Solve key­chain co­nun­drums

Learn how to master and fix key­chain er­rors in macOS

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - Nate Drake

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.

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