OS X Keychain Not Saving Passwords…

I struggled with this one for about a month before I finally dug into what was wrong and how to fix it. It all started when I reinstalled because I couldn’t get BootCamp installed because of volume fragmentation. Since then, my applications, specifically Mail.app and Adium, weren’t remembering passwords even if I checked the little “remember” box. Being generally new to OS X, it took a little while for me to even figure out where to look but here’s the quick fix.

  1. Open a new Finder window.
  2. Navigate to “~/Library/Keychains” using “Go To Folder…” (Cmd-Shft-G)
  3. Right-click on “login.keychain” and select “Get Info”
  4. Find the “Ownership & Permissions” section and verify the following:
    • Owner: [You]
    • Access: [Read & Write]
    • Group: [You]
    • Access: [Read only]
    • Others: [Read only]

I also made sure that the little lock was switched to the “locked” position to prevent accidental changes. Provided all these settings are correct, your passwords should start saving again.


David O’Hara is a Senior Consultant with Improving Enterprises in Dallas, Texas.  

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9 Responses to OS X Keychain Not Saving Passwords…

  1. Greg says:

    You’re a life-saver. My wife had the same problem and I didn’t even think to check the perms on the file. Thanks a lot.

  2. Patrick says:

    My permissions match what your post specifies. But my keychain will still not save the password for ichat

  3. Diamara says:

    Thanks, this has been annoying me for ages. On my mahcine, the the login.keychain file had ownership set to root. If you’re comfortable with the command line, you can fix this with one command:

    sudo chown youruser:staff ~/Library/Keychains/login.keychain

  4. [...] googled around a bit and found this article which recommends checking the permissions on the login.keychain file in [...]

  5. Ben says:

    GREAT! Have been pulling my hair out on this one…

    Thanks much!

  6. Siân says:

    Thank you very much. This has been getting to me for a while and I’m so glad to have fixed it, now. As Greg said, I never thought of checking the permissions.
    The instructions were simple and easy to follow. :)

  7. Heath says:

    THANK YOU! You’re a life saver! Thank you so much for posting this!

  8. Kirill Maximov says:

    Thanks a lot for the hint. Couldn’t save passwords for Tunnelblick application. On my mahcine, the the login.keychain file had ownership set to root as well.

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