Skype automatically logs me in by getting the password from my login keychain. This means I haven't typed the password in a long time, and I have forgotten it.

When I select Skype (or anything else) in Keychain Access and click the show password box, the check mark appears and then immediately goes away without revealing the password.

How can I fix this (without deleting the file that contains all the encrypted passwords!!)?

  • That's really bizarre. With the console application running, do you get any errors for keychain in the logs?
    – Allison
    Nov 9, 2015 at 2:06
  • Nov 9 21:19:14 iMac Keychain Access[755]: Error creating UTF-8 encoded string from password data! Guess I should tell Apple it's a bug? Is the only fix to change my locale to not use UTF-8? That would really irritate me, since I occasionally use Polish and Spanish and one of my passwords is in Chinese. The Skype password is in all ASCII characters, so it doesn't make sense. I am aware of at least one Unicode character that crashes some IOS/OSX library when it tries to render text containing that character. But I reported that bug to Apple back in 10.6 or earlier.
    – WGroleau
    Nov 10, 2015 at 3:23
  • apple.stackexchange.com/questions/212622/… seems related, though a lot of details are different. And I noticed this before El Capitan was released.
    – WGroleau
    Nov 10, 2015 at 3:30

2 Answers 2


I used

security dump-keychain -d login.keychain

which showed me passwords in plaintext. But where I expected a password for Skype was what looked like a UUID.

I deleted Skype from the keychain, got a reset password link from Skype, launched it and logged in with the new password.

dumped the keychain again. There are TWO Skype entries. The first has over 800 characters where the password should be, with a UUID in the middle. Lots of octal escapes, none of which are the ASCII values of the new password.

The second has a hexadecimal string of about eighty digits, then in quotes, about 60 characters, most of which are octal escapes.

Speculation: the hexadecimal is a decryption or encryption key, the quoted string when converted to bytes and decrypted is the password, and that is a format keychain can't handle and/or Skype is encrypting to prevent people from looking up a password in keychain.


Skype does not seem to be able to ave the password on the keychian in a way the app can read. I reset the password and created an entry in the icloud keychain manually.

You must log in to answer this question.

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