Suddenly I'm getting repeated (endless) prompts that

mdwrite wants to use the "metadata" keychain

and asking me to

please enter the keychain password.

but my password (I know the password for each of my keychains, my system, and their full history) is rejected.

How do I stop this (latest) irritation — without deleting my keychain data? Why won't my keychain(s) password(s) work?

macOS 10.13.2 (17C88)

  • 1
    ~/Library/Keychains/metadata.keychain-db appears to be a keychain owned by the user but the password for the metadata keychain file is stored in the login keychain (or iCloud keychain). When opened (using the keychain app) it appears to contain keys which exist protect private metadata made by Spotlight and stored within file system extended attributes. My guess is that this is created when you create (or upgrade to) an APFS file system. This does not answer your problem, but you could try resetting Spotlight and a fresh index. Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 18:48

2 Answers 2


I had the same problem. I opened my login keychain and searched for MetadataKeychain. I clicked show password and copied and pasted it into the dialog asking for the password.

It worked!

  • 3
    MetadataKeychain is not a keychain by itself, it is an actual item within the login keychain. So to unlock it (and see the password), you will still need to enter the password for your login keychain (which should be your systems password).
    – YoYo
    Commented Oct 26, 2018 at 15:21

I found I immediately encountered this problem following locking the login keychain. In order to undo this and stop seeing the pop up dialog box stating:

mdwrite wants use the "metadata" keychain

I followed these steps.

  1. Open launchpad and search for 'keychain access'
  2. Right click on 'login' keychain
  3. click 'unlock keychain "login"'
  4. Enter your keychain password (same as your user account password to login to your Mac)

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