Short version:

Is there a command-line or GUI method of determining when the local copy of the iCloud keychain has been syncronized (at least on a Mac) or, short of deleting the keychain and re-adding it, force it to sync with the iCloud copy?

More details:

I'm currently running iOS 12 on multiple devices macOS High Sierra on my MacBook. While performing some cleanup, including deleting items via Settings → Passwords & Accounts → Website and App Passwords on iOS, I observed that the changes did not appear to be syncing back to the Mac. To be clear, changes made in the normal method (i.e., organically through Safari) also are not making it back.

Note this is on a Mac where the user had only been recently created (so there should be no corruption). The Mac had full network connectivity.

I know my changes are going to iCloud because nearly all my iOS devices are synchronized nearly instantly.

Again, I know I can work around by deleting the Keychain, and re-adding it, but this is not a real solution.

Does Apple even document how the process should work?

  • This not the staus, but you can turn it on and off with .. defaults -currentHost write com.apple.syncservices SyncingDisabled YES
    – Ruskes
    Oct 5, 2018 at 18:07

2 Answers 2


There are no built-in OS X tools designed explicitly for showing you iCloud synchronize information. In easy to read way.

However, you can track connections to Apple's iCloud servers, measure traffic flow, and disk access.

These metrics will provide some insight but they will not provide expected duration's or percentage complete measures.

To explore the data flow, explore the OS X's built-in tools like lsof and netstat.


You can see activity of the process that manages this sync in the console app (as well as using the command line tool log)

Search for CloudKeychainProxy and there are quite a few status and information messages when you sign in for the first time in iCloud to sync Keychain data that you can see if some of those messages (or lack of a "starting sync" message when the network is turned off and then reconnected) to know that you have no pending syncs. Other processes involved are apsd to listen for notifications coming in that a sync is needed when new items are added from the cloud side. The secd process does the local keychain writes / notifications, so it would presumably activate the CloudKeychainProxy if you have items to send up.

Cloud documents has a handy tool, but keychain is so lightweight, I've not really seen it hang or not be up to date in the absence of an error condition (which do get logged so you can address that if your untimate goal is fixing errors when it's not current).

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