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?


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.

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  • 1
    No, not exactly. Retrieving the contacts does not need Keychain access. It's a separate API. – bot47 Jul 26 '12 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. – Graham Miln Jul 26 '12 at 10:55

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

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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.

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