On my machine running OS X El Capitan, there is no "Keychain First Aid" option in the Keychain Access app.

All documentation, including Mac OS Help in El Capitan, says to go to the Keychain Access menu and select Keychain First Aid. But my Keychain Access menu looks like this:

enter image description here

Where is Keychain First Aid??

  • 5
    Any way to replace this functionality?
    – wordsmythe
    Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 17:31

3 Answers 3


Starting in OSX 10.11, you will need to open the Keychain Access app and go to Preferences > Reset My Default Keychain. "Reset" is a bit of misnomer; actually, it will move your old keychain to a separate database file, and create a new, clean keychain.

Next, if you do File > Add Keychain, you can re-add your old keychain (for example, login_renamed_1) to the viewer. You can then manually copy over your keys from the old keychain to the new keychain.

You will have to re-enter your root password for each key that you copy, and it will throw errors at you, but in the end they will get copied over.

  • 1
    You can speed up the process considerably by changing the imported keychain's password to blank before dragging the desired passwords into the new keychain. Then you can simply press Return or automate clicking of the Allow button by positioning the cursor over it and running clickclick, e.g., while : ; do cliclick c:. w:500; done, which will click at the current cursor position every half second.
    – Miles
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 1:26
  • @MilesWolbe can you clarify which keychain should have the password "removed". It sounds as if you are saying the original keychain. I don't see a way to remove a password on an existing keychain.
    – John
    Commented Oct 23, 2021 at 17:00

It's possible that it was removed in the OS X 10.11.2 update. Reference: Keychain First Aid appears to be missing after 10.11.2 update!

From About the security content of OS X El Capitan 10.11.2, Security Update 2015-005 Yosemite, and Security Update 2015-008 Mavericks:

Keychain Access

Available for: OS X El Capitan v10.11 and v10.11.1

Impact: A malicious application may be able to masquerade as the Keychain Server. Description: An issue existed in how Keychain Access interacted with Keychain Agent. This issue was resolved by removing legacy functionality.

CVE-ID CVE-2015-7045

  • 9
    How the heck do I repair my keychain now !!! The laptop is completely unusable. Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 14:29

In Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan, Keychain errors can be fixed by deleting all files and folders in ~/Library/Keychains/ and rebooting.

Guides that suggest "first aid" and renaming keychain files are misguided or outdated.

  • 3
    It's not necessary to delete all files and folders, just any folder with a long guid-like name (e.g. A8E5321F-62CC-5BED-8B31-DE0526C484BD). techraptor.net/content/…
    – Jason
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 14:24
  • 5
    Not so sure about this advice. I lost all my keychain items. Fortunately I just moved them instead of deleting them...
    – Paul S
    Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 17:48
  • Thanks - yes this resets all the saved passwords, but it got the keychain working again which is what I wanted first aid for. Commented Oct 22, 2018 at 10:42
  • 12
    I'd really recommend not following this advice except as a last resort. This is just a crude way of erasing all your keychain data and starting from scratch but might have other unintended consequences. (For example, if you're using full disk encryption this will cause more issues on reboot) A cleaner way to do the almost the same thing is just open "Keychain Access", go to its Preferences window (⌘+`), and then click the "Reset My Default Keychain". Here's a screenshot: dropbox.com/s/0sb9o7ho75oh7ks/…
    – Chris
    Commented Feb 2, 2019 at 0:43

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