Monday, April 19, 2021

How to take control of your passwords using iCloud Keychain on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac

How to take control of your passwords using iCloud Keychain on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac

If you’re not using iCloud Keychain on your iPhone, you should definitely turn it on. A full-fledged password manager built into iOS and macOS, it stores all of your sensitive information with end-to-end encryption and syncs it across all of your Apple devices.

But even if you’re already using it to store logins to apps, Apple Pay info, and Wi-Fi, internet, and other online passwords, you might not be getting all you can out of it. Here’s how to get the most out of Apple’s password manager—and why you don’t want to rely on it for all of your data storage needs.

How to set up iCloud Keychain

If you have an iPhone, you have an iCloud account, and if you have an iCloud account, you have iCloud Keychain. If you want to check to see if it’s turned on, you’ll need to you open Settings on an iPhone or iPad (System Preferences on a Mac), then tap your name (Apple ID on a Mac), then iCloud. Scroll down to Keychain and make sure the toggle is green (check the box on a Mac).

That’s basically it. You may need to type in your password or passcode, and you’ll want to check your other Apple devices to make sure it’s turned on for each of them too, but otherwise, there’s nothing else to set up. If you don’t see iCloud Keychain, your device might be too old. iCloud Keychain is supported on deviced that uses iOS 7.0.3 or later, or OS X Mavericks 10.9 and later.

Autofill passwords with iCloud Keychain

The main reason for iCloud Keychain’s existence is the ability to quickly log into a website without typing or even remembering your username and password. Turning it on is simple. On the iPhone or iPad, head over to Settings, then Passwords and AutoFill Passwords. Flip the toggle, select iCloud Keychain, and you’ll get a Face ID or Touch ID prompt whenever you reach a supported password field.

You can also use iCloud Keychain AutoFill on your Mac, but only within the Safari browser. To turn it on, head over to Preferences in Safari, then the AutoFill tab. There are a few options, including information from contacts, user names and passwords, and credit cards. Turn on the ones you want and you’ll be all set.

icloud keychain toggle Michael Simon

iCloud Keychain is an easy way to keep track of your user names and passwords.

Use Face ID or Touch ID

iCloud Keychain works best when you leverage Apple’s biometric system to make filling passwords quick and easy. If you haven’t turned it on, head over to the Face ID & Passcode tab on your iPhone or iPad (Touch ID & Passcode on the new iPad Air), or the Touch ID tab on your Mac to turn on the ability to use your devices biometric authentication system for autofilling passwords. Then you won’t need to type in your passcode whenever you need to fill in a field.

Add logins manually

iCloud Keychain does a great job picking up logins and passwords as you log into sites and accounts, but you don’t have to wait for a website to prompt you to enter new credentials. Just like a third-party password manager, you can manually enter logins to save inside the Passwords tab in Settings on your iPhone or iPad. Just press the “+” symbol and you’ll be able to enter your own user name and password for any website.

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