How To Disable the Keychain on a Mac or Macbook
Keychain works as an all-encompassing passwords manager on iPhones, iPads, and Macs. It provides a safe place for your credit card information, Wi-Fi logins, and other sensitive data. So why would you want to disable it?
Perhaps you want to share your Mac with a family member or a friend. With Keychain on, the person gets access to all your accounts. To avoid the issue, you can allow others to log in as guest users. But many prefer to disable Keychain, just to be on the safe side.
Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to completely disable Keychain on your Mac. But, there are some workarounds we’ve come up to help. In this article we’ll review a few methods to securing your passwords and taking control of the keychain.
Managing Keychain on a Mac
There are several ways to disable Keychain on a Mac. Let’s look at some easy methods:
How to Delete Keychains
To begin, we’ll show you the closest option to disabling Keychain on your Mac. For this method, we’ll start out by accessing the Utilities folder in your Mac’s Finder.
- Open the Utility folder and double-click on ‘Keychain Access.’
- Click on ‘Login’ in the upper left-hand corner if the function is locked. Then, input your Mac password.
- Choose a password that you’d like to delete and right-click it. Then, click ‘Delete [file name].
Use System Preferences
Click or tap on System Preferences and select iCloud. Scroll down the iCloud menu and uncheck the box in front of Keychain.
A drop-down window appears, asking you what to do with all your passwords. You can permanently delete them, keep them for later use, or cancel if you have second thoughts. This action doesn’t affect the passwords across other Apple devices.
Launch Safari and go to the Preferences menu, Command + Comma on your keyboard.
Select AutoFill first and uncheck the boxes in front of the AutoFill web forms. You can also edit specific information by clicking on the button on the right. You might be asked to provide the Mac user password.
With AutoFill out of the way, proceed to Passwords, enter your user password, and uncheck the box in front of “AutoFill user names and passwords”.
This menu also allows you to remove information for individual accounts. Just click on the account and select Remove from the bottom of the window.
Trick: Once you click on an account (on Facebook, for example), your password gets revealed. You can use this option to remind yourself of the password if you need it on a different device.
Launch Chrome and hit Cmd + comma again to access Preferences. Scroll to the very bottom of the page and select Advanced.
Scroll down some more and click Manage Passwords, under Passwords and Forms. Click on the master switch to toggle it off (the label to look for says “On”) and do the same for Auto Sign-in.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to disable Autofill settings under Passwords and Forms as well. This is where your addresses and credit card information get stored on Google Chrome.
Use Keychain Access
Press Command + Space on your keyboard and type ‘key’ in the search bar. Click on the first app that pops up in the results to access it.
Go to File and select “Delete Keychain login.” This action is like the mother of all Keychain switches since it deletes all the passwords, login data, and everything else you have stored in Keychain.
If you want to remove specific information, select Passwords, Secure Notes, or Keys under Category and hit the delete option.
Disabling Keychain on an iPhone
It’s easy to purge your Mac from all saved passwords, login info, and other sensitive data. What if you want to do the same on your iPhone as well? The same method applies to iPads, but we’re using an iPhone for illustration purposes.
Launch the Settings app and tap the Apple ID menu to access more options. Then select iCloud.
Once inside the iCloud window, swipe down and tap on Keychain to access the toggle button.
Once again, hit the toggle button to disable the feature and you’re good to go. In some cases, you are required to provide an Apple ID password to confirm these actions.
Note: On an iPad, you’ll also be asked to keep or delete information from your iPhone.
Things You Should Know About Keychain Safety
Unlike some third-party solutions, Apple Keychain is a password management tool you can really trust and there are rarely any problems. To keep your data safe, Keychain utilizes a 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard, and you can also get two-factor authentication.
Plus Apple uses end-to-end encryption. This means that the information is protected by a unique device passcode and key, and you are the only person who knows them.
The Key to a Password-Free Mac
We all use a staggering number of passwords and other sensitive data. It’s almost impossible to keep all of it in your mind, and this is where Apple’s Keychain lends a helping hand.
However, there’s a chance that someone might abuse the info to peek into your accounts. Now you know how to prevent that, so you can lend your Mac to a friend without needing to worry.