How to Make Safari Remember Passwords

So I love using Safari to browse the Internet, but one little quirk that I kept running across was that some websites I load which require a username and password to not get saved into Keychain.

Keychain, for those of you who don’t, is the utility on OS X that stores all your login information for websites, email programs, etc. In Windows, Internet Explorer can also save your passwords for websites. but it’s all stored locally inside IE.

On Macs, when you visit a website and Safari asks you if you want to save your username and password, it’s actually stored in the Keychain utility. Now most of the time, you’ll get asked if you want to save login info, but sometimes you won’t!

I had several websites that I visited constantly and kept retyping all my login information because Safari would not save it for me. I finally decided to stop being lazy and just do it manually.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the simple steps to get Safari to remember a password for a particular website. First, click on the Applications folder on your desktop and then click Utilities.

Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 12.52.49 PM.png

Then click on the Keychain Access button.

Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 12.53.09 PM.png

On the left hand side, click on login under Keychains.

Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 12.55.34 PM.png

Now click the + (plus) icon down at the very bottom of the window. It’s below the list box that shows you all the current items in the keychain.

Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 12.57.02 PM.png

Now all you have to do is enter three pieces of information: the website, the username and the password. It should look something like this:

Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 12.58.48 PM.png

You can also click on the little key icon next to the password box and it will bring up the password assistant. It can help you create a strong password that is easy to remember.

Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 1.00.39 PM.png

Of course, if you already have a password for that particular site, you really don’t need the password assistant. Now that’s it! Go ahead and close Keychain and open Safari. Go to the website and begin typing the username. A message will pop up:

Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 1.04.07 PM.png

Safari will ask you if you will allow it access to confidential information stored in “website name” in your keychain. Go ahead and click Always Allow and now whenever you visit the website, just start typing the first letter of the username and it’ll automatically fill in the rest! Enjoy!

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  1. George says:

    A very good guide, however the window message won’t pop up !.

  2. Connie says:

    Everything is good until the end when this doesn't work – the message doesn't pop up asking if I want to save the password nor does it fill anything in….my passwords are stored for everything else with no problem except for one website that I use several times a day. I tried this once before and it shows all the info in the keychain, so I deleted it and started again but it still doesn't work. Any suggestions? thanks!!!

  3. rick says:

    Same comment as George and Connie – how is this supposed to work?

  4. Sherie says:

    It would work for me either.. a different way is to press the Safari button at the top and select preferences, then press autofill and tick the box. When you next go to a website that requires a username/ password it will ask if you want to remember it.. select yes..

  5. Gary says:

    Very clear explanation but it does not work at the end. All the information is in the keychain but the pop up box in safari does not appear. Any suggestions?

  6. Neil says:

    George and Connie,

    I thought I had the same problem. The solution is that you have to type in

    the username and password again, when you have finished and hit tab

    the 'save' box pops up asking if you want to save, just tick, and your good to go.

  7. David says:

    Make sure under Safari|Preferences|AutoFill that "User name and passwords is checked".

  8. Belen says:

    After doing what this page says and with Safari opened, click on "Safari" button (on the top left of the screen next to the Apple icon). Choose "Preferences", click "Autofill" and click the option in the middle "User names and passwords". That should work :)

    • Michael says:

      It still doesn’t work. All info is in keychain, but the prompt never appears to ask if I want to save the PW. The prompt just doesn’t ever appear for some websites. I have “User name and passwords” checked but it still doesn’t work. any suggestions?

  9. Rpm says:

    Great, worked for me.
    Now, how can I get this to work on my iPad?

  10. David says:

    Doesn’t work
    Should say “Don’t bother with a crud browser like safari and simply use firefox”
    Worked on firefox no probs.

  11. Ponta says:

    SOmetimes the username and password will appear blank; either hit the down-arrow key while in the username text box, or else type in the first character of the username; the autofill will probably present itself as an option which must then be acknowledged with the “Enter” key.

    Or, Apple could fix this LONG-standing defect in Safari. Probably not, they are terrible at fixing little stuff like this–too busy getting the colors *just* right in the Google icon in iOS, I suppose.

  12. Susan Wood says:

    Well, it worked for me. Thank you, Aseem. I’d looked for this info several times, and still had not resolved the issue. Much appreciated!

  13. mzladl says:

    Thanks! It worked!!
    I too did not get the “popup” until I remembered to “Go to the website and begin typing the username”, then I had the popup.
    For those of you that did not get the popup I suggest that you do not enter the ENTIRE web address.

    Using this page as an example, just add:

    http://www.switchingtomac.com

    as your “keychain item name” & not:

    http://www.switchingtomac.com/tutorials/safari/how-to-make-safari-remember-passwords/

    Hope that works for you all. BTW, I did not have User name and password checked at the time that I tested this method.

  14. Tapioca says:

    Doesn’t work. Tried everything, including the work-arounds from commenters. Doesn’t work.

  15. Jack says:

    Doesn’t work. Tried the posted suggestions and it still didn’t work. The suggestion to use Firefox makes sense.

  16. Jack says:

    Doesn’t work on Safari and it doesn’t work on Firefox. I tried the posted suggestions.

  17. Murray says:

    Just bought a brand new Macbook Pro and it is not working for me. PS I don’t want to be typing in all of this information, I want Safari to recognise I’m entering a username and password and prompt to save with the correct URL.

  18. Mike says:

    this worked perfectly! Thanks so much!

  19. Maximus says:

    This worked for me. Keychain is difficult to work with regardless. One thing that bugs me is when you use the keychain suggested password in creating a new forum account and keychain doesn’t remember the password that it suggested and it doesn’t put it on the clipboard so that you can save it.

    This bug causes you to do a password reset so that you can change it to a password that you know.

    A work around would be for keychain to remember the passwords that it suggested for a sight, so that you can access it later.

  20. MariaJD says:

    Great! It worked after I went to Safari preferences and checked the “usernames and passwords”. Thanks a lot! very helpful

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