Keychain Access is a built-in macOS application that stores passwords, network credentials, certificates, and other sensitive information. When accessing a website, email account, network server, or other password-protected items, you may be given the option to remember or save the password. If you choose to save the password, it’s saved in your Keychain so you don’t have to remember or type your password every time. This data is encrypted and protected with your Mac login password.
Update Keychain Password
After changing your HSC ID password, a prompt may appear when logging into your Mac (pictured below). Because the Keychain is protected by the Mac login password, when that password changes, the Keychain’s credential system must be updated.
- Click on Update Keychain Password.
- The prompt asks for your “current” password, but it is referring to the Keychain password rather than your account. Enter your previous password (before the change).
This process will unlock the keychain and re-sync with your current password.
Reset Password Keychain
In some cases, the prompt pictured above may not appear after logging in. When the Keychain password is not updated, or if you’ve accidentally clicked ‘Continue Log In,’ multiple prompts will appear as the Mac attempts to use the stored data within the Keychain. This is caused by the Keychain remaining locked with the previous password.
To manually reset the Keychain:
- Open the Finder application, which is always the first icon in the Dock.
- Click on Go at the top of the screen, then Utilities.
- Open the Keychain Access app.
- Right click (or Control+click) on login from the sidebar and select Change Password for Keychain “login”.
- A new window will appear, enter your previous password (before the change) and then your new password and select OK to finish.
The option is grayed out in this screenshot because the Keychain password already matches the Mac login password.
Delete Login Keychain
If you do not know your previous password, the previous Keychain must be deleted since it cannot be unlocked. This will remove all previously saved passwords and credentials.
- Open the Keychain Access application (see above).
- Click on File from the drop-down menu, then Delete Keychain “login”.
- Restart your Mac.
- When you log back in with your new HSC password, a new keychain will automatically be created.
If you have questions or need further assistance, please contact the Help Desk at 800-799-7472 or firstname.lastname@example.org.