I tried to do a clean install of my El Capitan MacBook but realised that much of my keychain migrated over. When I went into keychain access it showed a number of different keychains. I reset the "login" keychain which seemed to delete the "iCloud" keychain as well. However, "local items", "System" and "System Roots" all survived. Should I clear these as well?

Before I did the clean install, I know there were a few times when I was confronted with having to trust an unknown certificate. I want to make sure these are deleted. Which keychain would these user-trusted certificates have gone into? I want to make sure that certificates that I decided to trust are deleted so that I am only left with certificates supplied by Apple on new machines.

  • Won’t the system check all keychains for a match before giving up? There are a lot of questions stated explicitly here so it might be hard for one person to give one answer. You could always ask one follow-up question with the first question and you answered and then we can revisit this as well – bmike Jan 27 '19 at 16:28
  • @bmike do you mean when it searches for a matching certificate? It may well do that, but I just want to know where the ones that I chose to trust (as opposed to the ones Apple provides) are kept so that I can delete them. Which keychain they are in doesn't really matter to me unless there are important certificates there as well that I need to be careful to not delete? – Sam Jan 28 '19 at 1:46
  • just open keychain access app as your user and search each keychain you see unlocked. That’s all that get checked for most cases – bmike Jan 28 '19 at 2:04
  • @bmike but I have no idea which certificates are the ones that I trusted and which ones are there by default. This is my question. How can I know which ones to delete? – Sam Jan 28 '19 at 6:43

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