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[Manual BDI] How to activate iCloud Keys on your iPhone, iPod or iPad

One of the good news in iOS 7.0.3 was reactivating the function ICloud keys, which allows you to store passwords and credit card numbers securely in the cloud, so they can be easily accessed on any device when you need it. It had appeared in the beta version (see more details of the function here), but was removed in the final version to wait for the release of OS X Mavericks.

Now see how to activate it on your device.


The function ICloud keys it is very practical in everyday life, as it allows the device to securely record passwords that we use frequently. With it, it is not necessary to keep typing the same user data on websites and it is even possible to save credit card numbers to facilitate purchases in online stores by iPhone or iPad. It also stores passwords for the Wi-Fi networks you connect to, making it much easier to eliminate the hassle of having to retype them every time you restore the system or Network Settings. It’s restored and the passwords are still there.

When you activate iCloud Keys, the feature Automatic filling Safari will ask if you want to save your username, password or credit card details when you enter this information. After this data is saved, the password and credit card details will be automatically filled in next time, so you do not have to enter them again.

For those using Mac computers (with the new Mavericks system), there is the great advantage of password synchronization between all your devices. If you entered and saved a password on the computer, for example, it can then be used on the iPhone or iPad, and vice versa. Everything in a very practical way.

It also includes a powerful secure password generator, for you to have more security in your accounts.


A concern that afflicts many users: is keeping your passwords on the device safe? And if they steal the device, how does it look? In fact, the function of saving passwords has always existed on iOS, but until then it was limited to a single device, forcing the user to individually save passwords on each device. The difference is that there is now synchronization with several devices, in a practical way.

Safari saves your credit card details, but does not save the security code his. Therefore, even if someone is able to access your device in some way, they will never be able to use iCloud Keys to make unauthorized purchases, as they will not have the security code of the card. That is, the resource is really to facilitate the user’s life, without exposing his security.

And the interesting thing is that it is not enough to be connected to the same iCloud account to synchronize passwords, because you are the one who chooses which device will synchronize them. When the service is activated on the device, it must be authorized through a code or another trusted device.

ICloud Keys are encrypted in the AES 256 bit standard, and cannot be read even by Apple (according to her).

The ideal, for those with security concerns, is to always put a lock password on the device. If they steal it or you lose it, no one will be able to access any of your data, and you can still delete everything through iCloud, with the function Search my iPhone/ iPad.

How to activate iCloud Keys

Here’s a step-by-step on how to enable the feature:

⦿ Step 1: Activate the function

The first thing you need to do to activate iCloud Keys is to go to Settings> iCloud> Keys.

ICloud keys

ICloud keys

⦿ Step 2: Enter your iCloud password

When you enable the function, you have to log in to your account to proceed with the configuration.

⦿ Step 3: Create a security code

If you’ve already enabled this feature on another device, you’ve probably already created a security code for iCloud Keys. But if this is your first time activating the function, then the system will ask you to create a new code, to allow you to have control over which devices can use the feature. This is an extra layer of security that Apple requires.

ICloud keys

When creating a different code, it will ask you to choose 4 numbers that will serve as a code. Never forget this code, otherwise you may lose access to your passwords in the future.

ICloud keys

To further increase security, the system alerts you when your password is very basic and easy to guess, such as 1111 or 1234. Create something really different, for your security.

ICloud keys

Do you find 4 numbers yet to guarantee security? Touch Advanced options, in blue, and you can create a complex (alphanumeric) or even random security code. In either case, Apple suggests that you write it down in a safe place (the app Grades it’s not safe, ok?), not to forget.

ICloud keys

ICloud keys

⦿ Step 4: Enter a mobile number

Apple also asks you to provide a mobile number (yours or someone you trust) to prove your identity when you need to use the code. An SMS will be sent each time you activate the feature on another device.

ICloud keys

Ready! ICloud Keys are activated on your device and from now on your passwords will be registered whenever you want.

Do not create security code

You may have noticed in the steps above that there is an advanced option for not creating a security code. In this case, the recorded passwords will only remain on your device and will not be synchronized with iCloud.

ICloud keys

Forgot the code. How to do?

Of course, you won’t forget the code you created, because you followed our advice above to write it down in a safe place, right? Okay, but let’s say your dog accidentally swallowed the paper where you wrote down the code. How do I activate a new device without the code?

You will have to reset the iCloud Keys. This means that all existing data in the cloud (passwords, credit card and Wi-Fi networks) will be replaced with passwords present on the device (the ones you saved through Safari).

ICloud keys

This is an extreme attitude and should only be done as a last resort. After all, it causes all iCloud Key data to be erased if you are activating a newly restored device.

ICloud keys

Saving passwords

Passwords can be saved in Safari on iOS (or Mac) by entering them on websites. At this point, the system asks if you want to record that password or not. In other words, you have total autonomy of what you want or not to keep, at all times. If you choose to save, the next time the data will be filled in automatically.

ICloud keys

Same thing for credit card data.

Viewing your passwords

You can view your saved passwords and credit card data at any time in the settings. Just go on Settings> Safari> Passwords and Fill. Autom. There you have the list of all passwords and you can even include your credit cards, to get them ready for use. Or delete them from the cloud, if you think it’s necessary. You need, of course, your iCloud Keys code to access all of this information.

ICloud keys

ICloud keys

The section BDI Manual is aimed at users looking for basic information and tips about iOS. To check out other articles in the series, visit this link.

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