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I am unable to share any Wi-Fi passwords to one of my Macs.

  • AirDrop works to share photos / files / web pages
  • Handoff does work for Safari to hand off an active page
  • Sharing WiFi passwords certainly does not work at all

Let's call the affected Mac "Mac A". I am able to share passwords from my iPhone to "Mac B" and I am also able to share passwords with other contacts from my iPhone. I am able to share Wi-Fi passwords from "Mac A" to my iPhone, but not the other way around.

When I try to share a password from any device (but using my iPhone as an example) to "Mac A" the iPhone says "Sharing" for about 30 seconds and then shows "Password Not Shared" "There was a problem sharing your Wi-Fi password." I've added a screenshot of the error, just in case that's of use.

I've tried to fix this by:

  • Signing out of iCloud on all of my devices
  • "Forgetting" Wi-Fi networks from all of my devices
  • Restarting all devices
  • Sign in to iCloud on my iPhone
  • Connect to my home Wi-Fi network from my iPhone
  • Connect "Mac A" to the internet via Ethernet
  • Sign in to iCloud on "Mac A"
  • Disconnect Ethernet
  • Attempt to connect to my home Wi-Fi network on "Mac A"
  • Performed a reinstall of macOS on "Mac A" (using recovery mode)
  • Erased "Mac A" and performed a clean install of macOS

However, I get the same error. I've also tried resetting "network settings" on my iPhone and then going through the above steps, but that didn't change anything. I kind of didn't expect this to help as the issue appears to be with "Mac A".

I don't know what else to try next with this. Does any one have any ideas on what to try?

Error when attempting to share password

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  • It’s it that one password or all of them that aren’t being shared? Have you tried rebooting your devices? – Allan Aug 2 '20 at 22:32
  • @Allan I can't share any passwords with "Mac A". I have tried restarting all devices, yeah, but that didn't help. – JoeNyland Aug 3 '20 at 15:48
  • Just to confirm, you can share everything else? – Allan Aug 3 '20 at 16:39
  • @Allan I can share items with "Mac A" via AirDrop, if that's what you mean? Just not Wi-Fi passwords. – JoeNyland Aug 4 '20 at 11:12
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    What an irritating issue. I’ve edited the post so all the attempts to fix it are inline - not in postscript updates... I also was not clear if normal handoff works. There are three items that can break. AirDrop is the most basic item, on top of AirDrop is Handoff (unprompted AirDrop basically) and the last is Handoff of WiFi. If handoff doesn’t work - then we know it’s iCloud issue. If Handoff works and WiFi doesn’t - then it’s a keychain issue (where the handoff stores the results) – bmike Aug 5 '20 at 9:23
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I don’t have a fix, but I know this has come up. Also, this is going to be very hard to reproduce your conditions, so it might be a while to solve this. Here’s how I would troubleshoot this, based on a layered approach:

  1. Make sure AirDrop works bilaterally - photos / web page - share back and forth.
  2. Make sure Handoff works bilaterally - safari and messages are good to test
  3. Make sure WiFi handoff works - this uses Handoff to store an item in Keychain / System Preferences

So, for most people, I would expect handoff is the broken piece here and not that the keychain or system preferences app are broken for you.

Also - when A/B testing, it’s very useful to have a C to test - iPhone / iPad or another Mac.

Good luck - with so many variables, you may need a piece of paper or spreadsheet to test the various apps in the various configurations, but WiFi sharing layers on top of handoff which layers on top of AirDrop with iCloud identify certificates to allow Handoff to work. Hopefully you can eliminate iCloud as a cause by signing out and in, but clearing the keychain of signing / identity certificates might be needed - especially if iCloud syncs these down to the Mac A after you erased it.

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  • Thanks. I've confirmed that Handoff works bilaterally: I'm able to pick up webpages that I'm viewing on "Mac B" (or my iPhone) on the affected "Mac A" and vice versa. I'm also prompted to Handoff apps like Reminders or Messages when I have those open. Last night, I erased "Mac A" and reinstalled macOS, but the issue still persists. I don't know what else to try now. – JoeNyland Aug 6 '20 at 11:58
  • > clearing the keychain of signing / identity certificates might be needed -- How does one do that without breaking things? – JoeNyland Aug 6 '20 at 11:59

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