Mac Fixes

How to fix the Mac "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" message

Do you keep getting the "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" message? You're not alone. Many people are reporting this issue, which isn't just frustrating but can also impede your workflow.  

 

In this article, we'll help you fix the "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" message. We will also cover what causes this error and how to prevent it from happening in the future.  

 

Before we start  

 

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What is accountsd?

Accountsd is a system daemon that manages accounts and passwords on your Mac. A system daemon that provides various account-related services for iOS and macOS, accountsd include managing accounts and passwords, synchronizing accounts with iCloud, and more.  

 

However, for the Accountsd to work, it needs to store information about your accounts and passwords in a keychain. But what is the keychain, and how does it work?

What is the keychain?

A file that stores your log-in details and other sensitive information, keychains are useful tools for most Mac users. Keychains help you remember and manage your passwords and keep sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and bank account details.

 

Stored in your home folder, keychains are encrypted, so only you can access them. When you log in to your account, the system decrypts the keychain and uses the information it contains to log you in.  

 

Although having keychains can put you at risk in the event of a data breach, most people still find that it’s worth using due to its convenience.

Why is this message displaying on your Mac?

There are multiple reasons you might see the "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" message on your Mac. Here are some of the most common:

  • Your accountsd daemon may be trying to access the login keychain, but it doesn't have the correct permissions.  
  • You have multiple accounts on your Mac.  
  • You've recently changed your passwords.  

When you change your password, the accountsd daemon will try to update the login keychain with the new password. Then, you will see the "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" message if it doesn't have the correct permissions.

How to Fix "Accountsd Wants to Use the Login Keychain"

Thankfully, there are a few ways you can fix the "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" message. From resetting a few things or re-installing your entire macOS, we will go through each method and explain how to do it.  

  • Turn the keychain auto-lock off
  • Create a new login keychain
  • Use Disk Utility First Aid
  • Reset local keychain
  • Remove iCloud keychain
  • Delete accountsd
  • Re-install macOS

Turn keychain auto-lock off

One way to fix the "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" message is to turn off Keychain Auto-Lock, allowing accountsd to access the login keychain without your permission.  

 

To turn off Keychain Auto-Lock, follow these steps:  

  1. On your Mac, open Finder
  2. Search for the Keychain Access app
  3. In the left part of the window, select login
Keychain Access login section

4. Click Edit

Keychain Access Edit tab

5. Select Change Settings for Keychain “login”

Keychain Access login app change settings option

6. In the pop-up, uncheck the boxes next to Lock after x minutes of inactivity and Lock when sleeping

Keychain Access app auto lock features

7. Select Save.

Create a new login keychain

If you've turned off Keychain Auto-Lock, but you're still encountering the message, you can try creating a new login keychain. With this, you can replace the existing login keychain with a new one.  

 

To create a new login keychain, follow these steps:  

  1. Open the Keychain Access app
  2. In the menu bar, click File
  3. In the drop-down menu, click New Keychain
Keychain Access new keychain

4. Enter a name for the new keychain

Keychain Access Save as New Keychain option

5. Click Create

Keychain Access new password

6. Type a password for the new keychain. Make sure the Password Strength is “Strong”

 

7. Verify the new password

 

8. Click OK.

 

After creating the new login keychain, accountsd should have the correct permissions to access it.

Use Disk Utility First Aid

If accountsd is having trouble accessing your keychain, you can try using Disk Utility First Aid to fix the problem. Disk Utility First Aid is a built-in tool that can troubleshoot and repair your keychain.  

 

To use Disk Utility First Aid, follow these steps:  

  1. On your Mac, launch Spotlight
  2. Type and launch Disk Utility
  3. Select First Aid
Disk Utility First Aid tab

4. On the pop-up provided, choose Run

 Run Disk Utility First Aid popup

5. On the second warning, select Continue

Run Disk Utility First Aid popup

6. Wait for the Disk Utility scan to finish

Disk Utility First Aid scanning screen

7. Once the First Aid scan finishes, click Done.

Disk Utility First Aid finished scanning screen

If the tool alerts you of any problems, click Repair to fix them. Then, accountsd should now have the correct permissions to access your keychain.

Reset local keychain

If you still see the "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" message, you can try resetting your keychain password, which will create a new default keychain with no passwords or other sensitive information stored in it.  

 

To reset your keychain password, follow these steps:  

  1. Open the Keychain Access app
  2. In the menu bar, click Preferences
Keychain access menu options

3. Select Reset My Default Keychain

Keychain access preferences tab

4. When prompted, enter your user password and click OK.

 

Next, your Mac will now reset your keychain password. Then, accountsd should have the correct permissions to access it.

Remove iCloud keychain

If you're using iCloud Keychain, you can try removing it and seeing if that fixes the "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" concern. iCloud Keychain is a cloud-based keychain that stores your passwords and other sensitive information in iCloud.  

 

To remove iCloud Keychain, follow these steps:  

  1. On your Mac, open the iCloud Preferences panel
  2. Click the Accounts tab
  3. Next to Keychain, uncheck the box.  

Finally, the iCloud Keychain will be disabled, and accountsd should have the correct permissions to access the login keychain. Bear in mind that removing your iCloud Keychain can also cause your Mail app to have issues.

Delete accountsd

Should the "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" message refuse to disappear, you can try deleting the accountsd daemon. Doing this will remove accountsd from your Mac and prevent it from trying to access the login keychain.  

 

To delete accountsd, follow these steps:

  1. On your Mac, open the Terminal app
  2. Enter this command: “sudo killall -KILL accountsd”
Mac Terminal with password

3. Enter your user password when prompted

 

4. Press Return.

 

Afterward, if the accountsd is still not deleted from your Mac, restart your computer to see if this has fixed the problem.  

 

To restart your Mac, follow these steps:

  1. In the upper-left corner of your screen, click the Apple logo
Apple Logo options

2. Select Restart

 

3. On the pop-up, click Restart to confirm

Mac restart confirmation screen

4. Wait until your Mac turns off and on again.

Reinstall macOS

You can try erasing and reinstalling macOS if you are desperate to get rid of the pesky "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" message. Although you should only try this as a last resort, this will delete accountsd and all other system files from your Mac.

 

To erase your macOS, follow these steps:  

  1. On your Mac, launch Spotlight
  2. Type and launch Disk Utility
Disk Utility spotlight search screen

3. In the toolbar, click Erase

Disk Utility Erase

4. Follow the instructions on the screen.

 

Once you confirm your decision, Disk Utility will erase your hard drive, including accountsd and all other system files from your Mac. Aside from erasing your hard drive, your Mac’s Disk Utility offers a variety of other repair solutions.

 

Then, you can proceed to reinstall macOS by following these steps:  

  1. Insert the macOS installer disk into your computer
  2. Restart your Mac
  3. While your Mac boots, hold down the Option key
  4. Select the macOS installer disk
  5. When prompted, click Continue
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions.

With a fresh macOS installation, you'll have an almost brand-new Mac. If done correctly, you shouldn't see the "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" message.  

 

Aside from this, reinstalling your macOS can help you resolve additional issues with your Mac, such as your trackpad not working.

Get rid of the pesky "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" message

Although the "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" message can be frustrating, but it's usually not indicative of a severe problem. While this concern can often be resolved by resetting your keychain password or deleting accountsd, it is possible that there would be times you may need to reinstall your macOS or contact Apple Support.

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