I recently did a clean install of my Mac (running macOS 10.12.1). After the clean install, I copied over the Library/Keychains folder from my old home directory on my backup drive, to my home directory on my Mac.

When I go to Safari > Preferences > Passwords, it now just says:

Safari Passwords are Locked

To unlock Safari passwords, enter the password for the user “Johnny Appleseed”

(It shows my Mac username instead of Johnny Appleseed, but you get the picture.)

I don’t remember ever creating a password for saved Safari passwords before or after doing the clean install. In fact, I don’t remember using saved passwords in Safari at all. (I use 1Password, so I never felt the need to have Safari save passwords.)

Is this something to do with iCloud Keychain, and/or my copying over of its Library folder? Or a bug? Or something else?

Screenshot of ‘Safari Passwords are Locked’ password preference pane in Safari


3 Answers 3


Turns out I just had to enter the password for my macOS user account. That showed me the saved password data that Safari had stored (and presumably synced via iCloud), which was mostly records of me clicking on “Never for this website” when asked if I want to save a password.


I had a similar problem, but even when I entered my password it did not open it up. I was also have another problem where when I opened Safari it prompted me with "Safari would like to access "Local Items" keychain no matter what password I put it, it did not like it.

Here is what I was able to do to resolve the issue: https://techraptor.net/content/iron-mac-how-to-get-rid-of-annoying-local-items-keychain-box

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    – fsb
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 19:21
  • Note that you can turn off this option by clearing the checkbox in Safari > Preferences, AutoFill > AutoFill web forms > User names and passwords. See for details: support.apple.com/guide/safari/autofill-ibrwa005/mac.
    – yrg
    Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 14:59

I had exactly them same problem. I think it has come with the upgrade to OS Sierra. I contacted Apple Support.

The answer was incredibly simple.

Just add your normal password that you use when you first enter the Mac and then press the “Enter” key. Hey presto, your passwords are then shown.

I have suggested to Apple that they provide a “next” button next to the password box and it would save a lot of frustration.

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