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Sync Default Keychain Between iMac (10.6) <-> MacBook Air (10.8)

1250 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Jun 11, 2013 1:58 PM by Nello Lucchesi RSS
Nello Lucchesi Level 1 Level 1 (130 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 28, 2013 12:35 PM

I want to sync the default keychain between two of my computers:

  • iMac running 10.6.8
  • MacBook Air running 10.8.4

I understand that keychain syncronization was a feature of MobilMe but it is not included in iCloud.


I've searched the Internet and found several authors who say that it can be done using Dropbox, sometimes with symbolic links, for example:



Unfortunately, apparently (at least) 10.6.8 is very picky about the location of the default keychain, the one that opens automatically on login.  Apparently, the default keychain file must be at ~/Library/Keychains/ and symlinks do not fool the system into believing that it is there when the real file is actually in a Dropbox folder.


Here's what Keychain First Aid Version 4.1.1 (55004) says when it finds a symlink pointing to a keychain file in Dropbox (as opposed to finding the acual file itself):


Repair started

Checking keychain configuration for nello (user ID=502)

Home directory is /Volumes/User/users/nello

Checked login keychain

Checked password for ~/Library/Keychains/login.keychain

Checked settings for ~/Library/Keychains/login.keychain

Checked default keychain

Default keychain is set to ~/Dropbox/Sync Computers/Keychains/login.keychain (instead of ~/Library/Keychains/login.keychain)

Default keychain set to ~/Library/Keychains/login.keychain

Warning: to use the passwords stored in “login.keychain”, you will be required to manually unlock that keychain. If this is not what you want, use the Keychain Access application to copy those items into “nello”, or delete the “login.keychain” keychain.

Checked keychain search list

Keychain search list not properly configured

Checked contents of ~/Dropbox/Sync Computers/Keychains/login.keychain

Problems successfully repaired

Repair completed


Apparently default keychains (that open automatically at login) must be located at ~/Library/Keychains/


Does anyone know a way around this location requirement?


Or does anyone have another idea of how to keep the default keychains on two different Macs in sych?


Thank you for your time and attention.


  - nello

iMac (27-inch Mid 2010), Mac OS X (10.6.8), 12 GB RAM


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