A brief guide to master your passwords using iCloud Keychain

Mac users are always raving about iCloud Keychain and for a good reason. It is a full-fledged password manager in-built on macOS and iOS. It stores sensitive logins with biometric authentication and end-to-end encryption that syncs across Apple devices. iCloud Keychain is entirely free for Mac and iOS users.

But even if you are already using iCloud Keychain to store Apple Pay info, store logins to applications and Wi-Fi logins, you may not be using most of it. Read along to know how you can master Apple’s password manager.

Setting up iCloud Keychain

Setting up iCloud Keychain is simple, and you can master it in no time. If you have a Mac or an iPhone, you have an iCloud account, and if you have this account, you have an iCloud Keychain. You can check to see if the feature is enabled by opening System Preferences on your Mac (Settings on your iPad or iPhone) > entering your Apple ID (entering your name on iOS) > clicking iCloud. Then, you need to scroll down to Keychain and ensure the box is checked, or the toggle is green.

You may need to type your passcode or password, and you may want to check your other Apple devices to ensure it is turned on for all of them.

If you don’t see the option of iCloud Keychain, your device might be outdated. iCloud Keychain is supported on macOS X Mavericks 10.9 and later and iOS 7.0.3 or later.

See saved passwords on Mac and edit them

As you must be aware, passwords form the backbone of secure web browsing and make it safer to use applications. Creating an account for a website or an application almost always means creating a username and password. While your passwords and other login details are saved on iCloud Keychain, how to see saved passwords on Mac or edit them? It might be that you need to log in to an account on a new system, and you wish to see the password for the particular app or website. You may even want to keep editing and changing the password to keep your accounts safer.

For viewing saved passwords with Keychain access, you need to Open Keychain Access on your Mac > select iCloud or local on the left side of the app window to discover login items > find the login you are seeking by scrolling through the list or using the search bar at the top right of the window > when you find the profile you are searching for, double-click to open it and click Show Password. If prompted, you have to enter your Mac’s password.

iCloud Keychain autocompletes passwords

The existence of iCloud Keychain ensures quick logins into a website without remembering or typing your username and password. On your iPad or iPhone, you can head to Settings > click Passwords > select Passwords AutoFill. Then, you have to flip the level and choose iCloud Keychain, and you will get an Apple ID prompt when you hit a supported password field in Safari or other applications instead of the individual website password.

On your Mac, you can use iCloud Keychain AutoComplete, but it can be used only within the Safari browser. You can turn it on by going to Preferences in Safari > click the Autocomplete tab. You’ll find a few options, including usernames and passwords, contact information, and credit cards. Enable the ones you want.

Check if your passwords have been hacked

Almost every day, you’ll hear of a new data breach or cyber-attack. As they’re popping up faster than one can count, you will probably find it challenging to keep up. Thankfully, iCloud Keychain offers users complete control over their passwords, and you can check which one of your passwords might have been compromised.

On your Mac in Safari, you have to go to Preferences > click Passwords. You’ll see a list and a yellow alert icon, which means safety recommendations are available for you. Click the icon to see the recommendation.

On the iPad or iPhone, go to the Passwords tab in Settings > click the Security Recommendations tab > choose to Detect compromised passwords. After that, you will know the passwords that have appeared in data breaches or have been reused on other websites. You’ll also know if your password is too simple to guess.

So, if you haven’t enabled iCloud Keychain Access on your Mac, it is high time that you switch it on. Your passwords and other login items will remain safe, and you don’t need to make extra efforts in remembering them.

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