"Whether you are a guru or a beginner, what follows is something that every Mac user needs to know about Keychain Access." John Carter has some important information to share! From here on John is being quoted.
"There is a simple way to change the administrative password, and this is what crooks do when they steal someone’s computer, but you need the install disk (or a copy of it). If you don’t have the installation disk, follow these instructions to create a new admin account (you cannot use the same name as before). The instructions to reset the administrative password using the install disk are as follows:
• Insert the Mac OS X Install disc and restart the computer.
• When you hear the startup tone, hold down the C key until you see the spinning gear.
• When the Installer appears, choose Utilities > Reset Password. [Look in the Menu bar at the top of the screen for Utilities.]
• Follow the onscreen instructions to change the password.
• Quit the Installer and restart your computer while holding down the [left] mouse button to eject the disc.
Be sure to change your login password in Keychain Access to match your new admin password. Here’s how to do it;
• Open Keychain Access located in Applications/Utilities, and select the keychain in the Keychains list (click Show Keychains if the list is not open).
• Choose Edit >"Change Password for Keychain 'login’.” (The name of the keychain in the menu matches the name of the selected keychain. If you selected the keychain that unlocks when you log in, the name you see is “login.”)
• If the keychain is locked, type the password to unlock it.
• Type the current password for this keychain.
• Type a new password, then type it again to verify.
• Click OK.
You can use Password Assistant to help you choose a new password. Click the key button to the right of the Password field to see how secure your new password is.
When you open Keychain Access, you will notice something like the following in the left panel:
You have several keychains in Keychain Access. Each of these keychains can have its own password. The keychain you need to change the password on is the login keychain. Make sure it is highlighted (selected) when you choose “Edit > Change Password for Keychain ‘login’.” If it is not selected, then the word ‘login’ will be replaced with the name of one of the other keychains in the above list.
All of the entries in the right panel are for storing the passwords for different applications, services, or Internet accounts. Do NOT mess with these unless you are absolutely sure you know what you are doing. The only way anything in Keychain Access gets deleted is if you do it manually, so be aware that things can hang around forever there. For example, if you closed your account with your bank, then you can safely delete the keychain entry for that account. If you changed your password for a specific Internet account, you will have two keychain entries for that account and you can safely delete the older one, but there are exceptions to what appear to be duplicate entries.
A keychain entry might be appear to be duplicated more than once, but each keychain entry was for a different web page for that same website (my bank has several different pages for logging in, and each page needs its own keychain entry). So be real careful about deleting entries. When in doubt, don’t.
In one case, I couldn’t quite remember the right password for one Internet account, so as I entered each password they were being “remembered" in Keychain Access. It’s a simple matter of deleting all the wrong passwords and keeping the right one.
Every keychain entry has two sections. The first section you see when you open the keychain entry. This is the Attributes section. The other section is Access Control. When you click on that button, a list of Names shows in the panel. These are the applications that are allowed to use the password without needing your specific permission. All other applications access the password depending on the settings in this section.
When you click on the plus (+) button, you can actually add other applications to the list that don’t need permission to access that password. Highlighting the name of an application and clicking on the minus (-) removes that name from the allowed list.
For more on this topic, simply search with keywords like, “mac 10.__ how to ___” and fill in the blanks with your own criteria.
And here John lets us catch our breath. His quotation is completed -- at least for now.