Image: Apple

Built-in password managers like iCloud Keychain found on Apple’s platforms remain popular, even as the use of various password manager apps have come and gone over the years. Many users choose the built-in versions of password managers because they’re convenient and often more integrated with the platform than third-party apps can be; however, iCloud Keychain has often lacked features that other password managers have long had.

Starting with iOS 15, Apple began adding additional features to iCloud Keychain, starting with the ability to add twofactor authentication codes (the 6-digit codes that are entered along with usernames and passwords on websites to verify your login). Now, with iOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3 (currently in beta), Apple has added another feature to iCloud Keychain: Notes.

Notes are an important feature to password managers because it allows you to store important account details along with usernames and passwords. Here’s just a few ideas of what could be stored in a note along with account login credentials:

  • Notes containing the security questions that we all inevitably forget the details for (now you’ll never forget which street you drove your first car on, or what your aunt’s godmother’s last name is).
  • Important account details such as an account number that’s not necessarily used to login with.
  • 2FA (two-factor authentication) backup codes that can be used to restore your account in the event that your 2FA codes stop working.

How to add notes to your iCloud Keychain on iOS 15.4

To begin adding notes on iOS 15.4, perform these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Select Passwords, then the password you’d like to add a note to
  3. Select “Add Note” if the note field isn’t already present
  4. Type your note (Figure A)

Figure A

Adding a note is simple inside of the Settings app’s Passwords section.

How to add notes to passwords in macOS 12.3

You can add or view the same notes synced via iCloud on macOS as well. In macOS 12.3 or newer, do the following:

  1. Open the System Preferences app (available from the Apple Menu)
  2. Select Passwords, then the password you’d like to add or view a note for
  3. Click “Edit” to view the details about the password, including the notes field (Figure B)

When you’re ready to add or update your note, type in the changes in the Notes field, then click Save to have the changes synced via iCloud.

Figure B

The notes field is available in macOS in System Preferences and allows access to the same notes entered in iOS and vice versa.

How to sync your iCloud Keychain

When you add a note here, it will synchronize to all of your devices with iCloud Keychain enabled. To enable iCloud Keychain sync, do these steps:

  1. Open Settings | Apple ID | iCloud
  2. Enable the Keychain switch.

This is great for storing all of those bits of information about your account that you might need to access it later.

iOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3 are an upcoming update from Apple that is expected in early Spring 2022. These features are now available in the public betas of iOS 15 and macOS 12 available to download from the Apple Beta Program.