Solve keychain conundrums
Learn how to master and fix keychain errors in macOS
REQUIRES OS X 10.9 or later you will learn How to create new keychain data and fix common errors. IT WILL TAKE 15 minutes
Keychain Access is a utility, provided with macOS High Sierra and earlier versions of the system, that manages your passwords and user account information. You can find the utility either by typing “Keychain” in Spotlight, or by browsing to /Applications/Utilities in Finder.
When you first set up your Mac and choose a login password, macOS creates a login keychain to store all the other passwords that you use or create. These entries are encrypted with the password for your user account, so that no one else can access them. (Naturally, each user account has its own login keychain.)
This usually runs perfectly on your Mac, but occasionally the keychain can throw up issues – for instance, if you’re forced to reset your login password because you have forgotten it.
If this happens, the data in your login keychain – which is encrypted with the original password – won’t be accessible. Follow the steps in our walkthrough to create a new login keychain. You will then be able to log in to your apps again, with any passwords that you use or create being stored in the new keychain instead.
If you’re not using iCloud Keychain, then certain apps on your Mac – such as Mail – will use a Local Items keychain, which is also encrypted with your login password. If you see errors related to the Local Items keychain, the entries for individual apps may have become corrupted. Use our walkthrough to remove these entries and try to save the password again in your Local Items keychain. Make sure that you do a full Time Machine backup before making any changes, just in case.