How to Import Passwords to iCloud Keychain Using a Mac

Jul 22, 2022 - 4 Comments

How to Import Passwords to iCloud Keychain

Are you planning to use iCloud Keychain for managing all your passwords? If you’ve been relying on a third-party password manager until now, you may want to move all your existing passwords to make the migration to iCloud Keychain a whole lot easier. This can be done, although it’s not exactly simple.

The iCloud Keychain works seamlessly across Apple devices. Considering they’ve now added support for Windows devices too via a browser extension, a lot more users may be interested in using it rather than a third-party option like LastPass or DashLane that requires you to pay to unlock all the features. Importing existing passwords to the iCloud Keychain has always always been a headache, but with macOS Big Sur onward, Safari gives you an easier workaround.

Don’t want to start from scratch with iCloud Keychain? We got you covered. Simply read along, as we’ll be guiding you on how to import passwords to iCloud Keychain via Safari.

Requirements to Import Passwords

The first thing you need is the CSV file for your saved passwords. If you use a service like LastPass or DashLane, you’ll be able to export your passwords as a CSV file. Almost all password managers have this option. We’ve covered the procedure for LastPass already if you’re interested in learning how it’s done.

Right now, you might be thinking that it’s easy as importing the file to Safari, but it’s really not. This is a two-step process because Safari doesn’t have the option to upload a CSV file. However, what it does have is the ability to import passwords and settings from Google Chrome. Now, Google Chrome on the other hand lets you import passwords from a file. Therefore, you’ll need to install Chrome on your Mac too to use these files, but you can remove it once you complete this procedure.

Importing Passwords to Chrome from CSV File

Since you now have a basic understanding of what we’re about to do here to get your existing passwords on iCloud Keychain, let’s check out the important steps:

  1. Launch Google Chrome on your Mac and type “chrome://flags” in the address bar. This will give you access to Chrome’s experimental features. Now, use the search bar to find the “Password Import” setting. Change it from the Default setting to “Enabled”.

    How to Import Passwords to iCloud Keychain
  2. Next, type “chrome://settings/passwords” in the address bar and hit the Enter key. Once you’re in the menu, click on the three dots icon next to “Saved Passwords” as shown below.

    How to Import Passwords to iCloud Keychain
  3. Now, click on the “Import” option that pops up. This will launch a new Finder window on your Mac which you can use to browse and select the CSV file that contains your passwords.

    How to Import Passwords to iCloud Keychain

Just make sure the passwords are imported to Chrome and you’re halfway there. This is pretty much all you needed Google Chrome for. Let’s move on.

How to Move Imported Passwords from Chrome to Safari

Moving all the passwords that you just imported in Chrome to Safari is the easiest part of the entire procedure. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Safari on your Mac and go to File -> Import From -> Google Chrome from the menu bar.

    How to Import Passwords to iCloud Keychain
  2. You’ll now get a pop-up with the option to import your bookmarks, history, and passwords. Since you only want to deal with passwords, just leave everything else unchecked and click “Import”.

    How to Import Passwords to iCloud Keychain
  3. Now, you’ll be prompted to enter your default “login” keychain password. This is the same as your Mac user password. Type it in and choose “Allow” to begin the import.

    How to Import Passwords to iCloud Keychain
  4. Once complete, you’ll see how many passwords were imported from Chrome.

    How to Import Passwords to iCloud Keychain

There you go. You’ve successfully imported your existing passwords from a third-party service to iCloud Keychain. Hopefully, this wasn’t too completed for you.

Within minutes, if not seconds, all the password data that you imported from Chrome will be uploaded and stored in the iCloud Keychain securely. Thanks to iCloud, these passwords will be ready for use on your other Apple devices too, such as your iPhone and iPad.

At the moment, this is literally the only way to migrate passwords from a third-party app or service to iCloud Keychain. If it wasn’t for Safari’s Chrome import option that was introduced with macOS Big Sur, this wouldn’t have been possible either.

Until recently, the only way to add your existing passwords was by manually inputting the details in the Keychain Access app or in Safari. While this is good enough for adding two or three passwords, it’s not really a viable solution for someone with too many online accounts.

Do you feel motivated to switch to iCloud Keychain completely now that you know that it’s not hard to migrate your passwords? What password manager have you been using so far? Share with us your experiences, drop your personal opinions on various password managers, and leave your valuable feedback in the comments section down below.


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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Daniel says:

    Not exactly easy, and certainly not reliable. iCloud as continually having trouble. keeping devices in sync. Not a place I would trust my passwords, at least not yet

  2. Richard Aubry says:

    There is now a much more easy way. Apple has added the possibility of direct import and export to or from a CSV file. I don’t remember when this option appeared, but it is present in the current macOS Monterey.
    Just go to System Preferences > Passwords; below the window with the list of passwords, there is a menu (three dots and a down arrow) containing the commands for importing or exporting passwords.

  3. Bayswater says:

    How is the CSV formatted? Useful to know if you have a file, not a password manager, with passwords and want to import it to Chrome, Safari and Keychain.

  4. Grover Nunnery says:

    I’ve been using 1Password for years. I’m very comfortable with its use. It’s super simple to add new items, and even customize some when desired. It’s like magic when usernames, passwords, or even credit card numbers, are requested. Sure it’s an annual subscription, but it’s reasonable and covers all of my devices. It would require something amazing to make me look elsewhere.

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