Fixed assistantd wants to use the login keychain on Mac Featured Image

[Fixed] “assistantd wants to use the login keychain” on Mac

Fix the “assistantd” keychain access prompt on Mac.

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Last updated: December 19, 2023

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TL;DR

To fix “assistantd wants to use the login keychain” on Mac, follow one of these methods:

  1. Open Keychain Access, select login, go to Edit > Change Settings, uncheck inactivity and sleep lock options, and save to turn off auto-lock.
  2. Open Keychain Access, select the login, choose Edit > Change Password, enter your current password, and set a new password.
  3. Create a new login keychain by opening Keychain Access, choosing File > New Keychain, naming it, setting a password, and saving.
  4. Reset your Mac’s local keychain by opening Keychain Access, navigating to Settings > Reset My Default Keychain, entering your password, and confirming with OK.

Just the other day, I launched Siri and a notification popped up on my Mac screen: assistantd wants to use the login keychain on Mac. My first thought was, “What does that even mean?” I wasn’t sure if this was a security threat or just a routine request. Anyway, I started digging, and here’s everything I found about assistantd and how you can fix this error on your Mac.

Before We Begin

Your Mac is also vulnerable to security risks. Download MacKeeper and use its Antivirus to effortlessly protect your Mac. It provides round-the-clock scanning for malicious files and quickly blocks any threats it detects.

What Is “assistantd wants to use the login keychain” on Mac?

accountsd wants to use the login keychain pop up alert

“assistantd wants to use the login keychain” is a message that appears on Mac when a program called “assistantd” wants to access your login keychain. It is short for “assistant daemon” and is a background service related to Siri.

assistantd may require access to your keychain to retrieve information like saved passwords or account credentials. This can be necessary for Siri to provide accurate responses and fulfill your requests.

When you see this message, make sure it’s a legitimate request from the macOS system and not a suspicious activity. If you haven’t made any requests to Siri or have recently installed an unfamiliar application, double-check before granting access.

If you trust the request, enter your keychain password and click OK. If you’re unsure, click Cancel to prevent access.

How to Fix the “assistantd wants to use the login keychain” on Mac Issue

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While the assistantd security feature is designed to protect your confidential data, it can be frustrating if you’re not sure how to proceed. Below, I’ve shared the most effective methods to fix assistantd wants to use the login keychain on Mac.

1. Turn the Keychain Auto-Lock Off

The Keychain Auto-Lock feature automatically locks the login keychain after a certain period of inactivity. Then, you’re required to enter your password to unlock it. Turning off this feature will stop the login keychain from locking automatically and prevent assistantd wants to use the login keychain on Mac.

Here’s how to turn off Keychain Auto-Lock on Mac:

  1. Open the Keychain Access app in the Utilities folder in Applications.
launch keychain access from the utilities folder
  1. Click login in the left sidebar.
click login in the left sidebar of keychain access
  1. Click Edit in the Apple menu and select Change Settings for Keychain “login”.
click edit and select change settings for keychain login
  1. In the pop-up window, uncheck the boxes next to Lock after X minutes of inactivity and Lock when sleeping. Click Save and exit the Keychain Access app.
uncheck the boxes next to lock after x minutes of inactivity and lock when sleeping and tap save

By disabling Keychain Auto-Lock, your login keychain won’t lock automatically, which should stop the “assistantd wants to use the login keychain” message.

2. Reset the Login Keychain

The next solution is to reset the login keychain. This will delete your existing login information and create a new login keychain. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open Keychain Access on your Mac by going to Applications > Utilities.
launch keychain access from the utilities folder
  1. Click the login keychain in the left-hand panel.
click login in the left sidebar of keychain access
  1. Click Edit at the top of the screen and select Change Password for Keychain’ login.
click edit and select change password for keychain login
  1. Enter your current login password and click OK.
  2. Enter a new password for the login keychain and click OK.
  3. Restart your Mac and check if the assistantd login keychain issue has been resolved.

3. Create a New Login Keychain

Creating a new login keychain can resolve assistantd wants to use the login keychain on Mac. It creates a new keychain file containing all your passwords and other secure information. This new keychain file will replace the old, possibly corrupted keychain file, causing the error message.

You will need to re-enter any passwords or other protected information stored in the old keychain file into the new keychain.

Here’s how to create a new login keychain on Mac:

  1. Open the Keychain Access app.
launch keychain access from the utilities folder
  1. Click File in the Apple menu and select New Keychain.
click file in the apple menu and select new keychain
  1. Give the new keychain a name and click Create.
give the new keychain a name and click create
  1. Enter a password for the new keychain. Then, enter the same password in the Verify section, and click OK to save the new password.
type password verify password and click ok

4. Use Disk Utility First Aid

Using Disk Utility’s First Aid feature can also resolve assistantd wants to use the login keychain on Mac. This built-in macOS tool allows you to manage and repair disks, including your startup disk, containing your keychain files.

To use Disk Utility First Aid to fix the assistantd login keychain issue, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Spotlight on your Mac, type Disk Utility, and launch the app.
type disk utility in spotlight search
  1. Click the First Aid button in the top toolbar.
select your startup disk and click first aid
  1. In the new pop-up, click Run to start the First Aid process.
click run on the first aid prompt
  1. Click Continue on the second warning prompt.
click continue on the first aid prompt
  1. Disk Utility will now scan your disk for any errors or issues and attempt to repair them. The scanning process can take a while, depending on the size of your disk and the number of errors that need to be fixed.
  2. Once Disk Utility has completed the First Aid process, click Done and restart your Mac to see if the error message still appears.

5. Reset Local Keychain

Your local keychain is specific to your user account and is stored on your Mac’s hard drive. When you reset your local keychain, you delete the current keychain file and create a new one. This can potentially fix the assistantd error on your Mac.

Resetting your local keychain will delete all keychain data specific to your user account, including passwords and certificates. You’ll need to re-enter your passwords for websites, network connections, and other applications after resetting your local keychain.

To reset your local keychain, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Keychain Access app on your Mac.
launch keychain access from the utilities folder
  1. In the menu bar, select Keychain Access > Settings.
click keychain access and select settings
  1. Click the Reset My Default Keychain button on the pop-up window.
tap reset default keychains
  1. Select Use Password on the prompt. Alternatively, you can use Touch ID to allow access.
select use password on the prompt
  1. Enter your user account password and click OK.
enter your user account password and click ok
  1. Keychain Access will now reset your local keychain. This process may take time, depending on the size of your keychain file.

6. Disable iCloud Keychain

The “assistantd wants to use the login keychain” issue on your Mac can be related to your iCloud Keychain. iCloud Keychain saves your passwords, credit card information, and other secure data across your Apple devices. Disabling your iCloud Keychain can sometimes resolve the issue.

To disable your iCloud Keychain on your Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apple icon and open the System Settings on your Mac.
click the apple icon and select system settings
  1. Click your Apple ID and select iCloud from the list.
click your apple id and select icloud
  1. Scroll down and click the Password & Keychain option.
click passwords and keychain in icloud
  1. Toggle off the Sync this Mac switch in the next window and click Done.
toggle off the sync this mac switch for passwords and keychain

7. Delete accountsd

accountsd manages accounts and passwords on your Mac. Deleting accountsd can resolve issues related to login keychain like assistantd wants to use the login keychain on Mac.

When you delete the accountsd files, your Mac will recreate them automatically. To delete accountsd, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Terminal app on your Mac, type the following command, and press Enter:
sudo killall -KILL accountsd
type a command in the terminal app
  1. Type your admin password and press Enter.
type your admin password and press return
  1. Restart your system, and it should resolve the assistantd issue on your Mac.

8. Use an Antivirus

Although a virus scan doesn’t directly resolve the “assistantd wants to use the login keychain” error message, it can protect your data. If assistantd accesses the login keychain, it can put your sensitive information at risk.

MacKeeper’s Antivirus protects your Mac against malicious files by blocking them instantly. Here’s how to use it to run a virus scan on your Mac:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
  2. Open MacKeeper and click Antivirus under the Security section.
click antivirus under the security section
  1. Click Start Scan.
click start scan in mackeeper antivirus
  1. Wait for the scan to complete. This can take a while. Once the scan completes, you’ll see a No threats found message on your screen if your Mac is safe from malware. Tap Restart to go back to the start screen.
click restart to finish the process
  1. On the start screen, click Enable to enable real-time protection.
click enable to allow real time protection
  1. Tap Open Settings.
select open settings
  1. It will open the Mac’s Privacy & Security tab. Here, toggle on the MacKeeper switch.
toggle on the mackeeper switch
  1. Enter your Mac password if prompted and tap Unlock.
enter your administrator password when prompted and tap unlock
  1. This will turn on real-time protection and keep your Mac safe from malware.

What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

Besides checking your Mac for malware, MacKeeper can perform various optimization tasks. You can use it for cleaning junk files on your Mac, free up RAM on your Mac, and remove login items on your Mac. If you want to learn more about its features, read my MacKeeper review.

9. Reinstall macOS

Reinstalling macOS erases the current operating system and installs a fresh copy of macOS on your Mac. It can fix system files or application issues, including the “assistantd wants to use the login keychain” error message.

However, this is a drastic step and should only be used when nothing else works.

Reinstalling macOS will erase all data and installed applications. So, backup your important files before proceeding with this troubleshooting step.

Before reinstalling macOS, you need to erase the current version. Follow these steps to do it:

  1. Launch Spotlight on your Mac, type Disk Utility and launch it.
type disk utility in spotlight search
  1. Click Erase in the top toolbar.
select your startup disk and click first aid
  1. Confirm your decision, and it will erase your hard drive.

Now, follow these steps to boot your Mac into Recovery Mode to reinstall macOS:

  1. Connect your MacBook to the internet.
  2. Turn off your Mac and turn it back on while holding down the Command ⌘ + R keys on your keyboard. Keep holding the keys until the Apple logo appears.
macbook air command r keys
  1. This will boot your Mac into the Recovery Mode. Once it loads, select Reinstall macOS and click Continue.
click reinstall macos in macos utilities
  1. Follow the on-screen instructions to select your startup disk and begin the reinstallation process. Note that this process may take some time, so be patient.
  2. After the installation, your Mac will restart and display the Setup Assistant. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your Mac, including selecting your language, creating a user account, and configuring settings.
  3. Once you’ve completed the setup process, you should have a fresh macOS installation without assistantd error.

How to Identify Legitimate vs. Suspicious assistantd Requests

Staying safe on your Mac means knowing which assistantd messages are okay and which are not. assistantd works with Siri, so it’s important to recognize safe messages. This helps keep your Mac and personal info safe. Below, I’ll show you simple ways to tell the difference.

Characteristics of Legitimate Requests

  • 🕒 Timing and Context: Legitimate assistantd requests typically follow a user’s interaction with Siri or a related service. If you receive a prompt without using these services, it could be a sign of suspicious activity.
  • 🖥️ System Behavior: A genuine assistantd request should not affect your system’s performance. If your device slows down or behaves erratically after receiving a prompt, this could indicate a security issue.
  • 👀 Appearance and Wording: Authentic macOS prompts have a consistent look and wording. Be wary of any deviations in the graphical interface or unusual language, as these could signal a fraudulent request.

Signs of Suspicious Activity

  • 🚨 Unexpected Prompts: Be cautious of assistantd prompts that appear without prior use of Siri or related services.
  • 🔄 Frequent Requests: Multiple prompts in a short timeframe may indicate an attempt to breach your system.
  • ⚠️ Additional Pop-ups or Warnings: The presence of other unusual messages or warnings alongside an assistantd request could be a sign of malware or a compromised system.

What to Do if Suspicious

  1. 🚫 Do Not Enter Password: If you doubt the legitimacy of a prompt, do not enter your password or provide any personal information.
  2. 🔌 Disconnect from the Internet: This can help prevent potential malware from communicating with external servers and executing further malicious activities.
  3. 📞 Consult Tech Support: If in doubt, contact Apple Support or a trusted IT professional for guidance and assistance.

Preventing Similar Issues in the Future

Issues like “assistantd wants to use the login keychain” become frequent if you don’t properly maintain your Mac. Here are some of my tried and true tips to prevent such issues:

  • 🆙 Regularly Update Software: I always update my macOS to prevent security issues. Software updates have security patches that fix vulnerabilities and bugs hackers could exploit. Check for updates by going to the Apple menu > System Settings > General > Software Update.
  • 🔐 Use Strong Passwords: I use strong, unique passwords for my login keychain, mixing up letters, numbers, and symbols. Consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords easily.
  • 🛡️ Enable Two-Factor Authentication: Add an extra security layer to your Apple ID with two-factor authentication, which requires a verification code along with your password. Activate it under Apple menu > System Settings > Apple ID > Password & Security.
  • 🔒 Enable Firewall: A firewall adds a layer of security by monitoring incoming and outgoing network traffic and blocking unauthorized access. Turn on the built-in firewall on your Mac by going to the Apple menu > System Settings > Network > Firewall.
  • 👨‍💻 Use Standard User Accounts: Use a standard user account for daily tasks, which allows most actions but needs admin approval for major changes, unlike the fully controlling administrator account.
  • 🔍 Regularly Scan for Malware: Use antivirus and run regular virus scans to detect and remove malware infecting your Mac. This protects it from security threats that can compromise your data and privacy.

Fix the assistantd Mac Login Keychain Issue

Now that you know how to fix the assistantd login keychain issue, you can enjoy the benefits of using Siri, Dictation, and other Apple features on your Mac. To take your Mac’s security one step further, try the following:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is assistantd on Mac?

    Assistantd on Mac is a background process related to Siri and dictation services. It manages voice interactions, handling tasks like voice recognition and processing Siri requests. This process runs in the background, enabling seamless voice command functionalities.

  2. Why is the assistantd login keychain issue a problem?

    The assistantd login keychain issue is a problem because it prevents you from accessing your stored passwords and certificates. This can be particularly frustrating if you rely on keychain access for work or personal use.

  3. What is the login keychain, and why is it important?

    A login keychain is a secure storage container that stores your passwords, keys, and certificates for your Mac. It is important because it allows you to access your online accounts without remembering your login information. When you log in to your Mac, your login keychain is unlocked automatically and remains unlocked until you log out or shut down your Mac.

  4. Can I stop the assistantd from accessing the login keychain?

    No, you cannot stop the assistantd from accessing the login keychain. Doing so may cause issues with your Mac’s performance and prevent certain features from working correctly. It is a critical system component responsible for handling Siri requests, among other things, so it needs access to the login keychain to function correctly.

  5. What should I do if I forget my login keychain password?

    If you forget your login keychain password, try using your administrator password. If that doesn’t work, try resetting your login keychain. To do this, open Keychain Access > login. Then, choose Edit > Change Password for Keychain ‘login’. Enter your old password, leave the new password fields blank, and click OK. If this doesn’t work, you may need to delete your login keychain and create a new one.

  6. Can I reset my login keychain without losing my saved passwords?

    No, you cannot reset your login keychain without losing your saved passwords. Resetting your login keychain will delete all the saved passwords, but if you have enabled iCloud Keychain, your saved passwords will be synced across all devices, and you won’t lose them permanently.

Hashir Ibrahim

Author

I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.

Ojash

Reviewer

Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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