I forgot the password to an old Yahoo account as well as the answers to my security questions. When I try to recover it using keychain, I only find a very long series of letters and numbers that is not the password (I would never come up with that, and even when I try to use it to open my account, it doesn't work).

Now, I don't rely care about the account any more, but the funny thing is that I can still log in on Yahoo messenger from my Mac, which means that the password IS saved somewhere in the machine.

Any idea how I can recover the password itself if it's not in the keychain?


Actually, the password may not be stored on your Mac since most log in services use the password to generate a cryptographically strong (or at least significantly longer) string that acts as a "cookie" to authenticate your client to access the servers that hold your yahoo content.

Unless you used a different program than Keychain to store the original password itself, you have checked the primary source of saved passwords on OS X and might not be able to recover the original password.

  • So apps also use "cookies"? – nayriz Jul 27 '14 at 12:44
  • Indeed. It is a common authentication idiom across any client/server communications channel these days. – bmike Jul 27 '14 at 15:14

Depending on the browser you're using, the password may be stored in its data structures.

  • Apple Safari - Go to Preferences > Passwords tab
  • Google Chrome - Go to Preferences > Settings > Show Advanced Settings... link > Passwords and forms > Manage Passwords link
  • Mozilla Firefox - Go to Preferences > Security tab > Saved Passwords button
  • Great places to find passwords ;-) – bmike Jul 26 '14 at 17:52
  • Thanks for the tip, but I use the Yahoo app to log in, which is independent of any browser... – nayriz Jul 27 '14 at 12:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .