Learn how passwords are used on Mac
macOS is designed to keep your information safe and secure. The security of your Mac depends a great deal on using secure passwords in key areas.
A login password, also called a user password, allows you to log in and access the information on your Mac. When you create your login password, be sure it’s easily memorable, write it down, and keep it in a secure location.
Apple ID password
An Apple ID gives you access to the iTunes Store, the App Store, Apple Books, iCloud, FaceTime, and other Apple services. It consists of an email address (for example, firstname.lastname@example.org) and a password. Apple recommends you use the same Apple ID for all Apple services. When you create your Apple ID password, be sure it’s easily memorable, write it down, and keep it in a secure location. If you can’t remember your Apple ID password, see If you forget your Apple ID password.
You can also use your Apple ID to reset your login password if you forget it. Sign in to your Apple ID account page.
When you need to create a password for a website, Safari suggests a unique, hard-to-guess (or “strong”) password. It’s recommended that you use the suggested password or create a passkey. Passwords and passkeys are saved in a keychain, then automatically filled the next time you need to sign in.
To view or change passwords and passkeys you’ve saved for websites, use Passwords settings. Choose Apple menu > System Settings, then click Passwords in the sidebar. (You may need to scroll down.)
A keychain saves your passwords and fills them in automatically when you sign in to websites, apps, and services. You can store passwords in Keychain Access and iCloud Keychain.
Keychain Access: Keychain Access stores passwords for various apps and services for your Mac. Your keychain password (which unlocks your keychain) is set to match the login password for your Mac. See About your keychain password.
iCloud Keychain: iCloud Keychain keeps your passwords up to date across your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It stores website and Wi-Fi passwords, and it keeps account passwords and settings that you add to Internet Accounts settings up to date on your Mac. See Set up iCloud Keychain to autofill information.
About your recovery key
If you protect the information on your Mac using FileVault, you can choose how to unlock your disk and reset your login password if you forget it: using your iCloud account or a recovery key. A recovery key is a string of letters and numbers that’s created for you. The recovery key should not be stored in the same location as the Mac, where it can be discovered.