How to use iCloud Keychain: The ultimate guide

How to use iCloud Keychain: The ultimate guide

iCloud Keychain is Apple's attempt to bring password management to the mainstream. With it, your account names, passwords, and even credit cards numbers can be safely and securely stored on your iPhone or iPad keychain, and synced across all your devices thanks to iCloud. In conjunction with Safari, it can also generate new, unique passwords, and autofill them whenever you need them. So, how does it all work?

How to enable (or disable) iCloud Keychain on your iPhone and iPad

How to enable (or disable) iCloud Keychain on iOS 7

There are some pros and cons to using iCloud Keychain. For example, it doesn't have a separate master password option, so all anyone needs to know in order to access your passwords is your unlock code on any of your devices. Also, the passwords it generates aren't particularly strong. It is, however, easy and far, far, better than nothing. Apple will ask you if you want to use it when you first setup your iOS device, but if you change your mind, or if you want to switch back or switch away, you can quickly enable it - or disable it - in Settings.

How to generate a password with iCloud Keychain on your iPhone and iPad

How to generate passwords with iCloud Keychain for iPhone and iPad

iCloud Keychain is meant to be an easy way to manage passwords on your Apple devices. When password management is easier, using stronger passwords is easier. Since it can be tough to come up with strong, unique passwords, good password managers will generate them for you, and iCloud Keychain is no exception. Unfortunately, the passwords generated by iCloud Keychain aren't exceptionally strong, but they are better than using the same password for every site. That makes them an okay starting point for people who want a little more security, but don't want full-fledged password manager from the App Store.

How to generate a password with iCloud Keychain on your Mac

How to generate a password with iCloud Keychain and OS X Mavericks

iCloud Keychain in OS X, just like in iOS, is meant to make password management easy enough that most people will start creating and using stronger, more unique passwords. While the passwords generated by iCloud Keychain aren't as strong as we'd like, they're lightyears ahead of duplicate passwords, or the simple type of passwords that are all too common. A full-fledged password manager from the Mac App Store is really the way to go, but if you're just getting started and you want the easiest thing possible - and absolutely something better than nothing - iCloud Keychain is here for you.

How to manually add your credit card information to iCloud Keychain on iPhone and iPad

How to manually store your credit card information to iCloud Keychain with iOS 7

iCloud Keychain lets you easily store not only your passwords, but your credit card information as well. Any time you pay with a card in Safari, iCloud Keychain will offer to save it for you. However, you can also add cards to iCloud Keychain any time you wish. That way, you can do it when it's most convenient, and avoid having to run for your wallet when it's not. If an ounce of prevention now saving you a pound of effort later sounds good, here's how to do it!

How to manually add or remove credit card info with iCloud Keychain on your Mac

How to manually add or remove credit cards from iCloud Keychain with OS X

If you're using iCloud Keychain in order to store your passwords, you can also use it to store your credit card information and sync it across all your iPhone, iPads, and Macs. Any time you pay with a credit card on your Mac, iCloud Keychain will offer to save it. However, you can also add a card manually any time it's convenient. That can save you a mad dash to your wallet in the middle of the night.

How to access and view your iCloud Keychain passwords on your iPhone and iPad

How to access and view your iCloud Keychain passwords with iOS 7

iCloud Keychain will generate and store all your Safari-based passwords and autofill them for you where and as needed. However, there may be times when a website doesn't allow autofill (for example, at public terminal), or you want to use a password outside Safari (for example, in another app), and then you'll need to find it, copy it, and paste it in manually. Luckily, you can do just that via the Settings apps. Here's how!

How to delete saved passwords and credit cards from iCloud Keychain on your iPhone and iPad

How to delete saved passwords from iCloud Keychain

One of the side-effects of an easy-to-use system like iCloud Keychain is that sometimes you accidentally end up saving a password or credit card number you didn't intend to. That, or you simply stop using a certain site and no longer need its password saved, or some glitch comes up and it's not working properly, and you just want to start over. Regardless of the reason, iCloud Keychain makes it easy, if not immediately obvious...

How to stop iCloud Keychain from storing and autofilling credit cards or passwords in Safari

How to stop iCloud Keychain from storing and autofilling credit cards or passwords in Safari

Sometimes you may want the convenience of syncing all your passwords, logins, and credit cards across devices, but you may not want Safari autofilling everything. This is particularly true if you have a shared device in your home, such as a family iPad. Luckily, you can disable certain features (like autofill for passwords and credit cards) but still be able to access things if and when you need to.

How to reset your iCloud Keychain security code on your iPhone and iPad

How to reset your iCloud Keychain security code on iPhone and iPad

Your iCloud Keychain security code is a passcode that you use in order to authorize devices to access iCloud Keychain. You need this number whenever you activate a new iPhone, iPad, or Mac (and even when you restore a device). If for some reason you forgot it, you can use any device that's already authorized with iCloud Keychain in order to change it. Here's how...

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to use iCloud Keychain: The ultimate guide

12 Comments

Thanks so much Rene I really needed this information. This feature is great, but it's been a little confusing. Some sites work and it saves the information. While others don't ask or save the information. But this guide should get me through those challenges. This is a very comprehensive guide!

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It wasn't Rene who wrote the article, it was that good looking woman Allyson. Yes, she also writes well.

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Done it but they must have military shit at 146 Alyssa 43147 because the jerks there are able to get through the wifi

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A great primer for anybody getting into Passwords & Autofill. I love how Apple has tried to make it as easy as possible to manage this information; Access to everything is all in the same place : Settings > Safari > Passwords & Autofill. (Alternately: while on a Home Screen, tell Siri "open Safari Settings" or while in Safari, tell Siri "open Settings".)
I know Apple reads the iMore blogs & comments and they will be adding a Master Password and other requested features... Right Apple? [hint, hint]

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Got busy reading each and every article here! Switching from 1Password after 3+ years now .... Don't need them anymore. Spent too much $$ all these years buying licenses / upgrades for my MACs & iDevices!

Thanks a lot Rene and Team.

I always appreciate the technical information from iMore, but there are so many articles about working with keychain it just seems so complicated and so nonintuitive, for all of that trouble why not just get 1 Password or some other good quality password keeper?

*** UPDATE

Shit! Back to 1Password....

For casual users, iCloud Keychain works fine. Add / create new ID / Password here and there ... no problem.

For a few of us with more complicated life styles ;) , this thing is not ready yet. It reminds me of Apple Map!

With that said, there are web sites it doesn't work, i.e.; godaddy.com, mega.co.nz, and of course, vevo.com ... and MANY more!

Sure ... there are sites which don't like 1Password (or any other!). But their numbers appear to be much lower.

Last but not least, iCloud Keychain screws up passwords on selected sites. That is, it saves completely different than what you typed. Fix? Easy ... just launch Keychain Access. Find the incorrect password/s and manually correct them.

Hmmm... Apple didn't make this thing just works!

Oh almost forgot. Security? If you forget to lock your MAC or iDevices, apparently anyone can just REMOVE (read -> DELETE) all your ID & Passwords from Safari and in like less than a min, it syncs deletion to ALL your other devices. CRAP!

I was about to say the same.... Actually, this article and the many recent mentions of 1Password, got into my head, and I bought the iOS and Mac versions today (on holiday special too!).

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Here's another great tip for iCloud Keychain. As many will recall, "Reset Network Settings" has known to fix connectivity issues, but will annoyingly wipe out all your saved wireless access points and corresponding credentials. To get around this, simply turn off iCloud Keychain to stop it syncing, then perform the Reset Network Settings function, allow the iPhone to reboot, then turn iCloud Keychain back on. All your wireless access points and credentials will sync back down into the device, saving you from all the headache of having to manually re-associate to each one of them again.