How do I reset my main keychain and completely delete the old one? I changed my password and its been coming up with all of these popups asking for my new password when I first login. If anyone can help with updating my keychain I would appreciate it or you can just help me completely delete and reset it.

5 Answers 5


Try running Keychain's Repair Tool by opening Keychain from your /Applications/Utilities folder, then from the menu bar choose Keychain Access, then Keychain First Aid, then enter your password, verify then start it. If there are any problems click Repair then Start. (via Apple Support)

If that doesn't work then try Resetting your Keychain. Via Apple's Instructions you just need to do these steps:

  1. Open Keychain Access, which is in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder.

  2. From the Keychain Access menu, choose Preferences.

  3. Click General, then click Reset My Default Keychain.

    ‼️ This will delete everything in your login and iCloud keychains!

  4. Authenticate with your account login password.

  5. Quit Keychain Access then Restart your computer.

  • Reset doesn't work, returns "UNIX[Invalid argument]" Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:25
  • 27
    Unfortunately, time is not on the side of this answer - El Capitan has no Keychain First Aid.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 19:57
  • 2
    On macOS Sierra there is no First Aid and when I went to reset my keychain I got a message saying the operation could not be completed. But all of a sudden my keychain was completely empty. I logged out and logged back in and I had to re-enter many account passwords-- so it looks like it may have worked. Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 18:12
  • 1
    @SGSVenkatesh The error was present but it did actually work. The keychain was reset. Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 20:25
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    For others who may come across this: open Keychain access. Select the login keychain. Select Edit -> Change password for keychain login. Note: if the option is disabled, from the top menu, create a new keychain called "test", right click on it and make it the default keychain. Proceed to reset the login keychain's password, and when done, make it the default keychain again. Delete the test keychain`.
    – ahash
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 4:25

Along the same lines:

"You can safely delete the Keychains folder (or just the folders inside it) in your home directory

eg. /Users/yourusername/Library/Keychains

this folder can be deleted. It will be recreated on login."

Or you can access the Library folder by going to Finder >> Go and holding down the option key.

enter image description here

This worked perfectly for me.

Source: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2355503?tstart=0

Make sure you restart the computer after deleting the folder before doing anything else Very Important!!

  • 1
    Not the entire folder, just the folders inside of it. Most of them have capitalized letters with some numbers. (ex: ISF8-S9DV-DI5G ....etc.) Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 21:10
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    This is the best answer for this topic since the First Aid in the Keychain Access does not exist in Sierra and above. Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 21:21
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    Thank you for the feedback guys and helping improve the answer.
    – chainwork
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 21:44
  • 1
    Isn't deleting the keychaing going to delete all the stored passwords? Or am I missing something? Commented Aug 27, 2019 at 12:09

In High Sierra, my login keychain was stuck on the previous password. I tried to set it in Keychain Access but the item in the Edit menu was greyed out.

I found a suggestion on https://www.jamf.com/jamf-nation/discussions/28449/change-password-for-keychain-login-greyed-out to use the security command-line utility in the Terminal to set the keychain password to my new login password. Just security set-keychain-password with no further arguments failed after asking for the old and new password, but I then discovered with security default-keychain the full path name to my login keychain:

bash$ security default-keychain

bash$ security set-keychain-password "/Users/myself/Library/Keychains/login.keychain-db"
Old Password:
New Password:
Retype New Password:


You would obviously replace myself with your login name, or copy-paste the result from default-keychain if it looks radically different from mine. (You can save yourself the copy/paste with security default-keychain | xargs security set-keychain-password.)

  • 2
    In my case, Mojave had created a new keychain, but the old one was saved as login_renamed_1.keychain-db. Ran security set-keychain-password on that, then renamed the current login.keychain-db out and the renamed one in, rebooted. Worked great.
    – Hafthor
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 20:54
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    Recent updates to Mojave seem to have broken the "Change Password for Keychain" option in Keychain Access, turning it into a no-op. Haven't updated to Catalina yet, but the option may have been removed entirely, based on changes to Apple's documentation. That seems to leave this as the only option for fixing a de-synced keychain password.
    – 8bittree
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 18:21
  • @8bittree Attempting to run set-keychain-password even with the added argument still fails. It keeps telling me "The user name or passphrase you entered is not correct." I am entering my previous and new login password, isn't that what is expected?
    – Michael
    Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 17:55
  • @Michael I guess there are other failure modes where the default keychain's password is not your old login password. I would guess the keychain is corrupted and you just need to start over, but there could be other things to try before you give up completely.
    – tripleee
    Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 17:59
  • 1
    Thanks, it works great for me, I just added an parameter "-s" like this: [security default-keychain -s /Users/userName/Library/Keychains/login.keychain-db]
    – Hunt3rDe
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 8:00

Synchronise your user account and keychain passwords!

The password of your macOS user account might not match the password of your login keychain. To resolve this, you can either replace your keychain and create a new login keychain, or you can update the old keychain with your new password.

This can happen after you or your Mac administrator resets the password of your macOS user account. You Mac might then ask you to update your keychain password or enter the password of your login keychain. It might also tell you that the system was unable to unlock your login keychain. That's because your login keychain is still using your old password.

If you don't know your old password, the solution is to create a new login keychain.

If you do know your old password, use that password to update your existing login keychain:

  • Open the Keychain Access app, which is in the the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  • From the Edit menu, choose “Change Password for Keychain 'login.'”
  • Enter the old password of your user account in the Current Password field. This is the password you were using before the password was reset.
  • Enter the new password of your user account in the New Password field. This is the password you're now using to log in to your Mac. Enter the same password in the Verify field.
  • Click OK when done, then quit Keychain Access.

Taken from Mac support.

  • This option doesn't exist on newer Mac OS X versions (Mojave, Catalina), requiring the command line option below.
    – Stacks
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 18:00

Previous answers didn't work for me. Apple Tech Support solution that works in removing the keychains completely :

  • Go to Finder page : Choose GO, Choose Library, Choose Preferences
  • Move all reference to keychain to Trash bin.
  • Reboot iMac and when prompted to change or reset Keychain
  • Choose Change Keychain
  • Reboot system & NO MORE PROMPT FOR Keychain password!!
  • 2
    Note that you must hold down option key when looking at GO menu for Library option to appear
    – Colin
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 13:08
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    did this make you enter the password for every thing again ? I mean were all your passwords lost?
    – devdoe
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 9:24

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