounts.

Your account key is a long and randomly generated key used to protect your information. It's created when your account is first set up, either when the account is created or after it gets reset. That key is not stored in your online account, and we don't ever get access to it. When you see it in the QR code you receive via email, that data stored in that QR code is encrypted with your mSecure account password, so unless you know the password to your mSecure account, the QR code data cannot be decrypted to then decrypt the data stored in mSecure. So both your account password and your account key are responsible for the security of your information.

After an account reset, the data in stored in your Dropbox account becomes unusable. The reason for this is because a new account key is always created when the account is reset, and the data stored in Dropbox is now encrypted with the old account key. The sync file has to be deleted before you can go on using the Dropbox sync feature. Also, in case I'm misunderstanding you in some way, if your question has to do with syncing in data from a v3/4 Dropbox sync file, that is not possible. mSecure 5 cannot read the data stored in v3/4 sync files.

Regarding the record IDs, there is no way for the user to see them. Those are hidden attributes stored in the database file.  


If I reset my account does a new QR code get sent to me which I then use to replace the older one?

When you say "reset" the database on a mac, are you referring to MacOSX or IOS? How should a reset be done on a mac that would be different than on other devices or the windows version?

Is there any encryption on the  v5/6 backup file?

Thank you,


Hi Peter,

When you reset your account, any encrypted data stored in the account online is destroyed, as well as the account key, and remember that it's the encrypted account key that's stored in the QR code. On the next sign in to the account when setting up the mSecure app, a new account key is created, and a new QR code is sent out. It's a subtle but very important distinction that the QR code is only sent out when you set up the app after an account reset, because if it could be sent before setting up the app again, then the information needed to create the QR code would be stored on our servers online. Since the account key is not stored on our servers, the only way the QR code can be sent is when the mSecure app signs in to your account on any device. Only then is the information available locally (not online) to create the encrypted account key that becomes the QR code. 

I'm hoping that's not too convoluted an explanation, because it's complicated process since the information needed to protect your information is not stored online. The short story is, the account key and QR code created the first time the mSecure app is set up on one of your devices. After that happens, the Authentication Email is sent out that has your QR code in it.

For iOS, Android and Window, you only have to reinstall the app in order to reset everything in mSecure on those devices. For Mac, the database file persists through the reinstallation of the app, so you have to delete the database file and you don't have to reinstall the app to reset the data. You can do that using these steps:

1. Open mSecure on your Mac, and look in the top left corner of your screen. You should see "mSecure" in the menu bar. To the right of "mSecure," you should see the word "Help." You'll click on that in step #2 below.

2. Click Help in the menu bar at the top left of your screen. A contextual menu will appear. Hold down the "option" key on your keyboard, and you should see two hidden options appear at the bottom of the contextual menu.

3. Click "Show Data File in Finder", and a Finder window will appear revealing mSecure's database file, which is named, "mSecure.mscb"

4. Close mSecure

5. Move the "mSecure.mscb" file to the trash

In any version of mSecure, Backup files are always encrypted to keep the data stored in them secure. In order to restore your data from a backup, you'll need to know the password used to unlock mSecure when the backup was created.

You've provided a lot of good information and explanations in answering my questions. Some of this might warrant ending up in a new topic in your FAQs. I just wasn't finding what I was looking for in browsing the FAQs.

I'll take this information and move forward with setting up ver 5 on my various platforms and then testing the disaster recovery/reinstall process.

Thank you,


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