How to export Safari passwords in iOS 16 and macOS Ventura

51842 102821 000 lead Export Passwords

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If you keep your website passwords in Safari, there may come a time when you need to use one on another machine or in another browser. Here’s what you can do.

We’re at a stage where the line between password managers like 1Password and the way Safari creates and stores passwords for you is blurring. Both have their advantages, but because Safari is built into Macs, iPhones, and iPads, you’ll save a password there at some point.

You may not notice or care, as long as you always visit that password-protected website through Safari and on the same device, or at least the same Apple ID. But when a site’s IT staff has decided that everyone needs to use Chrome for no reason other than those engineers who seem to like that browser, you’ve got a little problem.

Or, if you have some reason to think you’ve had enough and want to settle for using a third-party password manager app exclusively, you’ve got a vexing problem with how to transfer passwords.

There are two things you can do.

How to use a Safari password in another browser

You will have to type the password into the new browser, or at least paste it. Since it likely doesn’t even know what your Apple-generated password is for a particular site, you need to find out first.

And the way you do that is a little different on Mac than it is on iPhone or iPad.

How to look up a password in Safari on iPhone or iPad

  1. Open Settings
  2. To select Passwords
  3. Authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode
  4. Scroll down to the desired website and tap it
  5. Faucet Modify top right
  6. Copy the password that is now visible
  7. Faucet Done
To find a password on iPhone or iPad, you need to start in Settings

To find a password on iPhone or iPad, you need to start in Settings

How to look up a password in Safari on Mac

  1. Open Safari (not System Settings)
  2. Choose the Safari menu then Settings…
  3. Click the Passwords key, just below the window title
  4. Authenticate with Touch ID or passcode
  5. In the window that appears, click to select Passwords
  6. Scroll through the list of websites or use the Research box
  7. Click on the site you want
  8. Click Modify to the top right
  9. Copy the password that appears in a pop-up window, being careful not to change it
  10. Faucet Cancel

Now you have your one password in the clipboard of the iPhone or Mac and you can paste it into the new browser.

It’s quicker to do than to describe, yet it’s not something you want to do repeatedly.

So there is another way to extract all passwords from Safari at once. Instead of a clipboard item, you’ll end up with a text file that contains everything.

Note this requires a Mac, it cannot be done from an iPhone or iPad. Since all your Safari passwords should be available on all your devices, this isn’t a problem, as long as you have a Mac.

How to export all Safari passwords

  1. Open Safari on your Mac
  2. To choose File, Exportthen Passwords
  3. Confirm that you want to do this by clicking Export passwords… in the dialog that appears
  4. Choose where to save the file and what to call it
  5. Authenticate with Touch ID or password

The reason Apple asks if you’re really sure about this, is that there’s a danger. The only way to get passwords out of one app and ready to be transferred to another is to use a text file, and that’s risky.

Safari saves your passwords in a .csv file, a comma-separated values ​​file, which virtually any app can then import. But just as apps can read passwords, so can anyone who receives the file.

“WARNING,” says Apple in a supporting document. “Your passwords are exported to a CSV file. The CSV file is not encrypted and anyone who reads the file can see your passwords.”

On your Mac, look for the password section in Safari

On your Mac, look for the password section in Safari

What to do with the Safari password file

First you need to import your password file into another app, like 1Password or another browser, like Chrome. And then you have to delete the text file.

Don’t put it off until you’ve verified that all passwords have been successfully transferred to the new device and browser, delete it anyway. If something went wrong, you’ll just have to redo the password text file, so there’s no benefit to keeping it around.

And there are only risks in leaving a file like that around.