You need a username or email address and password to login into websites and apps. With hundreds of free and premium services available in this digital world, managing passwords is one of the biggest tasks for any user. Though password manage apps are available for Mac, it is an additional option that you need to use. The simple and best option is to use the in-built password management tools in Safari browser. If you are not familiar with Safari password manager, here we will explain how to use it effectively along with importing and exporting your passwords.
Safari Password Management in Mac
Similar to Google Chrome, Firefox and Edge, Apple provides an in-built password management tool in Safari for Mac and iPhone. However, unlike other browsers, Safari stores all the passwords in iCloud Keychain and synchronize across all your devices automatically. You can find all your passwords in the browser as well as open Keychain Access app in Mac to find them. Below are some of the prominent features of Safari password manager:
- You can save passwords and synchronize across your Mac, iPhone, iPad and other Apple devices signed in with the same iCloud account.
- Edit and delete the stored passwords when needed.
- Import and export passwords for bulk editing or moving to another Mac.
- Check your passwords are compromised in data leak and update if required.
- Find reused and easy passwords and update to improve your online security.
It is a comprehensive tool within the browser. However, anyone having your administrator password can view and edit the password entries. Therefore, make sure to use the tool on your personal Mac with single access and not in family or public machines.
Saving Passwords in Safari Mac
Whenever you login to a website with username and password, Safari will prompt you to save your password in the iCloud Keychain. Click on “Save Password” button to store the password in Keychain Access app and sync across all your logged in devices. You can also opt to ignore the prompt temporarily or never save the password for that site.
Opening Safari Password Manager
When you are in Safari browser, press “Command + ,” shortcut keys. Alternatively, go to “Safari” menu and select “Preferences…” option. This will open Safari settings dialog box and click on “Passwords” tab. You will see a message like below showing that the passwords are locked. Enter the admin password for your Mac to unlock the screen.
Safari password manager will open up and show you all the saved passwords in the browser.
Viewing Passwords in Keychain Access
As mentioned, you can also open Keychain Access app and manage the saved passwords in Safari browser. Use the search box to find the password for any website and double click on the entry.
On the pop-up, select “Show password” checkbox under “Attributes” tab. You need to enter the admin password to show the saved password for that website.
That’s being said, we will not discuss further about Keychain Access in this article and focus on managing passwords within Safari browser.
Finding Compromised Passwords in Data Breach
Similar to Google Chrome and Edge, Safari also offers the suggestion to show whether your passwords are compromised in previous data breaches. You will find the following security recommendations on the left sidebar just below the website name.
- Compromised – your password was leaked in the previous data leak and you should immediately change it.
- Reused – you will find this when using same password on multiple websites. It is recommended not to use the same password for multiple services so that all your accounts will not be affected in case of data leak.
- Easily guessed – your password can be easily guessed by hackers and you should immediately change it.
You will also find a warning symbol next to the items with security issues. Click on any of the item that shows warning to get more details of the security recommendations. Make sure you have enabled, “Detect compromised passwords” checkbox so that you will find all the above security issues related to your passwords. Otherwise, Safari will not check your passwords for data leak.
Copying Saved Password
There are multiple options to edit your passwords in Safari. First, select the item you want to change the password. Hover your mouse over the password field and Safari will show you the password. Click on “Copy Password” option to copy the password to your clipboard.
Changing and Deleting Passwords
The best option is to change the password on the website and update the same in Safari. For that, click on “Change Password on Website” button to open the corresponding website in a new tab. Now login with your old password and change it to new one as per the options provided by the website. You can use password generator tools to create strong password with symbols and special characters which is hard to guess.
Alternatively, you can directly edit the password in Safari and then update on the website. Click on “Edit” button to update your password and save the changes.
Click on “Delete Password” button if you want to delete the entry from the browser. Note that you can also share the password using AirDrop to anyone nearer to you.
Import and Export Passwords in Safari Mac
Though managing individual passwords is easy, sometimes you need to update the passwords in bulk. In this case, you can download the complete list of all your passwords in a CSV file, edit them and upload the file back in Safari. This is a good option since browsers like Chrome does not provide importing option.
- When you are in the passwords section, click on the small down arrow showing below the passwords section on the left sidebar.
- You will see two options – Import Passwords and Export Passwords.
- Select “Export Passwords” to download the password file to your Mac. You will see a warning message like below indicating the passwords can be seen without any encryption in the downloaded file. Click on “Export Passwords…” button to continue.
- Select the location to save your password file and you will get another prompt to enter admin password. As you can see the message will ask you to confirm that Safari is trying to export passwords from iCloud Keychain. Enter you admin password and click “OK” button to download the file.
- By default, the file name will be “passwords.csv” which you can change during the download. Open the file using Numbers or Excel app and the file contains – title, URL, username, password and OTPAuth columns. Add or edit the data you want and save the file.
- Now, go back to Safari password section, and click on “Import Passwords…” option.
- Select your updated passwords file and import the data.
Remember, Safari will overwrite any existing entries and add the new entries. All your entries will be saved in iCloud Keychain and synchronized across all devices logged with same iCloud account.
In our opinion, Safari password manager is sufficient to manage all your passwords when you use the Mac single handedly. However, when you have to share the Mac with others like family members, anyone having access to admin password can view and modify the passwords in Safari browser. If you do not want this, you may need to use a third-party app with a master password.
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