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.  

 

Although this message can seem like an annoying popup, it’s a lot deeper than that. As the system failed to read and accept the password, the message shows that your security could be prone to risk. To ensure your account and all saved passwords are safe, it’s a good idea to fix the internal problem causing the “accountsd wants to use the login keychain” popups to show. 

 

In this article, we'll help you fix the "accountsd wants to use the login keychain" issue. We’ll 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. It provides various account-related services for iOS and macOS, including saving your passwords, synchronizing accounts with iCloud, and more.  

 

But some forms of Mac malware disguise themselves as authentic services, and a few have the potential to amend regular processes with harmful components, without you having a clue. Things may take a drastic turn if the virus aims to attack the user's keychain. To fix this issue from getting to the keychain, you have to scan your Mac for any potential malware and remove it safely.

 

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.

How to remove pop-ups from the browser step-by-step

 

The web browser settings that the virus took control of will likely be restored to their default status. Even though this measure will remove a lot of your browsing history, temporary data, and customizations, you should delete any remaining malware from the browser.

 

This is how to remove pop-ups from the browser step-by-step:

Remove pop-ups in Safari

  1. Remove the “accountsd wants to use the login keychain” message from Safari
  2. Open Browser > Safari Menu > Preferences
Safari User Interface

3. In Preferences, select the Advanced tab and click the option that says “Show Develop menu in menu bar”

Safari User Interface

4. Now you’ve added the Develop tab in the Safari menu, select Develop > Empty Caches

Safari User Interface

5. Select History > Clear History in the Safari tab

Safari User Interface

6. In the drop-down menu, select all history > Clear History

Safari User Interface

7. Now, go back to Safari Preferences and select the Privacy tab > Manage Website Data

Safari Preferences User Interface

8. In this browser, there's a list with stored data of your internet activity. You may be logged out of some sites and see a change in website activity after the process is complete. If that’s not an issue, select Remove All

Safari Preferences User Interface

9. To finish the procedure, reboot Safari.

Remove pop ups in Google Chrome

  1. Open Chrome, select the Customize and control Google Chrome’ icon in the far right, then click settings Settings
Google Chrome User Interface

2. Select Advanced > Reset Settings

Google Chrome User Interface

3. Select “Restore settings to their original defaults”

Google Chrome User Interface

4. Click Reset settings to confirm the reset

Google Chrome User Interface

5. Once this is complete, reboot Chrome and check for malware.

Remove pop ups in Firefox

  1. Open Firefox, select the icon in the far right > Help
Firefox User Interface

2. Select More troubleshooting information

Firefox User Interface

3. Select Refresh Firefox

Firefox User Interface

4. Proceed to confirm the reset

Firefox User Interface

5. When the process has completed, open up Firefox and check for any malicious activity.

Stay protected with MacKeeper’s Antivirus

You want to feel secure when using your Mac. After all, it’s filled with sensitive data, and for many of us, it’s our lives. MacKeeper’s Antivirus makes it easy to feel safe. It checks for malicious files 24/7 and blocks them instantly. Not to mention the bonus of knowing which downloads are secure before you open them.

 

Here’s how to protect your data with MacKeeper’s Antivirus:

  1. Download MacKeeper
  2. Open MacKeeper and select Antivirus in the side panel
  3. Click Launch Antivirus
MacKeeper Antivirus User Interface

4. Here you have the option to enable real-time protection. This may slow down your performance, but you can feel safer as it sends alerts when opening an infected file. Continue to click Next if you wish to enable it, select Later if not.

MacKeeper Antivirus User Interface

5. Select Open Preferences

MacKeeper Antivirus User Interface

6. Click the lock and enter your password if prompted, then click Allow

Security & Privacy tab User Interface

7. In the Privacy tab, tick the box to the left of MacKeeper Real-time Protection

Security & Privacy tab User Interface

8. Now, click Start Scan

MacKeeper Antivirus User Interface

9. Select Move To Quarantine

MacKeeper Antivirus User Interface

10. Finally, click Restart to finish the process.

MacKeeper Antivirus User Interface

Prevent the existence of malicious files with Smart Uninstaller

Sometimes, viruses manipulate software and stop you from deleting the app in the normal function. So It’s important to remove harmful malware safely. MacKeeper’s Smart Uninstaller removes unwanted plugins, browser extensions, and leftover files, allowing you to delete malicious code safely.

 

Here’s how to get rid of malicious files with Smart Uninstaller:

  1. Download MacKeeper
  2. Open MacKeeper and select Smart Uninstaller
  3. Click Start Scan
Smart Uninstaller Interface

4. Find the infected software, select the box to the left of it, and then click Remove Selected

MacKeeper Smart Uninstaller User Interface

5. Select Remove

MacKeeper Smart Uninstaller User Interface

6. Now the software is deleted safely, check for malicious activity.

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.

Possible consequences of taking these tips into action

The plain truth is, when dealing with malware, it can lead you to take measures such as the reset or the creation of a new login keychain. The latter can often affect the loss of saved passwords, including passwords from Safari extensions, iCloud keychains, secure notes, email accounts, and other apps that require login information. In turn, you’ll have to be ready to enter all of your passwords from scratch to use the accounts again. But it’s not a big deal compared to your gains, right?

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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