How to see your passwords in Mac OS X Keychain

I store my various passwords for websites, wireless networks, certificates and more in Mac OS X Keychain. It's very handy as I found out this week when I needed to verify a password that I thought I knew (I was wrong). Here's how you can view all your passwords in Keychain.

  • Go to the Applications folder, then go to the Utilities folder. Launch the Keychain Access app. 
  • Type the name of the website, network, etc., into the search field in the top right corner of the app. A list of matching items will appear.
  • You can search by "kind" if you click on the Kind column at the top of the screen, then scroll to the results that say “application password” or “website password” to find what you’re looking for. Or you click on the Passwords category (on the left) to filter for passwords.
  • Double click on the entry for the site or app you want to see the password for. Click on the “Show Password” checkbox. 

At this point, you'll be asked to enter your Mac's admin login and password. If you've forgotten that, you'll have to reset those. But let's assume you haven't forgotten those. Enter them that your Mac shows you the password that you're seeking.

By the way, you'll be offered the option to "Always Allow" passwords to be shown when you open Keychain Access. Don't select this option for security reasons in case your Mac gets stolen — or you sell it without wiping all important personal data.