TouchID allows a user to log into a laptop through a fingerprint. The fingerprint itself is used by the operating system to retrieve the user password and then the password is used to complete the login and unlock the keychain.
Since this implies the password of a user with TouchID is stored somewhere on the device I would like to know if an administrator of the machine could potentially retrieve it and how.
Any additional detail on how the password is stored and protected would also be appreciated.

  • 1
    You won't be able to access the password - the password and the touch ID both have access to unlock the system. Touch ID wouldn't retrieve the password then type it in.
    – Ezekiel
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 15:11
  • "fingerprint itself is used by the operating system to retrieve the user password" - no, it isn't. They are entirely separate mechanisms.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 15:49
  • the password somewhere needs to exist even if the user does not enter it, the os uses it to unlock the user's keychain, which is protected with a key that is derived from the password
    – mic.sca
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 16:38
  • No. When you put your finger on the reader it will only check if that is a fingerprint in the known database. If that is the case it will unlock. It will not fill in the password and then use that to unlock.
    – X_841
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 20:34

1 Answer 1


Enabling TouchID does not make it any easier to retrieve the password of a user, no.

You have misunderstood how TouchID works. It does not work by retrieving the user's password. The user's password is not involved when logging in with TouchID.

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