How to view your saved passwords in OS X

KeychainAccessIconXWhen you ever entered a password in a Web page, and then save it in your keychain, you may find yourself relying solely on autofill to enter this password at later times. While the use of autofill is convenient, in instances where you have come to rely on it, you may find yourself forgetting or not even knowing your password.

For instance, when creating an online account you might use Apple’s automatic password creator that creates a random password which is then automatically stored in your keychain, but if at a later date you need to access this account directly without relying on your keychain for autofill of the password, then you may have no idea of what your password is.

This might happen if you are using a device other than the one you used to create your password, such as a public system or that of a friend. In these cases, if you want to find out your password, then you can do so on your original using a couple of quick routines in the Keychain Access utility.

  1. Open Keychain Access
  2. Select your “Login” keychain
  3. Search for part of the Web site’s URL

This last step should almost immediately show you the keychain entry for your URL. For instance, if you are trying to find your Gmail password, you can search for “gmail” or “” and see the password entry. Note that for these entries you will see the username listed, and depending on how you have managed your keychains in the past, you may see multiple entries for one username. These can be from entering the password in Mail or other programs on your Mac, in addition to having Safari save them for autofill.

To recover your password once the keychain entry is located, you have two options:

  1. Copy it, by right-clicking the keychain entry and choosing the option to Copy Password To Clipboard, or press Shift-Command-C.
  2. Reveal it, by double-clicking the keychain entry to open it, and then check the box to Show Password.
Keychain passwords in OS X

Right-clicking a keychain entry will give you an option to copy the password to your clipboard. You can also double-click an entry to reveal its password. Both options will require you supply your keychain password.

When you do either of these, you will be required to supply your keychain password (for most people this will be your login password) in the password prompt that appears, and then your password will be copied or revealed. You can now make a note of it, if needed, to

4 thoughts on “How to view your saved passwords in OS X

  1. dvpp666

    This issue here is that if your Mac login password is weak, your strong passswords in the keychain are compromised. Is there a way to protect the Mac keychain with a different password?

  2. Dot

    Open Keychain Access app, select the login keychain from the list on the left, use menu item Keychain Access > Edit > Change Passwor for Keychain “login” …

    1. dvpp666

      Thanks – I also learned the hard way to be VERY CAREFUL about writing down the new login. The copy and paste from 1password into the field didn’t work, and the autosuggest function pasted in a new password without saving it anywhere I could access without knowing the new password! I had to through out the entire keychain and start over with re-entering passwords. 1 hour of my life gone….

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