HomeTechnologyMobileHow to Use Passkeys on iPhone, iPad, or Mac

How to Use Passkeys on iPhone, iPad, or Mac

What to know

  • Create a password on a supported site: log in to account, look for the Passkey option in the security settings and follow the instructions.
  • Then to use a Passkey: On the login screen, choose the option Passkey > email address > verify with Face ID or Touch ID.
  • Access keys are available on iOS 16 and later, iPadOS 16 and later, and macOS Ventura and later.

Passkeys are Apple’s version of a well-known and widely used standard security technology for the purpose of eliminating passwords. This article provides step-by-step instructions for creating and using a passkey on iPhone or other Apple devices.



How to create a passcode on an iPhone

Creating a password using an iPhone is relatively easy. To make one, however, you must have the following:


  • A working iPhone iOS 16 or higher
  • An account with a site or app that supports passkeys.


Assuming you meet these requirements, here’s how to create a passcode:


The screenshots in this article show the process of creating a password for Best Buy. These exact steps only apply to that website. For different sites, the specific steps will likely be different, but the concepts are always the same.

  1. After logging in to your account, go to the account settings section and look for security options.


  2. The name of the menu that allows you to create a passcode is different on each site. It may be called Passkey, or FIDO2 or FIDO Credential, or CTAP, Face or Fingerprint Login, or WebAuthn. All of these names refer to the same technology that Apple uses to create access keys.


  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to create the passcode. Your password will be saved in your iCloud Keychain just like a normal password, so you can use it whenever you want to login to this website again.


When you create a passkey, it’s specific to the site you created it on, just like a password is. So for each site, app, or account you want to use a Passkey with, you’ll need to create a separate Passkey (assuming the site you want to use it with supports Passkeys, of course).



Using a passcode on an iPhone

Once you’ve found a password for a compatible site or app, you don’t need to use your password again. You can use the much more secure Passkey instead. Here’s how:


Again, this shows the process for signing up to Best Buy with a password, but the basics apply to any site that supports passwords.

  1. Go to the site for which you have created a Passkey. On the login screen, tap the Passkey option (at Best Buy, the iOS Sign In with WebAuthn option, but remember that Passkey has many different names).


  2. Press E-mail address field and enter the address requested by your iPhone.


  3. In the popup asking if you want to sign in with your passkey, tap Get on.


  4. authorize with Face ID or Touch ID and you will be logged in to your account.

    Unlike other Face ID or Touch ID applications, such as Apple Pay, you cannot enter your device passcode. Passkeys only work with the biometric security of Face ID or Touch ID.

What is an Apple Passkey and why is it useful?

A passkey may sound a lot like a traditional password and isn’t necessarily worth going through these steps. The more you know about Passkeys, the clearer its benefits seem.


Passkeys are based on a long-standing security practice that uses a few encryption keys. In this situation, each passkey you create has both a public key and a private key, which are linked together. When you set an access key, the public and private keys are created. Your device sends the public key to the website you want to log in to, then uses the private key — which never leaves your device, unlike a password — to verify that you’re really you.


As mentioned above, the private key can only be used with the public key to access your account when using Face ID or Touch ID. This is a crucial aspect of Passkeys: since those systems are so secure and falsifying your biometric data is so difficult, the security is extremely high.


The benefits of using a password instead of a password include:


  • There is no password to steal: Since Passkeys work with a key pair that can only be unlocked when they are together and with biometrics, phishing and hacking to steal your password literally cannot work. That’s pretty safe!
  • Password stays on your device: Passwords must be stored on the computers of the company with which you have an account. That means your or the company’s password could be stolen. Those are two risks. With Passkey, the highly secure private key always stays on your device, so the risk is lower.
  • Face ID and Touch ID are very secure: Apple’s biometric security systems are powerful and extremely difficult to deceive, so the chances of them being hacked are slim.
  • Syncs with iCloud Keychain across devices: After you create an access key, iCloud Keychain syncs it across all your Apple devices that use the same Apple ID. That’s easy!
  • Compatible with non-Apple devices and security devices: Even though your Passkeys are stored on your Apple devices, you can use them on non-Apple devices via a shared QR code. Passkeys can also support security fobs used in many corporate environments.


FAQ

  • How do I find my Bluetooth password on an iPhone?

    Bluetooth devices don’t often require a passcode to set up, and they don’t use Apple passkeys, but you may be prompted for a PIN, passcode, or passcode when pairing. If that happens, using the default code “0000” or “1234” should work.

  • How do I access my saved passkeys on my iPhone or iPad?

    Open Settings and select Passwords, then enter your device’s password (or use Face ID or Touch ID) when prompted. From there, you can freely browse a list of sites and apps that have associated passwords and passkeys, and select one to see the details. You can also update or remove passkeys from this list.


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