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Before one of the most recent macOS updates, you had to manually import and export iCloud Keychain passwords. Luckily macOS added a password manager to do this automatically.

New Macs have users do this through the initial run of the Setup Assistant, transferring all iCloud Keychain passwords automatically. This Password Manager makes the process much easier.

However, you may want to add other passwords, so you might be curious about how to export keychain items from one device and import them onto another.

If you have a need to perform these actions, let’s talk about how to import and export iCloud Keychain items from one device to another.

Importing iCloud Keychain Passwords

The process of importing iCloud Keychain is straightforward. The step below will show you how.

1. From the dock, click Finder

2. Click Applications on the sidebar

3. Next, select Utilities

4. Select Keychain Access from the list of options. You can alternatively pop Keychain Access into Spotlight.

5. When prompted with a list of items to export, you can choose one of the Keychains from the top left of the screen and a Category from the top right.

An example of this would be picking the iCloud Keychain with a category of Passwords. From here, click on File, and from the dropdown menu select Import Items

6. You will be prompted with a location where you can import your passwords.

7. Once imported, the passwords should now be synced with iCloud Keychain

Exporting iCloud Keychain Passwords

Unfortunately, Keychain Access doesn’t let you export passwords and secure notes. You can only use it to export keys and certificates. Don’t worry, you’ve got other options.

You’re going to use Safari’s built-in Passwords manager to save the passwords stored on your default login keychain into a CSV file format.

You can then use that CSV file to export your passwords into a password manager of your choice. It could also come in handy as a backup in case you lose your default Keychain passwords.

Keep in mind Safari doesn’t encrypt the CSV file. This means that anyone can potentially view its contents. So once you export it to your password manager make sure to delete it from your computer or keep it in a secure place.

Follow the steps below to export your Keychain passwords using Safari.

1. Open Safari, click on Safari, and go to Preferences on the menu bar.

2. On the pop-up window click on the Passwords tab. Then, enter your Mac’s admin password or authenticate yourself using Touch ID.

passwords locked prompt on Safari

3. Select the three dots at the bottom-left corner of the screen and select Export All Passwords.

Export all passwords in Safari

4. Select Export Passwords again on the confirmation pop-up.

5. Give it a name and pick a destination for the CSV file and click Save.


That is all there is to exporting and importing iCloud Keychain passwords. The process is simple and quick, so you can have it completed across both devices in no time.

If you have any other ideas or suggestions, we encourage you to suggest them in the comments below.

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Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

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