12 Replies Latest reply: Sep 23, 2014 4:13 PM by JonTheWong
DNA1977 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



I've recently moved to Snow Leopard (from Leopard). I want to retrieve login and passwords of all my online accounts, which are stored in Keychain. When I open it from the backup file in the timemachine I can't able to.


Is there a way to bring back the old keychain from timemachine which was made when I was using Leopard? Should copy/paste do the job?


Thanks for your time.

MacBook, 2.4 GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.7), 4 GB (1067 MHz DDR3), IC2D
  • DNA1977 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I guess no one knows how to do this or have I posted this question in wrong room

  • Jeffrey Jones2 Level 6 Level 6 (8,615 points)

    The default keychain is in your home folder's Library, at Library/Keychains/login.keychain.

    Restore that file. If you have a different password under Snow Leopard then you had under Leopard, the keychain will still need the old password.

  • DNA1977 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Jeffrey, but unfortunately I've already tried this but it only opens latest keychain. I've also tried copying it onto my HD but same result.


    I guess it can't be possible unless I retrieve "application" from the Migration Assistant .

  • Boyd Porter Level 3 Level 3 (650 points)

    Follow Ponidini's excellent instructions on restoring individual items.




    It sounds like you are trying to restore via the Finder rather than the Time Machine interface.  That is a no no.


    Have a nice day.

  • DNA1977 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The website seems very useful. I shall go through it.


    The problem with TM is that once I format my HD and want to start from the scratch rather than restoring from the TM, the TM creates new backup. I can't continue from where I left or reinstalled OS.

  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (16,850 points)

    It isn't clear exactly what you want to do. If you start from scratch, there is no way to continue from where you left off. But if you just want to restore selected items from a Time Machine backup other than from the new one see

    Pondini's Frequently Asked Questions 17. How can I see my backups, or the Backups for a different Mac?

  • poubell Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    Did you ever get an answer that worked for you?


    I am having a simular problem and haven't been able to find the file "login.keychain!"

  • DNA1977 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    OK.. I"ve found the answer (at least it has worked for me).


    I've retrieved file "login.keychain" from the Snow Leapard (SL) to Mountain Lion (ML).


    Open TimeMachine drive in a Finder > Goto the latest version of backup (or whichever date you wanna retrieve from) > Users > {your Home folder} > Library > Keychains > here you'll find a file "login.keychain" (of course without quotes). Copy the file "login.keychain" and paste it on your desktop.


    I would change the name of the file just to distinguish it from the current file. The easy would be "login2.keychain" (without quotes). Double click on it and it will open with keychain.app automatically. On the left top panel you'll see login2 name, click on it an it will have all your previous logins with passwords.


    You will need to put your previous password (the password you used to open it previously) to see the login details.


    Hope this helps.

  • Chris in NY Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)



    A side question: I have a similar problem and accessing Time Machine for the date of the back up desired. But my particular problem is when I go to the "~/Home/" folder, I cannot see "/Library" much less the "/Keychains" folder I'm seeking.


    I'm afraid Time Machine didn't keep that folder -- but this can't be true; there were no settings to do anything that specific. I know some folders can't be seen. How do I change the setting that allows me to see that folder?


    When I use "Go to folder..." from the Finder with that specific location (adding in the presumably hidden folders) it reports back the location does not exist.


    Thanks for any help you can provide!


  • christopher rigby1 Level 4 Level 4 (2,110 points)

    If you're now using Lion or later, you can't see your Library folder anymore, Apple have made it invisible. However, this magazine article explains a whole raft of methods of getting to view it :



  • DNA1977 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    As Christopher rigby1 said that it is now hidden.


    I use Terminal to make them visible by putting in command: defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES


    After that put another command: killall Finder


    The "killall Finder" command is to restart/refresh Finder.


    After that you will able to see the hidden files. Once done you would want to hide the hidden files again by using the command: defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles NO


    Then another command: killall Finder

  • JonTheWong Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I just wanted to say that his also worked for me on OSX 10.9 Maverick.

    I mounted Time Machine and then entered the directory via terminal.


    /Volumes/Time\ Machine\ Backups/Backups.backupdb/<SYSTEMNAME>/Latest/User/<MYUSER>/Library/Keychains/lo gin.keychains


    <SYSTEMNAME> being the system that was backed up

    <MYUSER> being the actual user you are recovering for