Simple Objective-C wrapper for the keychain that works on Mac and iOS
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SSKeychain is a simple wrapper for accessing accounts, getting passwords, setting passwords, and deleting passwords using the system Keychain on Mac OS X and iOS.

Adding to Your Project

  1. Add Security.framework to your target
  2. Add SSKeychain.h, SSKeychain.m, SSKeychainQuery.h, and SSKeychainQuery.m to your project.

SSKeychain requires ARC.

Note: Currently SSKeychain does not support Mac OS 10.6.

Working with the Keychain

SSKeychain has the following class methods for working with the system keychain:

+ (NSArray *)allAccounts;
+ (NSArray *)accountsForService:(NSString *)serviceName;
+ (NSString *)passwordForService:(NSString *)serviceName account:(NSString *)account;
+ (BOOL)deletePasswordForService:(NSString *)serviceName account:(NSString *)account;
+ (BOOL)setPassword:(NSString *)password forService:(NSString *)serviceName account:(NSString *)account;

Easy as that. (See SSKeychain.h and SSKeychainQuery.h for all of the methods.)


Install the documentation into Xcode with the following steps:

  1. Open Xcode Preferences

  2. Choose Downloads

  3. Choose the Documentation tab

  4. Click the plus button in the bottom right and enter the following URL:
  5. Click Install next the new row reading "SSKeychain Documentation". (If you don't see it and didn't get an error, try restarting Xcode.)

Be sure you have the docset selected in the organizer to see results for SSKeychain.

You can also read the SSKeychain Documentation online.


If your saving to the keychain fails, use the NSError object to handle it. You can invoke [error code] to get the numeric error code. A few values are defined in SSKeychain.h, and the rest in SecBase.h.

NSError *error = nil;
SSKeychainQuery *query = [[SSKeychainQuery alloc] init];
query.service = @"MyService";
query.account = @"soffes";
[query fetch:&error];

if ([error code] == errSecItemNotFound) {
    NSLog(@"Password not found");
} else if (error != nil) {
	NSLog(@"Some other error occurred: %@", [error localizedDescription]);

Obviously, you should do something more sophisticated. You can just call [error localizedDescription] if all you need is the error message.


Working with the keychain is pretty sucky. You should really check for errors and failures. This library doesn't make it any more stable, it just wraps up all of the annoying C APIs.


This was originally inspired by EMKeychain and SDKeychain (both of which are now gone). Thanks to the authors. SSKeychain has since switched to a simpler implementation that was abstracted from SSToolkit.

A huge thanks to Caleb Davenport for leading the way on version 1.0 of SSKeychain.