Keychain Access Not Responding, How to Fix Without Losing Your Passwords

Several users have reported technical difficulties with Keychain. One of the common difficulties includes a problem where the app fails to respond when launched.

More specifically, Keychain Access stops responding when trying to open or use the app. Likewise, the app may seem frozen or take a long time to load and open. And lastly, the app may quit unexpectedly.

See also: Slow iCloud Keychain Passwords/Forms Autofills On Mac

Keychain Access is a built-in app. For a lot of macOS users, it is an essential app as it stores your usernames and passwords.

Keychain Access

In this article, we are explaining what to do if the Keychain Access application isn’t working anymore.

Please try these troubleshooting steps below. Furthermore, after trying each step, try to open Keychain Access again to see if you’ve fixed your issue. You can open it by going to the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.

1. Restart your Mac

You can restart your Mac Restart from the Apple menu. Restarting is a simple but effective method to fix these types of problems.

2. Update macOS

Updating your Mac may resolve this problem.

  • If your Mac has macOS Mojave or later: Open System Preferences and click Software Update.
  • If your Mac has macOS High Sierra or earlier: Open the App Store on your Mac and click Updates.

3. Safe Mode

You may be able to fix this problem by using Safe Mode. Here is how:

  • Turn off the Mac.
  • Press the power button and immediately press and hold the Shift key as well.
  • Keep holding the Shift key until you see the login window.
  • When you see the login screen, release the key.
  • Login.
  • Now test your Keychain problem. Does it work in Safe Mode?
  • Now restart your Mac normally, do not press the Shift key.
  • Test your problem again.

4. Delete Keychain Access preferences

Your problem may be caused by the corrupt preference files. Here is how you can do this:

  • Go to the Finder.
  • On your keyboard, press and hold the Option key.
  • While pressing the Option key, click Go and Library.
  • Then click Preferences.
  • Find the file named the file com.apple.keychainaccess.plist. Do not worry, this only stores preferences it does not contain your passwords.
  • Move this file to your Desktop.
  • Restart your Mac.
  • Test your problem. Can you open Keychain Access now? If not, you may want to put back the preference file you moved to the Desktop.

5. Reset the SMC

If you are still having this problem, try to reset the SMC on your Mac. Here is how:

How you reset the SMC depends on the fact if your computer has the Apple T2 Security Chip. If you are not sure, which is normal, here is how you can check:

  1. You can check this by using System Information.
  2. Click the Apple menu.
  3. Click About This Mac.
  4. Click the Overview tab.
  5. Click System Report. (You can also launch it from the Utilities folder).
  6. In the left sidebar, select Hardware
  7. Click Controller or iBridge.
  8. If your computer has the T2 chip, it will say Model Name Apple T2 chip. If your computer does not have it, it will say “this computer does not contain any Controller device”.
Apple T2 Chip

Mac notebook computers with the T2 Chip:

  • Turn off the Mac.
  • On your built-in keyboard, press and hold the following keys: ControlOption on the left side of the keyboard and Shift (on the right side of your keyboard).
  • Keep holding the keys for 7 seconds (ignore it if your Mac turns on).
  • Now, in addition to the three keys, press and hold the power button too.
  • Press and hold the Control-Option-Shift-Power buttons for seven seconds.
  • Then release all keys.
  • Wait 5 seconds.
  • Turn on your Mac by pressing the power button.
Reset SMC

Mac notebook computers without the T2 chip

Does your computer have a removable or non-removable battery? Please follow the steps below:

If your battery is non-removable:

  • Turn off your Mac.
  • Using the built-in keyboard, press and hold the ShiftControlOption keys on the left side of the keyboard.
  • Then press and hold the power key too.
  • Keep holding ht eShift-Control-Option-Power keys for 10 seconds.
  • Then release all keys.
  • Wait 5 seconds.
  • Turn on your Mac.
Reset SMC

If your battery is removable:

  • Turn off your Mac.
  • Remove the battery.
  • Press and hold the power key for five seconds.
  • Reconnect the battery.
  • Turn on your Mac by pressing the power button.

Mac desktop computers (all models with or without the T2 chip):

  • Turn off the Mac.
  • Disconnect the power cord.
  • Wait 15 seconds.
  • Reconnect the power cord.
  • Wait 5 seconds.
  • Turn on your Mac by pressing the power button.

See also: Find Wi-Fi password on Mac.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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1 thought on “Keychain Access Not Responding, How to Fix Without Losing Your Passwords”

  1. I was having password trouble for the past few days and spent a LOT of time looking for a solution in apple support and other resources brought up in a google search. They either resulted in losing all my saved passwords, or required my apple ID password, which I didn’t have because of the keychain access problem.

    As I was playing around with different search terms, this article appeared. I followed the steps in it and solved the problem in less than two minutes. I am so grateful for your help!

    Reply

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