Passwords and Keychain Access

Thursday, March 18, 2010, 06:02 PM – Tips and Hints

1. Make Safari remember passwords for website logins

To get Safari to remember and automatically enter your login information for websites, click Safari > Preferences > AutoFill. Check the box next to “Usernames and passwords”. When you enter a user name and password into a site, Safari will ask if you want to save it.

Note: Some sites, such as banking and credit card sites, do not allow their passwords to be saved.

Autofill Window

2. Recovering a Forgotten Password

If you have forgotten a password to a server or network, and you have activated the AutoFill option noted above, Snow Leopard has probably remembered it for you. To recover it, open Keychain Access (Applications > Utilities > Keychain Access) and type the name of the site, application, or something relevant into the search box of Keychain Access. Double-click that item and a window will pop up with a checkbox to display the password. Check the box, enter your administrator password when prompted, and you will see a readable password.

3. Lock Your Whole Keychain

For an added level of security you can lock your keychain after a period of inactivity. Open Keychain Access. Click on the keychain named Login. From the Menu bar select Edit > Change Settings for Keychain Login.

Keychain Lock Window

One downside to doing this is that when you visit a website that needs to use a saved password, you’ll have to type your login password to unlock your keychain.

4. Keep Keychain Access Available in the Menu Bar Instead of the Dock

With Keychain Access open, select Keychain > Preferences > General Tab. Put a check in the box next to “Show Status in menu bar”. The Keychain icon is shaped like a padlock.


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