I have a 32 character password that keychain access has shared with me, it's 28 uppercase letters and numbers combined, and 4 "-" symbols. Can I retrieve the hashed password that is the actual password for the login to an email address? Would appreciate the help. I'm using OSX 10.9.5

1 Answer 1


It's not quite clear from your question whether the password you need is actually stored in Keychain itself or elsewhere.

As a general rule in security, if a password is recognised by a mathematical hash, then it is never stored anywhere in plaintext.

The result of the hash is stored, not the actual password - so that when the correct password is input by the user, the hash of that input matches the stored hash result. Doing it this way means that brute force is the only way to 'guess' the password; it can never be reverse-engineered.

Having said that - Keychain does store original passwords for you & these can be retrieved from Keychain Access by selecting the appropriate entry & entering your keychain password.
Keychain Access is in Applications > Utilities
Keychain does this by encrypting the entire keychain using a separate hash structure & can be locked/unlocked by anyone with the appropriate password.

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  • Trying to clarify here: There are 32 character keys under the "Keys" category of Keychain Access. Is it possible to retrieve the password that's associated with one of those keys? The website I've entered a password is no longer in use, but I need the password I've used to sign-in to that website. Unfortunately, Keychain did not save the password (or perhaps erased it) probably as a result of the website being down.
    – Orbay Tuğ
    Sep 21, 2018 at 11:29

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