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I’m having 2 issues with Wifi:

  1. Does iCloud Keychain sync Wifi network passwords, or just network names?
  2. Does iOS 11 or 12 have a new Wi-Fi sharing feature where a iOS device logged into a Wifi-network near another iOS device will be informed that someone else is trying to join the network and given the option of sending them the password directly over-the-air, as it were?

I called Apple support, and the so-called "senior" adviser informed me that with respect to Question 1, only network names are synced via iCloud Keychain, and with respect to Question 2, it's not a feature about which they have any documentation.

Please set me straight!

  • Yes iCloud Keychain shares WiFi credentials between devices logged into iCloud. – Tyson Oct 8 '18 at 17:09
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In my experience, both the names and the passwords are shared via iCloud.

If I add a Wi-Fi network on my iPad, and then go to my iPhone, it will have almost always already connected to that same Wi-Fi network.

If it doesn't, I can tap on the Wi-Fi name and have it joined, without re-entering the password on my iPhone.

A potential difficulty, of course, is if the 2nd device does not have a network connection. For example, if I have a Wi-Fi-only iPad, and I add a new Wi-Fi network name/password to my iPhone, then the iPad has no way of getting that information sync'd to it until it connects to a Wi-Fi network.

Hence my suggestion of connecting the iPad first, because the iPhone has its own non-Wi-Fi network connection with which it can sync new iCloud information.

(The same would be true if you replaced 'iPad' with 'MacBook' in the above examples.)

  • Additionally, as of iOS 11, there is also a handy feature for sharing Wi-Fi passwords between nearby devices, even if they aren't connected to the internet: 9to5mac.com/2017/06/06/ios-11-share-your-wifi – Timothy Mueller-Harder Oct 8 '18 at 18:18
  • You're not going to believe this, but of 3 Apple support people I've contacted, 2 maintained that Wifi passwords aren't synced! – odysseus Oct 8 '18 at 18:22
  • And no one at Apple seems to know about the handy feature for sharing Wi-Fi passwords between nearby devices, even if they aren't connected to the internet. – odysseus Oct 8 '18 at 18:23
  • The problem for me is getting both features working again. Especially the one about sharing Wifi passwords via keychain -- it stopped working quite a while ago. Any ideas? – odysseus Oct 8 '18 at 18:25
  • Unfortunately this feature, like so much of iCloud, is a black-box. It is completely sealed with no interface. My only suggestion is to go into Keychain Access.app on a Mac and delete the items from there, but there is no where to delete them from your iOS devices. So you have to hope that the deletions sync, and then re-add them and hope that it syncs. Much like the Text Replacements feature, it either works or it doesn't, and if it doesn't, there is not much recourse. – TJ Luoma Oct 9 '18 at 0:14

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