Whenever my MacBook Air starts up from shutdown (or on restart), once the Finder has started, it prompts me for my iCloud password, like this:

enter image description here

As you can see there is no title or anything to identify the app or process requesting the password. However, through the use of a clever Python script (unfortunately I can't remember where I got it from) I was able to determine the process requesting the password:

UserNotificationCenter (/System/Library/CoreServices/UserNotificationCenter.app)

If I click Cancel twice (it pops up again after the 1st Cancel) it doesn't reappear and there are no apparent issues. All my iCloud services (Photos, Music, Contacts, Calendars, Keychain) seem to sync and work just fine.

I used Activity Monitor to dump the processes open files and the only file of relevance I can see is /usr/share/icu/icudt53l.dat although I have no idea what it is.

The problem only started happening about a month ago, and there's no obvious change that occurred on my machine that I can think of that might have caused this.

EDIT: obviously I tried entering my iCloud password, without success.

  • 1
    Thanks for asking this - I have the same problem and no-way to convince myself it wasn't phishing malware
    – Greg
    Mar 16, 2016 at 4:00
  • The "clever Python script" you refer to is most likely from this blog post or this github repo. I have included the results of my tests in this answer under similar question.
    – techraf
    Mar 25, 2016 at 14:00

2 Answers 2


If you have another Apple device, such as an iPad or iPhone, and you deleted iCloud off of it, it can disrupt every device you have, and you will just need to log in again, possibly generating App-Specific Passwords for your Mac. This happened to me around the same time, but I can't remember if it was the result of the upgrade to OS X 10.10.4 that broke the connection of it was when I deleted iCloud from my iPad (I was lending it to someone).

You may need to log iCloud in with your Apple ID password, or if that does not work, log in to your Apple ID and generate an App-Specific Password for iCloud.

The same problem cropped up for iMessage/Facetime as well. There you definitely need to generate an App-Specific Password, however I think I resolved the issue with iCloud by entering my Apple ID password. Once it sets in your Keychain, you shouldn't see the pop up again.

  • I had the same problem with iMessage/Facetime as well and resolved it with app specific passwords for them. When you say login with your Apple ID password,
    – mluisbrown
    Aug 4, 2015 at 7:06
  • @mluisbrown I think you misread what I wrote. "The same problem cropped up for iMessage/Facetime as well. There you definitely need to generate an App-Specific Password, however I think I resolved the issue with iCloud by entering my Apple ID password." They all happened at the same time, but iCloud allows you to use your Apple ID PW instead of requiring an App specific password. You should have an iCloud.com keychain in your keychains. There will also be authentication tokens in Keychain, but they are App/System generated.
    – AMR
    Aug 4, 2015 at 12:12
  • If when you originally set up iCloud you used a different password than your Apple ID, then you will need to check your Keychain to see if it is there, or you will need to remember what it was and enter it. That should make the problem stop.
    – AMR
    Aug 4, 2015 at 12:17
  • 1
    For some reason my comment above got truncated (and now I can't edit it). Anyway, what I meant to ask was, by "Apple ID password" you mean the "master" password for the iCloud account? I was in doubt as I have 2 different Apple IDs (one for iTunes, App Store etc, another for iCloud). In any case, it's irrelevant now as I ended up having to generate an App-Sepecific password for this mysterious prompt. For the App Name I gave it "User Notification Center" :-) This resolved the problem.
    – mluisbrown
    Aug 4, 2015 at 13:30

I solved the problem just logging out and then logging in again in my Apple ID inside System Preferences/iCloud settings.

Don't care about all the warnings about you will loose all your contacts and iCloud calendars if you log out. Afterall you have all this info in iCloud and you will get it back when you log in again.

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