Information Technology Services

Mac Keychain Issues and Password Reset

The keychain in Mac OS X is Apple's password management system. When you reset your General Computing Network (GCN) and Active Directory (AD) password (see: GCN and Campus AD password) using the Self-Service Password Resetting (SSPR) form, your Keychain password will fall out of sync. You must update the Keychain password manually.

  1. Before resetting your password, make sure your computer is connected to a GCN port (a wired connection).
  2. Turn Wireless OFF. To do this, click the Wireless icon in the top right corner and select Turn Wi-fi Off.

    Wireless pull-down menu
  3. Open your Web browser and go to the SSPR form at to reset your password.
  4. After your password is reset, click the Apple menu in the top left corner and select Shut Down. Sometimes a restart does not fully release and reset the port, so it is necessary to power down completely.

    Apple pull-down menu
  5. Turn your machine on.
  6. Login with your user name and new password.
    Note: If your new password is not initially successful, wait a few minutes and try again.
  7. A window will pop up after you login stating “The system was unable to unlock your login keychain.”  Click Create New Keychain.

  8. You may receive another pop up window stating OS X wants to use the “local items” keychain. Type in your old password here.
  9. If you set up iCloud previously, you will be prompted to enter an iCloud password.
    Note: This will not be your new password. It is the password you used when you set up iCloud.
  10. When prompted, enter the new password for any network volumes you had mounted, as well as printers. The first time you try printing a new document after a password reset, the following window will open.

    Password dialog box

    Type in your new Password, and click the box next to Remember this password in my keychain. This will store your password in the new keychain. Click OK.
  11. The next time you restart and login, you shouldn’t have any issues with the keychain until the next password reset. When you reset your password after the 90-day period, you will need to follow these instructions again.