iCloud Keychain is Apple’s secure password manager for macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. The feature saves your passwords so you can log into websites, apps, and Wi-Fi networks quickly and easily.
Here’s how iCloud Keychain works, why you should use it, and how to set it up.
How Does iCloud Keychain Work?
When you set up iCloud Keychain, you’ll need to sign in to your Apple ID account. iCloud Keychain links to your Apple ID to store your passwords to your account. All of your data is securely encrypted on your devices or on Apple’s iCloud servers.
When enabling iCloud Keychain, you’ll need to make sure you have two-factor authentication enabled for your Apple ID. This is an extra security measure that sends a code to your Apple devices, which you need to enter when logging in. This code stops anyone else from logging into your Apple ID and accessing your passwords.
iCloud Keychain stores website and app logins, internet accounts, credit card information, and Wi-Fi network passwords. When you use the feature, iCloud automatically syncs the login information to all of your Apple devices.
Technically, iCloud Keychain isn’t a password manager. However, Apple includes most of the features you’d find in third-party password managers, so iCloud Keychain works just as well.
How to Use iCloud Keychain on a Mac
To set up iCloud Keychain on a Mac running macOS Catalina or later, you first need to open System Preferences. Once the preferences are open, click on the Apple ID icon in the top-right corner and select iCloud in the sidebar.
Once this page opens, make sure that the Keychain box is checked. If it isn’t already, click on the box to check it. If this is the first time you’re setting up iCloud Keychain, you’ll need to Approve the decision. You’ll be asked for your Apple ID and password, and a two-factor authentication code to do so.
If you’re looking to view your saved passwords, open the Keychain Access app. From here you can filter between the different types of data and the different places they’re stored. To view a password, double-click an item and enable the Show Password box; you’ll need to enter your keychain password to do so.
In macOS Monterey and later, you can easily view and manage passwords from the System Preferences. Head back to the main window of System Preferences and click on the Passwords icon a couple of rows down. In this window, you’ll see all the saved login information.
You can click on each username to view the saved password, update the details, and generate a two-factor authentication code. The plus and minus options at the bottom of the list let you add new details or delete existing ones. Apple also shows you security risks, such as which of your passwords are weak.
All the saved keychain data gets used automatically in the appropriate application or website. For example, when you log in to a website on Safari, the details get auto-filled. Before the details are auto-filled, you’ll need to enter your password or use Touch ID.
This also works the other way, and you’ll be asked to save login information to iCloud Keychain when you enter it. iCloud Keychain also offers to automatically generate and save new passwords for you when creating accounts or changing a password.
How to Use iCloud Keychain on iOS or iPadOS
When you first set up a new iPhone or iPad, iOS automatically prompts you to set up iCloud Keychain in the setup process. If you declined to turn it on or need to check, open up the Settings app. Tap on your name at the top, then tap on iCloud, and make sure Keychain is set to on.
If you need to enable iCloud Keychain, tap on Keychain, and then use the toggle to turn the option on. Just like on a Mac, if this is the first time you’re setting up iCloud Keychain, you’ll need to Approve the decision with your Apple ID password and a two-factor authentication code.
iCloud Keychain also auto-fills your login details on websites and apps on iOS and iPadOS. This works both in downloaded apps and on Safari. You’ll need to use your passcode, Face ID, or Touch ID to do so. As on Mac, it also generates new passwords.
If you’re looking to view your saved passwords, head back to the main screen of Settings, scroll down, and tap on Passwords. In this screen, you’ll see all the saved login information which you can view, edit, or delete. You’ll also be able to get a generated two-factor code.
Why You Should Use iCloud Keychain
iCloud Keychain is a useful tool to save and sync your login usernames, passwords, and other private data across all of your Apple devices. It’s a time saver, particularly when it comes to logging into apps on a new device.
As you know, Apple is very privacy focused and encrypts all of the saved data on your device and in iCloud. iCloud Keychain is also secured by both your Apple ID and two-factor authentication, so you know your sensitive data is safe from other people.
Most third-party password managers are integrated into iOS and macOS now, but iCloud Keychain is integrated better than third-party solutions. Third-party password managers require a dedicated app, while iCloud Keychain doesn’t. iCloud Keychain is also free, while many password managers are not or have limits.
As with many other password managers, iCloud Keychain also automatically generates secure new passwords when you’re signing up for a new account somewhere. iOS 15 and macOS Monterey also introduced a built-in two-factor authenticator into iCloud Keychain, which automatically generates and fills in verification codes.
So, Should You Use iCloud Keychain?
iCloud Keychain is very useful, especially if you don’t already use a password manager or are looking for a free option. It’s a convenient and secure way to save time when typing the same login information over and over again.
Author: Connor Jewiss
Source: Connor Jewiss.” What Is iCloud Keychain? Why It’s Useful and How to Use It”. Retrieved From https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/icloud-keychain-want-use/
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