All the iCloud Keychain Improvements in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

BY Parth Shah

Published 4 Sep 2021

icloud keychain improvements in ios 15 and monterey

Apple is making some massive improvements to iCloud Keychain with iOS 15 and macOS Monterey that will turn it into a full-blown password manager. The new iCloud Keychain improvements are good enough to make you ditch your existing password manager. Read below to find everything that’s new with iCloud Keychain in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey.

With iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple is serious than ever to replace your device’s existing third-party password manager. Glance through the iCloud Keychain improvements list below and see if they are enough to replace your existing database in 1Password, LastPass, or Dashlane.

1. Passkeys in iCloud Keychain

Although username/email and password combo is the most popular way to authenticate yourself, they come with more complications than ease of convenience.

Our lazy attempts to use easier passwords across many websites leave us in a vulnerable position. Those passwords can be easily guessed, phished, or even in some cases, forgotten.

passkey in icloud

Here is where Apple’s Passkey comes into play. Apple showed how the Passkey feature works across apps and websites. Apple already teased password-less logins last year.

webauthn passkey

This time around, the integration is way better. You can add a username and allows the app or website to register your face or biometric with Face ID or Touch ID. The whole functionality is built on WebAuthn standards, which Apple, Google, and Microsoft are slowly adapting over time.

2. Two-Factor Authentication Built-in

With iOS 15, Apple is squaring off yet another third-party app on iPhone. The company has packed two-factor authentication in the Passwords menu on the iPhone.

Simply go to Settings > Passwords, and authenticate yourself. Search for a service that supports two-factor authentication. Set up verification code from the website’s security menu, and you will see a six-digit code refreshing every 30 seconds in iCloud Keychain.

verification code in icloud keychain


It’s built-in macOS as well. You will see the same verification code option in the Passwords menu in System Preferences. Confused? Don’t be. Apple has released a dedicated Passwords menu in the System Preferences on Mac.

3. Passwords in System Preferences

You no longer need to use the iCloud Keychain app on Mac to access login information. The company has packed the Passwords menu right into the System Preferences.

Simply open the System Preferences menu and select Passwords. Authenticate yourself, and you will see the same data entries as the Passwords menu on iPhone.

passwords menu on mac

You can search for your login info using the search bar at the top. All your saved login info from the Safari browser will get saved here.

Passwords in System Preferences is much better than the complicated iCloud Keychain app on Mac.

4. Feature-packed Passwords Menu on Mac

The Passwords menu is feature-rich, with most functions borrowed from iPhone’s Passwords menu.

The app will find compromised and reused passwords, and it will warn you about security loopholes in your current password management across apps and websites.

passwords menu in mac

You can also import and export passwords from other password managers to iCloud Keychain using the Passwords menu.

5. Windows Availability

This is not exactly a new feature in iOS 15 or macOS Monterey. But it’s worth mentioning for those who switch between two desktop OSs frequently. Apple has officially debuted iCloud passwords on Windows.

icloud passwords on windows

You simply need to enable the Passwords toggle in the iCloud app, and you will have a separate iCloud Passwords app on Windows. Of course, it’s missing all the bells and whistles like password generator, security recommendations, 2FA support, and more in a classic Apple move. It’s a basic app that gets the job done.

Unfortunately, the iCloud Keychain improvements in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey won’t be enough for the majority to ditch their current setup in established third-party password managers out there. We hope Apple adds more features such as multiple vaults/folders for better organization, Android availability, bank account support, and more in future updates.

While you are at it, make sure to check out all the new iOS 15 features coming to your iPhone later this fall.