Ever since I upgraded to OS X Mountain Lion and installed OS X Server, I keep getting prompts for my Keychain password from a process called assistantd. I'm pretty sure that it's an OS X process, but don't want to give access to my keychain to just any process.

So, my ultimate question is: does anyone know what assistantd is and why it would need access to my keychain?


4 Answers 4


According to this site, Ongoing Cross-Section of assistantd Headers - Useful for Siri Mods, it appears assistantd is associated with Siri functionality on iOS.

Given this, I suspect assistantd on Mac OS X is related to the new dictation functionality. Dictation on Mac OS X 10.8 uses Contacts and other personal information to improve accuracy; gaining access to this information would explain the need for Keychain access.

  • 2
    No, not exactly. Retrieving the contacts does not need Keychain access. It's a separate API.
    – bot47
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 9:33
  • @MaxRied could you expand on what you mean by being a separate API? Keychain access may be required for purposes other than storing passwords; it may be the daemon requires proof that it has appropriate authority to the requested information. Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 10:55

It is there to support the speech function. By default, dictation runs when you press the fn button twice.


If you are having problems quitting the pop-up and get rid of it you should open Spotlight search - Write Activity monitor - open it - after you opened the program on the top click 'Disk" and search for assistantd and or accountsd (pretty much same thing) double click on it and there will be a pop up with its information after you've got that done . Look down IN the pop up window and click quit and force quit.


If your Mac keeps asking for your keychain password

Your keychain may be locked automatically if your computer has been inactive for a period of time or your user password and keychain password are out of sync. You can set length of time that Keychain Access waits before automatically requiring you to enter your password again.

1 . In the Keychain Access app on your Mac, click "login" in the Keychains list.

  1. Choose Edit > Change Settings for Keychain "login".

  2. Select the "Lock after" tickbox, then enter a number of minutes.

  3. If you want to require a password each time the computer goes to sleep, select the "Lock when sleeping" tickbox.

  4. Click Save.

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