The world of technology is developing at a stunning speed. Our parents did not even think about passwords at all. Now every PC or Mac user cannot imagine his or her life without this feature. We need passwords for everything. To enter an account on our computer or to unlock any other device. Or to access email. Or to enter social networks. This list has no end, actually.

Given the frequency of hacking pages in social networks or e-mails, you need to engineer strong and long passwords. So, how to remember all these mind-bending combinations? PC users tend to make use of third-party password managers. In turn, Mac users have a fortunate opportunity to take advantage of Apple’s macOS built-in Keychain Access tool. With it, you don’t need to memorize passwords, as well as create them. Another great thing about it is that the app keeps your Internet passwords intact even after you apply browser cleaner for Mac to erase the cache and/or surfing history.

In macOS and preceding Mac OS X, each password entered in the application or website is saved. In case of repeated and further use of these resources, a program such as Keychain in automatic mode fills in the fields for entering passwords in Safari, as well as in third-party applications.

mac keychain access

What is Keychain Access

This utility is the best solution for users of operating systems designed by Apple. The service stores information from passwords to Wi-Fi networks and accounts to bank card numbers with their expiration date.

After launching Keychain Access, the user will see three panels. The keychains available for you can be found in the higher panel on the left. In the Category bar, which is located below, you can see various data: the passwords kept in the system; certificates associated with your account; notes; and so on. In the right panel (the largest one) you can find the content of the selected items.

Double-clicking on one of these items will unfold a new window. This window shows different attributes: name, type, linked account, location (site or network address), and access.

How to recover password

Want to repair your password? Keychain Access will help you. To do this, you simply need to find the desired item and double-click on it. After that, you will see the Show Password function.

How to alter the Keychain Access login password

When turning on a Mac for the first time, the system will ask the user to provide a password for the further use of the device. At the upper part of the app screen, you’ll see a search field. In it, you should enter the word “keychain”. In the left edge of the opened window, you will see the Login button. Click on it, choose Change Password for Keychain. After opening the next window, enter the current password, and then change it.

Auto lock feature

After logging in, your keychain will be automatically unlocked. And this is a huge disadvantage in terms of security. After all, someone else can obtain access to your Apple computer. To prevent this situation, the utility provides several options.

You can activate the lock function after several minutes of activity downtime. If no activity is observed, your keychain will be blocked within, let’s say 5 minutes – it’s up to you what duration to set.

Also, you can switch on the Lock When Sleeping option. Every time your Mac falls asleep, your keychain is also automatically blocked.

If you forgot Keychain Access password

Forgot your login password, is there any hope? No. But you can try to restore the keychain. In the upper left corner of the Keychain Access, choose Keychain First Aid. Enter the password and username, and then click Repair and Start. Next, go to the Settings. There, select the Reset my Default Keychain option.

One keychain for several Macs

Each Mac has its own keychain with a set of its passwords. And what if you have several Macs?

Luckily, you can enjoy access to the keychain from any Apple computer. To do this, you should copy login.keychain file located in the folder Keychains. It’s better to make a copy from a computer that has the fullest selection of passwords.

The next stage is placing the copied file in the user’s keys folder. Then you should log out and log in once more. If the passwords on your Macs are different, the system requests entering the login password. After entering the passcode, you will get easy access to all your passwords.