What is the difference between kinds of items in Keychain, e.g.:

  • Web form password
  • Internet password
  • application password

How can I create a Keychain item of a specific kind?


Difference between different type of Password related to KeyChain

App-Specific Password:

App-specific passwords are passwords for your Apple ID that let you sign in to your account and securely access the information you store in iCloud from a third-party app. For example, use app-specific passwords with mail, contacts, and calendar services not provided by Apple. App-specific passwords maintain a high level of security and help ensure your Apple ID password won’t be collected or stored by any third-party apps you use.

Web form Password:

These are passwords set by the site you are visiting, such as a bank for instance. They make the rules for their own site. Some do not allow your browser to remember for safety/security reasons. Others do allow it so you can set your browser to auto-fill those.

Internet Password:

These are passwords provided by you to access the Internet while connecting through WiFi, configuring Proxy and others that is related to network on your system.

Keeping track of passwords is hard, especially if you follow the best practice of never using the same password twice and have multiple devices. iCloud Keychain keeps website and Wi-Fi passwords up to date across your Mac, iOS devices, and iPadOS devices. It also keeps account passwords and settings that you add to Internet Accounts preferences up to date on your Mac. 

How can I create a Keychain item of a specific kind?

Apps and servers may automatically create a keychain with a password for you when you create your account or log in, or they may offer you the option to have Keychain Access remember the password. It is the same for Internet passwords too as it is added automatically by creating a key chain under an appropriate group.

You need to deep dive a bit on Keychain properties if you want to create for Web Form password for your own tool. It would provide a bit idea if you look on this query too.

  • " while connecting through WiFi, " isn't that Airport one?
    – anki
    Dec 17 '19 at 11:35
  • Udhy or @ankii: Do either of you have a link to a reference? There are other kinds of Keychain items that I'd like to know about, too. Thanks for the info. I just want to add & organize some passwords, rather than modifying any code, so, unless the coding is simple, I'd prefer to use a UI, or a command line, if the functionality of creating / changing different kinds of items is not in the Keychain Access GUI.
    – XDR
    Dec 17 '19 at 13:31
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Web form password: are the most common ones that you use, on websites accessed via browser Safari, or Safari interfaces brought up when some app demands it on iOS.

Internet password: on my Mac seem to be the ones for proxy which I set up years ago and no longer use. System Preferences, Network, Wi-Fi, Advanced, proxy seem relevant here.

Application password: seem to be those used by apps internally on your Mac locally to keep your login active over time, for example WhatsApp, Spotify and some lesser known services like Xcode, news and Safari Extensions that need you to login.

On first glance, Web passwords are the easiest ones to create and Application Passwords are not directly accessible to user it seems. They might be working like access tokens which are of no use to the end user. So changing types is no to beneficial. Others can highlight over this part.

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