OS X Lion: About your keychain password

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About your keychain password

Your keychain password lets you automatically authenticate applications and services stored in Keychain Access. When the account is created the keychain password is set to match the login password for the account.

When you change the login password in the User & Groups preferences, the keychain password is automatically updated to match it.

If the keychain password does not match the login password for the account, the user is required to authenticate to unlock the keychain.

The keychain password is available only to the account user and not the administrator. If the login password is reset by the administrator, the keychain password is not changed. The user is asked to reset the keychain password during the next login. If the login password was reset because the old password was forgotten, the keys, passwords, and other information in the keychain will not be accessible, and the account will need to use a new keychain.

Although you normally should use the default keychain password, you can change it.

  1. Open Keychain Access, located in the Utilities folder in Launchpad.
  2. Choose Edit > “Change Password for Keychain (keychain name).”
  3. If the keychain is locked, type the password to unlock it, and then click OK.
  4. Type the current password for this keychain.
  5. Type a new password, and then type it again to verify. The keychain password should usually match the login password for the account.
  6. Click OK.
Last Modified: Oct 31, 2013

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