How to Access iCloud Keychain Passwords Instantly on Mac and iPhone

If you’re like us and you deal with multiple apps and websites daily, it can be a headache to remember passwords or enter them manually for all your services. Fortunately for owners of iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Apple offers a secure way to store passwords, bank details, and other sensitive information inside ‘iCloud Keychain’ – a digital container that can be accessed at any time across any device that the users signs in with their iCloud/Apple ID account. 

When passwords are saved inside iCloud Keychain, you can them by either accessing Keychain Access from Spotlight or by going to System Preferences (Settings on iPhone/iPad) > Passwords. The former shows more info than passwords which might be unnecessary on most occasions and although the latter method is simple, there are better ways to access Keychain Passwords like using your keyboard or Menu Bar on your Mac and home screen icon or widget on an iPhone.

In this post, we’ll help you access your Keychain Passwords instantly from both these devices directly from your Mac’s or iPhone’s Home Screen. 

How to access Keychain Passwords quickly on Mac

The ability to access iCloud Keychain passwords is possible using a user-created shortcut that can be added to the Shortcuts app on your Mac with ease. Thanks to macOS Monterey’s system-wide shortcuts support, you can now add a shortcut to access passwords saved on your iCloud Keychain directly from your Mac’s keyboard or through the Menu Bar at the top.

But before we start using this shortcut, however, you will need to update your Mac to the latest version of macOS – macOS 12.0.1 Monterey. If you’re on an older version of macOS, you update it to the latest version by going to System Preferences > Software Update. 

Add Keychain Passwords to your Shortcuts app

When your Mac is running on macOS Monterey’s, you can add the Passwords shortcut to your Shortcuts app on the Mac by first clicking on this link. This should open the user-created ‘Passwords’ shortcut directly inside the Shortcuts app on your Mac. If it doesn’t, click on the ‘Get Shortcut’ button inside the webpage that opens instead. 

When the Shortcuts app opens, you should see the ‘Passwords’ shortcut window appear on top. To add this shortcut, click on the ‘Add Shortcut’ button. 

This should add the selected shortcut to the Shortcuts app under ‘All Shortcuts’. Now, you can move on to configuring the shortcut to be usable as a keyboard shortcut or from the Menu bar. 

Set up and access Keychain Passwords from your keyboard

Now that you have added the Passwords to the Shortcuts app, it’s time to configure it in such a way that you access your Keychain passwords directly from your keyboard on any screen. For this, right-click on the Passwords shortcut and select ‘Open’. 

The Passwords shortcut will now open in a full-screen window. Here, you’ll see the whole script of the shortcut and how it works. To set up a keyboard shortcut for this Passwords shortcut, click on the Settings icon at the top right corner of this window. 

This will open additional settings for the shortcut on the right sidebar. Inside this sidebar, select the ‘Details’ tab at the top and click on ‘Add Keyboard Shortcut’. 

You’ll now see a text box appear next to the ‘Run with:’ option. Tap on this text box. 

Now, enter the keyboard shortcut you want to assign to the Passwords shortcut on your Mac. Once a keyboard shortcut has been assigned, you should see the assigned keys inside the ‘Run with:’ text box. 

When the keyboard shortcut for ‘Passwords’ has been created, go ahead and close the shortcuts window on your Mac. At any time when you wish to pull up the ‘Passwords’ screen on your Mac, use the key you assigned to open up the Passwords shortcut. 

Use Keychain Passwords from Menu Bar

In addition to assigning a keyboard shortcut to ‘Passwords’, you can also configure it in such a way that it appears on the Menu bar along with other shortcuts you create or use with the Shortcuts app. For this, right-click on the Passwords shortcut and select ‘Open’.

Inside the Passwords window, click on the Settings icon at the top right corner. 

In the sidebar that appears on the right-hand side, select the ‘Details’ tab at the top and check the box adjacent to ‘Pin in Menu Bar’ to use it directly on the Menu bar on any screen. 

To access your iCloud Keychain passwords using this method, click on the Shortcuts icon from the Menu Bar at the top. 

Now, select the Passwords shortcut from the drop-down menu. 

Shortcuts will now run the Passwords script and open the Passwords window on your Mac screen. You simply have to enter your Mac password to access all of your other passwords saved on your iCloud Keychain. 

How to access Keychain Passwords quickly on iPhone

Unlike on a Mac, there’s no way you can access iCloud Keychain using your iPhone’s keyboard. Instead, you’ll have to suffice by adding a Shortcuts app icon or widget to your Home Screen. 

Add Keychain Passwords to Shortcuts app

Before we do that, you need to first add the user-created Passwords shortcut to your iPhone’s Shortcut app. For that, open this link on your iPhone and then tap on the ‘Get Shortcut’ button at the bottom of this webpage. 

This will open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone with the Passwords shortcut popping up on the screen.

On this screen, tap on the ‘Add Shortcut’ option at the bottom. 

The Passwords shortcut will now be visible on the app’s main screen. However, if you wish to access this shortcut quickly, you may have to add it to your Home Screen either as an icon or a widget. 

Use Keychain shortcut from the iOS home screen

To add the Passwords shortcut to your iOS home screen, tap on the 3-dots icon at the top right corner of the shortcut box. 

This will open the shortcut’s script on the next screen. From here, tap on the Settings icon at the top right corner. 

On the next screen, select the ‘Details’ tab at the top and tap on the ‘Add to Home Screen’ option. 

Next, tap on ‘Add’ at the top right corner. 

The Passwords shortcut will now be added to your Home Screen. You can access your iCloud Keychain passwords by simply tapping on this icon. 

You will now see the ‘Passwords’ screen from where you can see your app and website passwords by signing in with your Face ID or Touch ID. 

Use Keychain shortcut as a widget

You can also add the same Passwords shortcut as a widget to your Home Screen or Today View. For that, unlock your iPhone and long-press on an empty portion of your Home Screen. When the icons and widgets on the screen start jiggling, tap on the ‘+’ icon at the top left (top right on some devices) corner of your screen. 

This will open the Widgets popup screen. Here, scroll down on the list and select the ‘Shortcuts’ app. 

Next, find the Shortcuts widget you want to add to your home screen by swiping left/right. Once you’ve decided on a widget to add, tap on the ‘Add Widget’ button at the bottom. 

The Passwords shortcut will now appear inside the widget you selected and you can access it by simply tapping on it from your home screen. 

That’s all you need to know about accessing iCloud Keychain passwords directly on a Mac or iPhone. 

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1 Comment

  1. I now have seperate shortcuts for Credit Card information, Passwords and Secure Notes on iOS and Mac. However, I can’t get the shortcut for Credit Cards (from Safari preferences) to work on MacOS. Do you know of any method of doing this>

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