I am using the "lock when sleeping" preference of the login keychain. When I use my computer after wake up, as expected i have to enter my password when an application (such as the webbrowser or instant messenger) try to access a keychain entry. However, sometimes the login keychain is unlocked after entering the password, sometimes it remains locked and the application gets single-time access. What rule does that follow? System is up to date 10.6.

1 Answer 1


There is a setting that can lock the Keychain after a period of inactivity. So if you have unlocked it after sleep and then find after a few minutes that it is locked, it probably means that this option is turned on.

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It's also possible that on some items you haven't checked 'always remember' and so it is popping up the request for credentials via keychain.

You can also repair your keychain using this guide.

  • Autolock after timeout is deactivated. The behaviour is like this: I have the Keychain icon enabled in my menu bar. After the Mac wakes up from sleep it shows the lock closed. When an application tries do access a password now, the lock remains closed for some of them, for others the lock is opened afterwards! When its opened, also other applications can access the keychain without asking for the password. I just wonder how it is determined if the entire keychain is unlocked after entering the password or if only the item is unlocked
    – barbaz
    May 4, 2011 at 10:31
  • I do not find these settings on High Sierra ... not "Keychain access" preferences.
    – Liviu
    Nov 28, 2017 at 19:14

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