Clearing the Keychain after Updating Your Password


The best way to update your Keychain password after changing your password is to let it sync and reboot the Mac and enter the old password when Keychain prompts. (For an off campus Mac you will need to be on the VPN to get the password update.)

This article does not apply to the new Zero Touch method of imaging macs, if you use Jamf Connect you use the new method.

You might notice a dialogue box, asking for you to enter your login keychain, password popping up after entering your login credentials. After changing your OSU password, you may be prompted to update your keychain. This is caused by a conflict between your login password and the stored password in your keychain, which does not get the new OSU password automatically. You can cancel out of the dialogue box but it will keep prompting 

Apples Support Article on keychain related problems

IMPORTANT: in this article's method 2 or 3 you will lose all the data in your Keychain!

Most people do not store important data in the Keychain just passwords for convenience for web sites that you store in another password manager. ASCTech strongly recommends not using the Keychain as your primary password manager.

Method 2 makes a copy of the old keychain, but if you do not know your old password you cannot access the data. Method 3 removes the Keychain entirely.


Procedures for Fixing Keychain

There are 3 solutions to fixing problems with the keychain needing updated or not accepting credentials. 

Method 1 (If you know your old password)


  • Open the Keychain Access app by searching in spotlight

  • Select the Login Keychain from the list on the left.
  • 2 finger click/right click/control+click on Login and choose "Change password for keychain "login"..."

  • Update the password using the old password to match your new one and you are all set!

Method 2 (If you don't know your old password)

  • Follow the above steps to get to the keychain access application
  • Click in the top left Keychain Access to open the drop down menu and select preferences

  • Click the button at the bottom of the preferences window "Reset My Default Keychain"

  • You will be asked to enter your new login password. Doing so will change the default keychain to match your updated password.

Method 3 (Last resort; clear everything)

If neither of the above methods work, you can clear out your entire keychain. Please note that this will remove all saved passwords from your computer.

  • In Finder, click the Go menu and select "Go to Folder"
  • In the window that opens, type "~/Library/" and click Go.
  • Within the Library folder, select the entire Keychains folder and drag it to the trash.
  • Empty your trash.
  • Restart your computer.


Article ID: 38920
Tue 9/12/17 12:29 PM
Tue 11/14/23 5:12 PM