In OSX Yosmite, the pcsc service was replaced with Apple's own "Crypto Token Kit" for handling smart cards. We used to be able to restart pcscd like in this answer, but I have not been able to find a way using the new service.

Is there any way to restart the Crypto Token Kit without rebooting the machine?

3 Answers 3


You need to kill the ctkd process sudo killall ctkd

I am unsure of the correct command to start it again, but opening the Keychain Access app will restart it.

Then you need to remove and reinsert the card (and reader? I use a yubikey so I am unsure).


Do you know what the process is for the Crypto Token Kit? Most likely, the answer would be similar to the one you linked, i.e. kill it and then restart it. The only thing is that any startup arguments may have changed.

I used to do something similar at times in that I would kill pscd to clear a situation, but I don't recall ever having to start it manually. I believe it either came back to life itself after a few moments or perhaps I triggered it by unplugging the smart card reader and then plugging it back in.

I would suggest trying to kill the process first and give it a minute or re-plug the reader. If that doesn't work, let us know?

  • Well, to finally get back to you, I was never able to find the right process. Things seem to have changed pretty dramatically since the days when we could just kill PCSC... Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 21:50

As stated in @Neal's answer, the ctkd process is the problem, and it needs to be restarted.

You can do this in a simple manner with the following steps:

  1. Open "Activity Monitor" and search for ctkd
  2. Force quit all cktd processes that you find.
  3. Remove and reinsert card and/or card-reader. In my experience, this should automatically re-launch ctkd, which you will see in "Activity Monitor"

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