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In Safari on OS X via Safari/Preferences/Passwords/ it is possible to view all saved passwords in plain text by entering the Mac password.

I want to use a different password. Is this possible?

I know that it is possible to change the password used to access the Keychain app via this method: Mac OS X, passwd, and keychain, however it does not change the behaviour in Safari as mentioned above. My ideal situation is for Keychain to manage all my passwords across all my devices and autofill them, without revealing them in plain text to someone who knows my device passwords.

RELATED: How to prevent keychain passwords being seen with iPhone passcode? the same problem on iOS.

  • You can do that in Firefox with Master password, but AFIK not in Safari. – Ruskes Jun 6 '15 at 9:02
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If you want to avoid the default behaviour, which is a reasonable setting for a computer that allows multiple accounts, including guest accounts, you can do the following in Keychain Access:

  1. Change the Keychain password
  2. For each really sensitive item you have in there:
    1. Select a relevant item in Keychain Access
    2. Get information on the item with the Get Info menu
    3. Select the Access Control tab
    4. Mark the Ask for Keychain password checkbox

That should allow for the most sensitive passwords (or all of them, if you apply it to all of them) to require your password to be provided every time they are about to be used, and hence won't show in Safari's saved passwords unless that Keychain password is provided.

Another option is creating a new keychain, different from the login keychain, with a different passwords, and move the items from the login keychain. The system can find the needed items in that keychain, and you will need to provide that different password instead.

Of course, another option is using 1password.

  • 1
    I don't have the "Ask for Keychain" checkbox on El Capitan. Does this answer need updating for 10.11? – Wildcard Sep 25 '16 at 9:54
  • @Wildcard I'll look it up, thanks for raising this. – juandesant Sep 25 '16 at 10:25
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Change the keychain password, and then lock the keychain when not using the Mac. Unless you want everyone to be able to login to your accounts. Then it's just that you need a change in policy, not in keychains.

  • You are correct, locking the Keychain does stop people being able to access the Safari passwords as above, however this seems annoying since my mac constantly sends me messages to unlock the keychain for other apps (iCloud etc, maybe I don't know how to use this properly) after which it is unlocked and the Safari passwords are visible again. I would prefer the passwords to be useable for anyone logged in but not seen in plain text without stronger password protection. – xyz Jun 11 '15 at 3:32
  • Hate to sound rude but all I have left for ya is GLHF. – LokiScarlet Jun 15 '15 at 7:27

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