How to use iCloud Keychain to save passwords and credit cards in iOS 7

iCloud Keychain iCloud toggle

iOS 7.0.3 introduced a new method of storing passwords, usernames and credit card details, called iCloud Keychain. This password manager stores your details in the cloud and automatically syncs them across all of your devices. Here’s how it works:

iCloud Keychain was introduced with iOS 7.0.3 and OS X Mavericks. When the update is installed on your device, iOS will ask if you’d like to set up and enable iCloud Keychain. This involves setting up a four-digit passcode and entering your mobile phones number. Apple will then send a verification code to the number confirming your identity.

The first device used to access iCloud Keychain will be nominated as the master device. That means whenever you setup iCloud Keychain on a secondary device, it will need to be approved on the master device before it can access your details. This involves entering the four-digit password used to setup iCloud Keychain, and also entering a verification code sent by Apple to the master device. It sounds complicated, but in practice takes only seconds and ensures no one else can access your iCloud Keychain details.

Read on for a step-by-step tutorial to setting up and using iCloud Keychain…


1. iCloud

If you didn’t setup iCloud Keychain during the update/installation process, open the Settings app, select iCloud then tap the Keychain option. On the following screen toggle the switch to On.

iCloud Keychain iCloud toggle


2. Setting up Keychain

If you’re not already logged into iCloud then your device will ask you to enter your Apple ID details. Following this process, you will be prompted to create a four-digit passcode to keep your iCloud Keychain details secure. This can be the existing passcode used to lock your device, or you can set up an additional passcode. You will also be asked to confirm your identify via a SMS message which Apple will automatically send to your device.

iCloud Keychain SMS


3. Adding additional devices

It’s possible to add multiple devices to iCloud Keychain, including your iPad, iPod touch or Mac. When adding an additional device you will be asked to enter the four-digit passcode used on the master device, then enter the verification code which is also sent to the master device via a SMS message. Once both have been entered and verified, iCloud Keychain is fully setup and ready to use.


4. Always AutoFill

Before going any further, it’s a good idea to tell Keychain to always save and enter your details – even on websites that request information not to be saved. To do this, open the Settings app, select Safari, tap Passwords & AutoFill then toggle the Always Allow switch to ON. iCloud Keychain will now save your log-in details for every applicable website.

Saved Passwords


5. Using iCloud Keychain

To start using iCloud Keychain, just visit a website that asks for you to log-in or enter payment details. After entering your details for the first time, Keychain will ask if you would like to save and sync them across all of your devices. After confirming, Safari will automatically fill in your details next time you visit the website.

Save password in iCloud Keychain


6. See all your saved passwords

You can see what details have been saved in iCloud Keychain by opening the Settings app, selecting Safari, tapping Passwords & AutoFill, then tapping the Saved Passwords option. On the following pane you can see which website account details are stored in the cloud. To see exactly what username and password is being used for each particular site, tap on the website then enter your four-digit passcode. Usernames and passwords can’t be edited from this panel, but you can copy and paste them by tapping and holding on the grey text, then selecting the Copy option from the pop-up panel above your finger.

Saved Password panel


7. See your saved credit card details

Similarly, to see your saved credit card details, open the Settings app, select Safari, tap Passwords & AutoFill then tap the Saved Credit Cards option. From the following pane you can view every credit card saved in iCloud Keychain. You can also add an additional card by tapping the Add Credit Card button then entering its information into the form.

Saved Credit Cards panel


8. Delete a password or credit card

To remove website account details or credit cards, visit either the Saved Passwords or Saved Credit Cards panel then tap the Edit button in the top right corner of the screen. Next, tap on the account or card you wish to remove, then tap the Delete button in the top left corner.

Delete passwords iCloud Keychain


9. Update the details for a website

Updating the details for a website isn’t done via the Settings app, instead visit the website you wish to update then log in using your new details. iCloud Keychain will ask if you would like to update the existing details in a pop-up panel at the bottom of the screen.

Update password in iCloud Keychain