If you are having problems establishing an SSL connection, it might be caused by a missing or locked keychain. Below are the steps required to diagnose and repair a keychain problem.

Your default keychain, which is created for you when you set up Mac OSX, is unlocked automatically when you log in or when you type your keychain password in an Unlock Keychain dialog box. (Your keychain password is always the same as your login password unless you used Keychain Access to create a different password, or if you used Keychain Access to change the password of an existing keychain.)

To determine whether or not a keychain exists when running OS 10:

  1. Click twice on your hard drive icon to open it.
  2. Open the Applications folder.
  3. Open the Utilities folder.
  4. Open Keychain Access.
  5. All the keychains on the computer will be listed.
    1. If there are no keychains, follow the prompts to create one
      1. Type a name (you can use your name or a server name, this is just to help you identify your keychain), choose a location for the keychain, click Create.
      2. Type a password for the keychain and verify it in the text field below.
      3. Click OK
      4. To make the new keychain your default keychain, choose File > Make Default.
      5. Keep KeyChain Access open and try Check Mail again in your email application.  If Check Mail fails, jump to Step Four:  Create a new keychain.
  6. If the keychain does exist, continue to next step.

Keychain Access

To determine whether the keychain is locked:

  1. Select the name of the Keychain.
  2. If the button with the padlock is selected then the keychain is locked.  If the keychain is locked, jump to Step Three:  Keychain locked.
  3. If the keychain is not locked , keep KeyChain Access open and try Check Mail again in your email application.  If Check Mail fails, jump to Step Four:  Create a new keychain.
  4. If the keychain is locked, continue to next step.

false

To unlock a keychain:

  1. Select a keychain, and click Unlock.
  2. Type your keychain password.
  3. If you are unable to unlock the keychain, jump to Step Four: Create a new keychain.
  4. If you were successful in unlocking the keychain, keep KeyChain Access open and try Check Mail again in your email application.
  5. If Check Mail fails, continue to the next step.

To create a new keychain:

  1. Choose File > New Keychain.
  2. Type a name (you can use your name or a server name, this is just to help you identify your keychain), choose a location for the keychain, click Create.
  3. Type a password for the keychain.
  4. Make the new keychain your default keychain, choose File > Make Default.
  5. Keep KeyChain Access open and try Check Mail again in your email application.
  6. If Check Mail fails, continue on the next step.

To delete the keychain:

  1. Quit Keychain Access by choosing Keychain Access > Quit Keychain Access.
  2. In the Finder, choose File > Find…
  3. In the Find dialogue box, choose Local disks from the drop down menu beside Search in:
  4. In the Search for items whose: box, choose Name from the first drop down box, contains from the second drop down box, and type the word “keychain” into the third box
  5. Click once on the Search button.
  6. A new window called Search Results for “keychain” in “Macintosh HD” should open.  Delete any items in the list whose Parent is Preferences.
  7. Delete any folders named Keychain whose Parent is Library.
  8. Close the Search Results window and then close the Find window.
  9. Jump back and repeat Step One:  Does the keychain exist?
Article number: 
1346
Last updated: 
July 12, 2017
Service: 
Category: