Copy Keychain Logins & Passwords from One Mac to Another
Most Mac users are best served by using the easy Migration Assistant tool to copy all files, folders, preferences, and login data from one computer to another. This isn’t always an option though, perhaps because a hard drive is failing, or maybe you just prefer to manually migrate only very specific data from an old Mac to a new one. Aimed at advanced users, this article will focus on transferring all passwords and login information you have stored on one Mac to another Mac, effectively transferring all crucial login data that is handled by Keychain.
Transfer Keychain Data Between Macs
- From the OS X Finder of the Mac containing the original keychain file, hit Command+Shift+G to bring up Go To Folder and enter the following path:
- Copy the ser “login.keychain” file to the new Mac, do this with AirDrop, Ethernet, USB, etc
- On the new Mac, hit Command+Spacebar to open Spotlight and type “Keychain Access” then hit return, this launches the Keychain manager app
- Pull down the “File” menu and select “Add Keychain” and browse to the keychain file you copied to the new Mac, selecting Add to import the stored keychain data to the new Mac
With the keychain data imported, all of the stored logins and passwords from the old Mac should be imported into the new Mac and ready to use. You can test it by going to a web page or app where password data is typically stored and verifying that it is automatically entered.
If you have problems with OS X not remembering passwords after importing the old keychain, use the Repair feature in Keychain Access to get everything back to normal.
If you are performing the keychain transfer from a Mac that can’t be booted, locate the file directly by navigating to:
Changing USERNAME to the user name of the individual who owns the keychain file.
Finally, if you used external media like a USB drive to transfer the keychain file, you will probably want to go manually delete that since it’s never a good idea to have login information floating around.