Recovering forgotten or lost passwords on your Mac

If you have forgotten or lost a password for an app or website, don’t panic! Each Mac has a built-in system call “Keychain” which logs lots of the passwords you use for a range of different apps and websites. If you follow these simple steps, you might be able to recover your forgotten password.

To check to see if you can retrieve your password using Keychain, follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to the spotlight search and enter in the word “Keychain.”
  2. Select the app Keychain access
  3. Once open, you will be presented with a dialog box with 3 panels:
    • The top left panel lists specific types of Keychains, e.g. login, certificates, etc.
    • The bottom left panel lists different categories of Keychain, e.g., certificates and password.
    •  The right-hand panel shows all the  apps and websites associated to each “key.”
  4. Select “Login” in the top left-hand panel and “Passwords” in the bottom left-hand panel.
  5. Now search through the right-hand panel’s results to find the application or website that you need the password for.
  6. When you find the key, that matches the website or app that you’ve forgotten the password to,  double click on it.
  7. A new dialog box will appear with details about what the key is for, including the username and the kind of password.
  8. Click on the “show password button.”
  9. Your Mac will then ask for the password that you use to log into you Mac. Once you have entered you password, you will be shown the password used by that app and username.

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