Change iCloud Keychain Security Code and Verification Phone Number

The iCoud preference pane is the key to managing your keychain settings

If you use iCloud Keychain to store your logins, account passwords, credit card info, application passwords, and web form data, you may want to change the security code regularly to protect all your online information. Using the same process, you can also update the telephone number associated with your iCloud Keychain. You should do this if you ever change phone services or devices.

You don't need to disable the keychain or start from scratch to perform these housekeeping updates. The secret is to use the iCloud preference pane to manage all your account settings, including those involving keychain access.

Information in this article applies to Macs running macOS Catalina (10.15) through OS X Yosemite 10.10.

How to Update Your Keychain Phone Number

The phone number is by far the easiest bit of data to change. Your iCloud Keychain must have an up-to-date number to use when you want to grant a Mac or iOS device access to your keychain data.

Update Your Keychain Phone Number in macOS Catalina

Beginning with macOS Catalina, your iCloud preferences are listed with your Apple ID preferences.

  1. Launch System Preferences by clicking its Dock icon or selecting System Preferences from the Apple menu.

  2. Click the Apple ID icon at the top of the General Preferences screen.

    System Preferences > Apple ID
  3. Select iCloud in the left sidebar of the Apple ID preferences screen.

    iCloud in Preferences

    Confirm there is a check mark next to Keychain. If not, you need to go to another Mac that uses Keychain to make your changes.

  4. Click Password & Security in the left sidebar. In the Trusted phone numbers section, click Edit.

    Edit trusted phone numbers
  5. Click the plus sign to add a phone number. Remove an existing number by selecting it and clicking the minus sign. Click Done.

    Adding a number to Mac Keychain
  6. Apple verifies the new phone number with a text message. Follow the instructions to confirm the new number.

Update the Phone Number in MacOS Mojave through OS X Yosemite

  1. Launch System Preferences by clicking its Dock icon or selecting System Preferences from the Apple menu.

    Mac desktop with the System Preferences option highlighted
  2. Click the iCloud icon.

    System Preferences on a Mac with the iCloud heading highlighted
  3. Confirm there is a check mark next to Keychain.

    Do not uncheck Keychain. You're just making sure that the Mac you're using is making use of the iCloud Keychain service. If not, you need to move to one of your Macs that is already configured to use the service.

    iCloud Preferences on a Mac with the Keychain item highlighted
  4. Click Account Details in the left sidebar of the iCloud preference pane or the Options button next to Keychain in some versions of OS X.

    Account Details
  5. Click the Contact tab.

    Contact tab
  6. Click the plus sign (+) to add a phone number.

    The phone number must be associated with a phone that is SMS-enabled.

    Plus sign in Contact
  7. Click the Phone number radio button and type your new phone number into the text field.

    Entering new phone number
  8. Click Next.

    Next button
  9. Apple verifies the new phone number with a text message. Follow the instructions to confirm the new number.

  10. Click Done.

How to Change Your iCloud Keychain Security Code

There are two reasons you may want to change the iCloud Keychain security code: as a routine update to ensure maximum security of your online data or because you fear someone has used the keychain security code to gain access to your information.

Change the Keychain Security Code in macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave

In macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave, your keychain password is the same as your Apple password by default. You must have two-factor identification enabled, though. When you change your user password in Users & Groups, your keychain password changes to match it automatically.

When you change your user password, you can no longer access the keychain with the previous security code. You must enter the new one.

Change the Keychain Security Code in macOS High Sierra through OS X Yosemite

  1. In the iCloud preference pane, find the Keychain item.

  2. Click the Options button associated with the Keychain item.

  3. In the sheet that drops down, click the Change Security Code button.

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to change the security code.