Resetting the Keychain

Reader Adam Goetz has gotten himself into a passel of trouble in regard to his Mac's keychain. We writes:

I've changed my account password multiple times, and along the way of changing all my passwords I forgot what my keychain password is. Is there a way to reset the keychain access password?

There is, but the following instructions may not provide the solution you're looking for.

Launch Keychain Access (found in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder), choose Preferences from the Keychain Access menu, and in the General tab click the Reset My Keychain button. As the text below this button indicates, this creates a new, empty keychain that can be opened with your current Admin password and saves a copy of your old keychain. From this day forward, passwords will be added to that new keychain.

It's quite likely that, at this point, you're muttering "Dude, I want access to my old keychain and the passwords it contains, not a new keychain!" to which I'd mutter right back "Do you really want a keychain so insecure that any joker with a Mac tips-and-troubleshooting blog can reveal how to crack it open with a piece of string and steely gaze?"

No, you don't.

Therefore, the answer is to start fresh. Should you need those old passwords, search back through your memory and try every darned password you can recall in the hope that one of them unlocks your old keychain.

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