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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jan 20, 2013
    IPad 4 16 GB IOS 6.1.3, Macbook Pro 4GB 500 Hd ML 10.8.3
    Keychain Access Basics
    I dont understand Keychain Access at all, not surprising for a newbie. I have tried to search on the internet and the info still seems over my head. If anybody knows where there is info a dummie can understand (for keychain access), please point the way.

    I would like to learn more about keychain access and whether I should keep it locked all the time. On my MBP, default is unlocked.

  2. #2

    Member Since
    Sep 10, 2011
    iMac 27" Mid 2010, 3.2GHz Intel Core i3,12GB 1333 MHz DDR3, ATI Radeon HD5670 512MB, El Cap 10.11

    Yes I agree it is most confusing at times. You can unlock it again by putting your system password in after clicking on the padlock.Keeping it locked is prudent if others have access to your machine.

    There is some excellent help on the Mac itself and KeychainAccess has it's own help section. I accessed it through the normal Help option in finder by typing the word 'keychain' into the search bar and then subsequently following a link to 'Open Keychain Access Help" but you could open Keychain Access itself and choose help that way I suppose.

    This is what it looks like in ML
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    iMac 27-inch Mid 2010 (wow....that old...eeeks!), WD My Book 1TB Firewire,WD My Passport Air 500GB, Magic Mouse,Magic Trackpad,
    iPhone 5C, iPod Nano 4GB 3rd Gen, ATV2.
    MOTM October 2012. These days normally happy with an occasional grumble.

  3. #3

    chas_m's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    A quick summary: Keychain is a "password vault" that stores the various passwords you use for different sites or programs or what have you into a repository that you only need to know your admin password to unlock. It does other things too -- for example it can generate strong passwords, or store "secure notes" like financial info, etc -- but most people use it invisibly, by which I mean they get prompted to remember a password when they enter one for a site and from then on it is supplied automatically by Keychain.

    The only reason most people EVER open Keychain Access is to -- you guessed it -- access the Keychain so they can find a password they've forgotten. If it's the admin password you've forgotten, this won't be much help. Luckily the admin password can be reset reasonably easily.

    As pendlewitch sagely said above, the help files should carry you along from there.

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Jan 20, 2013
    IPad 4 16 GB IOS 6.1.3, Macbook Pro 4GB 500 Hd ML 10.8.3
    Thank you both.

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Mar 27, 2013
    I'm a newb with Mac
    I'm a newb also with Mac and got myself in a right mess with it after Yahoo kept asking me again and again for a password through mymail. I disabled it in the Keychain and lost all my passwords, then freaked out when Mac asked me for my KEYCHAIN PASSWORD (I didn't know I had one)!!! Eventually by brute force and ignorance I've learned and have now just set my keychains back to default.

    Moral of story - if you don't have any worries about sharing your computer at home or are a lone user, then don't fiddle with the settings. However, I can see this would be a useful feature for keeping the kids out - although they'll have worked it out waaaay ahead of you!

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