Security is a top priority on your Mac or any other computer. Following the security recommendations means that you need to use a different password for each account. Your Mac also offers password hints, but how do you remember them all?
Unless you have an identical reminder for all the passwords you use, storing long strings of words, numbers and signs is almost impossible. Fortunately, the Keychain Access app is there to help you. Read on to find out how to view saved passwords.
Access the Keychain on MAC
There are two ways to start access to the keychain. You can click on the Launchpad, select Utilities and choose the app. The easiest way is to press Cmd + Space, type “Key” and press Enter (the app should be the first suggestion).
Once you enter the app, the interface and all the links and information may seem a bit impetuous. But you should easily find the password you are looking for and the app has an intuitive search. Here’s what you need to do.
- First of all, make sure you choose the right menu. To preview the registered passwords, select Password in Category at the bottom left of the app window. The main window lists all accounts, password type, and modified date.
- Double-tap or click on an account to display a pop-up window with multiple actions. As indicated, it is not necessary to browse the entire list, instead use the search bar. For example, you can type Facebook and the app lists all the accounts associated with this social network.
- Click on the small box in front of “Show password” to display another pop-up window asking you to provide the password for your MAC. (It’s the one you use to unlock the computer.) Out of the way and you’ll be able to see the password for that account.
There is a small @ icon in front of accounts for web-based apps and services. Other accounts have a pen icon. Here you can find passwords for Wi-Fi, some apps and macOS features.
If you can’t save the password for a specific account, there is a “Password not saved” message in the brackets next to the account name. Otherwise, you will be able to see the email or digital location associated with that particular account.
Other categories of Keyrings
As mentioned, macOS stores some other security-related categories: here is a brief summary of each.
- Keys: this is for program encryption and usually contains a lot of keys for iCloud and Messenger.
- Certificates / My certificates: Safari and some other web-based apps use these certificates to verify the authenticity of a website. This also applies to any online service or app that requires you to access your information.
- Note: Avid Notes users will find all their notes safe here. Fun curiosities: this is probably the most underutilized feature of macOS.
How to view passwords saved on Safari
The easiest way to view your passwords is to use Safari. Of course, this method works if you save passwords with Safari in the first place. However, these are the steps to take.
- Start Safari and select Preferences: the quick way to do this is to press CMD + on the keyboard. Select the Password tab and click on the box in front of “Show password for selected websites”. A window appears asking you to provide the Mac password to gain administrator privileges.
- Once inside, you will be able to see all saved accounts and passwords. However, the exact combination is hidden behind the points. Click on those points to view the combination. An interesting thing: the Password menu on Safari is timed and there is a limit to the number of clicks. This means that if you go to another window on your Mac, the menu will be locked automatically. The same is true when you click on more than three or four passwords.
Can you do it on the iPhone?
The quick answer is yes, you can see the passwords saved on an iPhone. And if you’re using iCloud, all saved passwords are synced to your devices.
In short, start the Settings app, scroll down and select Password and account. Choose app websites and passwords and provide your Touch or Face ID to get access.
The accounts are in alphabetical order and you can also use the search bar for navigation. The password appears in the following window when you touch an account.
In the end, it’s not so difficult to see saved passwords and the best thing is that you don’t need to use third-party apps. Although the native password management interface may be more user-friendly, it is a minor inconvenience.
Which password did you forget? Did you use a third-party password manager? Let us know in the comments section below.