Apple stores your account names, passwords, and other credentials in a keychain – a locked, encrypted container. This happens every time you allow Apple to store your credentials, via a notification on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad. One of the benefits is the ability to sync your credentials via iCloud, letting you quickly log in to websites or fill out other types of sensitive data. We’re sure many of you wonder how to view passwords saved in iCloud Keychain on your macOS, iPadOS, and iOS. You will find all you need to know below.
What Does iCloud Keychain Store?
Apple’s iCloud Keychain is present across a variety of devices and can store (and then auto-fill) any and all of the following items:
- Usernames and passwords for apps, services, servers, websites
- Network credentials
- HTTPS certificates
- Encryption keys
- Secure notes
How to View Passwords Saved in iCloud Keychain in macOS
Keychain Access is something like a very basic password manager for macOS. It lets you view, add, and edit keychain entries.
1. Open “Keychain Access” by typing its name into Spotlight (which you can trigger using the Command + Space keyboard shortcut). You can also find the application by navigating to “Applications -> Utilities -> Keychain Access.”
2. The app will now open, showing you a list of keychain entries. Take a look at the left sidebar, where you’ll see different types of keychains (including your local, system, or iCloud keychains).
3. Double-click the keychain item you want to inspect to open the detail window. If you have many passwords saved, you can always use the search bar visible in the top-right corner of the application’s interface.
4. Tick the box next to ‘Show Password’ at the bottom of the keychain detail window, then enter your administrator password to verify your authorization.
5. The password will now appear in the password field in plain text.
This is most useful for recovering lost Wi-Fi account information or resurrecting ancient user accounts, but it can be used to retrieve any information stored in a keychain. You can remove entries by right-clicking and choosing “Delete (keychain entry name).”
If you’re after credentials saved in Safari, there is a way to access those from within Safari itself, providing a more user-friendly experience.
How to View Passwords Saved in iCloud Keychain in iOS and iPadOS
iOS and iPadOS don’t have an equivalent version of macOS’s Keychain Access. However, they offer a table view inside the Settings app. This still allows you to see and edit usernames and passwords, but you won’t find other credentials there.
1. Open the Settings app.
2. Scroll down and tap on “Passwords.” If you have Face ID enabled, your iPhone will authenticate your appearance. If not, it will ask for your passcode to confirm your identity.
3. Tap on the website or app password you want to view. The password will be displayed in the detail window.
To remove entries from your keychain in iOS or iPadOS, tap the Edit button at the top of your screen. Select the keychains you want to remove, then tap on Delete. You can also edit entries individually by opening their details page and using the text tools to edit their contents.
iCloud Keychain vs. Local Keychain
By default, your keychain is synced with your iCloud account. This means all your keychain items are available across all your Apple devices, and can even been seen in iCloud.com. This is slightly different from a local keychain, which only saves the passwords to the device’s storage. iCloud Keychain essentially synchronizes your local keychains across all your devices.
If you’re having trouble with your iCloud Keychain, the solution is often to delete the local keychains and let a “fresh” copy download from the cloud. You can also look for corrupted keychain entries, but those may not be immediately obvious.
Other than Keychain, you can also store your passwords in a password manager. To explore your options, check out the best password managers for every platform.
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