Security

How to use Safari's suggested passwords feature

You might not know this, but the Safari browser, by way of the iCloud Keychain, has a built-in password manager.

From the office of "Why haven't other browsers thought of this?" comes a feature found in the Safari browser that other browsers might want to consider. The feature is called Suggested passwords. This built-in tool offers you a strong, random password you can use, when creating a new login for a site or service. To make this feature even more appealing, the suggested password will then be stored in your iCloud Keychain, so you don't have to write down that strong password (which you shouldn't do) or memorize it (which you would have trouble doing). Effectively, what Safari offers (in conjunction with iCloud) is a built-in password manager. You might scoff at this notion, but it works and it works well.

Let me show you how to make use of this Safari browser feature. If you're a user of Safari, and you don't currently use a password manager, I highly suggest allowing this feature into your daily routine.

How to get a suggested password

This is really, really simple. When you land on a site (using Safari, of course) that requires a password, click on the password section of the login and you'll see a key drop-down (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

The key drop-down, ready to serve.

Click on the drop-down and then click Suggest New Password. The drop-down will reveal a Safari-suggested password (Figure B). If you choose to use that password, click on it and it will automatically paste into the password section of the login and then saved to your iCloud Keychain.

Figure B

Figure B

A newly suggested password, thanks to Safari.

That's all there is to getting and using a password. Now we have to retrieve it.

Retrieving your password

Hopefully, you didn't have Safari save that password. Why? Because that's not safe. Anyone with access to your laptop would then have access to that site. So don't allow Safari to save the newly-generated, strong and random password. You can, however, have that password saved to your iCloud Keychain (which you should, unless you're using a third-party password manager).

That being the case, how do you recall that too-complicated-to-be-memorized password? That's where iCloud comes in. Thanks to iCloud, those passwords will be automatically synced to your keychain on your macOS device. Here's how to retrieve it.

  1. Click on the Launchpad icon on the dock.
  2. Search for keychain.
  3. Click on the Keychain Access entry.
  4. Click on the iCloud entry in the left pane.
  5. Locate the login you want to reveal.
  6. Double-click on the entry in question.
  7. In the resulting window (Figure C), click Show password.
  8. When prompted, enter your local (macOS) user password.
  9. Enjoy your newly-revealed password.

Figure C

Figure C

The entry for the suggested password Safari created.

No excuse

And that, my friends, is how you make use of the suggested passwords feature built into Safari and iCloud. With this user friendly tool, there's no longer an excuse to not use a password manager on your macOS devices. Besides, the time for using memorizable, easy passwords is over. Now's the time to start working with very challenging passwords that are harder to crack. Keep your use accounts safe with the help of Safari's suggested passwords.

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About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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