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use icloud keychain

How to Enable iCloud Keychain on Your Mac

Keychain Access is a macOS app that stores your passwords and account information. It works in tandem with iCloud Keychain, which lets you share keychains with all your other Apple devices.

In Apple’s words, iCloud Keychain “remembers things, so that you don’t have to. It auto-fills your information—like your Safari usernames and passwords, credit cards, Wi-Fi passwords, and social log-ins—on any device that you approve.”

To Enable iCloud Keychain on Your Mac:

  • Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences. 
  • In macOS Catalina, click Apple ID, then click iCloud in the sidebar.
Choosing iCloud in your Apple ID preferences shows the apps being used
Choosing iCloud in your Apple ID preferences shows the apps being used
  • Select Keychain.
Make sure Keychain is selected
Make sure Keychain is selected

If you try to use iCloud Keychain and it appears stubborn, make sure that your set-up meets these minimum requirements on the Mac:

  • macOS Catalina
  • Safari 9.1 or later
  • Firefox 45 or later
  • Google Chrome 54 or later
  • Opera
  • iWork for Mac
    • Pages 5.5 or late
    •  Numbers 3.5 or later
    • Keynote 6.5 or later

Also, make sure that you’re using two-factor authentication, which Apple designed as an extra layer of security for your Apple ID designed to ensure that you’re the only person who can access your account, even if someone knows your password.

To turn on two-factor authentication on your Mac (macOS Catalina and later):

  • Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Apple ID. 
  • Click Password & Security under your name.  
  • Click Turn On Two-Factor Authentication.
Make sure two-factor authentication is enabled
Make sure two-factor authentication is enabled

If you’re not using two-factor authentication, you might be prompted to create an iCloud Security Code—six digits, complex alphanumerics, or randomly generated—to authorize additional devices and verify your identity. 

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Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Contributing Author
Dennis has over 40 years of journalism experience and has written hundreds of articles. For the past 20-plus years, he's been an online journalist, covering mainly Apple Inc. He's written for MacCentral, MacWorld, MacMinute, Macsimum News, Apple Daily Report, and is now contributing editor at Apple World Today.
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