OS X El Capitan: Set up iCloud Keychain

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Set up iCloud Keychain

iCloud Keychain keeps the following account information up to date across your Mac computers and iOS devices:

  • Website account names and passwords that Safari autofills for you

  • Credit card numbers and expiration dates that Safari autofills for you

  • Most Wi-Fi network names and passwords

iCloud Keychain also keeps account names, passwords, and settings that you add to Internet Accounts preferences up to date on your Mac computers.

Passwords and credit card information are encrypted in your OS X keychain and your iCloud Keychain.

iCloud Keychain requires OS X Mavericks v10.9 or later or iOS 7.0.3 or later.

Set up iCloud Keychain on your Mac

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click iCloud.

  2. Turn on Keychain, then follow the onscreen instructions.

Approve a device to use iCloud Keychain

If you set up iCloud Keychain on this Mac, and then you set it up on a new device, you may receive a notification on this Mac asking if you want to let the new device use your iCloud account.

You don’t receive the notification if there isn’t an Options button next to Keychain in iCloud preferences (and Keychain is turned on). Instead, when you set up iCloud on a new device, you allow the device to use your iCloud data simply by entering the login password or passcode of your Mac or iOS device that already has iCloud set up. In this case, your Apple ID is set up for two-factor authentication, and there’s no need to follow these steps.

  1. Do one of the following:

    • In the notification alert, click Continue.

      Notification of device requesting approval for iCloud Keychain
    • In iCloud preferences, click Options to the right of Keychain, then click Details in the dialog that appears.

      iCloud Keychain Options dialog with the name of device requesting approval and a Details button next to it
  2. In the dialog that appears, enter your Apple ID password, then click Allow.

    If you have more than one Apple ID, enter the password for the Apple ID you use with iCloud.

Change how new devices can be approved

If there’s an Options button next to Keychain in iCloud preferences, you can change whether your iCloud Security Code can be used to approve iCloud Keychain on new devices. You can also change the iCloud Security Code or the phone number used to verify your identity after you use the iCloud Security Code.

If there isn’t an Options button next to Keychain in iCloud preferences (and iCloud Keychain is turned on), you can’t use an iCloud Security Code. Instead, when you set up iCloud on a new device, you allow the device to use your iCloud data simply by entering the login password or passcode of your Mac or iOS device that already has iCloud set up. In this case, your Apple ID is set up for two-factor authentication, and there’s no need to follow these steps.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click iCloud.

  2. Make sure Keychain is on and your Mac is approved.

  3. Click Options next to Keychain, then make changes in the dialog that appears.

    iCloud Keychain Options dialog with with the option selected to allow approving with the security code, the button for changing the security code, and fields for changing the verification number

To set up iCloud Keychain on your iOS device (iOS 7.0.3 or later), go to Settings > iCloud on your device. For more information, look under Security in the Basics section of the user guide for iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Removing credit card information or account names and passwords in Safari deletes them from your OS X keychain and from your iCloud Keychain.

Published Date: Sep 18, 2017
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