A comprehensive guide to Apple’s very useful iCloud Keychain

“There’s a lot of password management software available for the Mac and iOS, but none quite compares to iCloud Keychain, Apple’s built-in implementation,” Cory Bohon writes for TechRrpublic. “iCloud Keychain has been around since the very beginning of iOS, and it made its debut on the Mac with Mac OS 8.6.”

“The Keychain, as it’s commonly referred to in the Apple ecosystem, is Apple’s password manager, but it does so much more, and not just for website passwords, either,” Bohon writes. “It stores passwords from across macOS (FTP servers, SSH accounts, wireless network passwords, encrypted disk passwords); it stores private keys used to access various services or sign apps for Apple’s developer programs; and it handles storing certificates, secure notes, and even saved credit cards in Safari’s form filler. The Keychain does all of this while maintaining the security of the information stored in its database.”

Bohon writes, “iCloud Keychain is Apple’s attempt to make the Keychain sync and be available across all of your devices, and they’ve done an excellent job of integrating this feature into the system and making it secure.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We use iCloud Keychain and Keychain Access extensively and recommend Apple macOS and iOS users do so, too.


  1. Rarely works for me. I frequently have to enter website passwords on my iPhone when I know that they are in the keychain on my Mac. I know, because I usually have to go look them up to enter them on the phone. For whatever reason, a large block of those passwords never make it to the iCloud keychain.

  2. 1 Password. Locally synced.

    If you sync your passwords on iCloud the NSA and others have all your stuff if they want it. Same if you sync 1 Password on iCloud.

    If you want to trust Apple with your account numbers and passwords, feel free to. I have an aversion to identity theft and consider all cloud computing potentially insecure. Considering the number of Zero days Apple has had floating around unpatched for long periods of time in recent years does not give me a great deal of confidence.

    As more and more people become more dependent upon online transactions and account management the lure to hackers will only increase. Be careful out there.

    1. Both listcatcher and DavGreg are correct on both their comments.

      Keychain is just chaotic, duplications, etc.
      Switch to 1Password, locally synched, much better interface design and easier to use.

      No looking back

      1. I invest, pay my mortgage, pay utilities, shop, bank, pay taxes, do professional continuing education, conduct professional business and Insurance online. That is increasingly common and something not to be trusted to amateur hour.

        The people at Agile Bits take their software seriously and it is increasingly apparent Apple sees the Mac as a Red Headed Stepchild. 1 Password is worth the money.

    2. Total agreement DavGreg, except worrying about the NSA at this point.

      Apple’s implementation of Keychain is within the realm of what’s considered secure encryption these days.

      1Password’s encryption is also within the realm of…. I have no fears syncing my 1Password keychain over DropBox. Of course, there is NOTHING encrypted about DropBox. It’s an NSA playground. But putting data that’s pre-encrypted into DropBox is not a problem, again within the realm of….

      If there is backdooring going on, access to the NSA ad nauseam, we’ll find out soon enough. As predicted, anything being backdoored is being hacked out in-the-wild. NSA access means ALL hacker access.

      And anyway, it’s the stupid (IMHO) US FBI that’s against encryption, NOT the NSA. The NSA has been, despite their unwarranted surveillance of US citizens on US soil, a champion of real, solid encryption as a requirement of the modern world. The FBI, meanwhile, is TechTardy in the extreme.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.