Macintosh Keychain syncing tip

Since the iPhone 2.0 release, more people are considering Mobile Me (the follow on to Dot Mac). For those of us with more than one computer, it's a very easy way to keep your contacts, calendars and other data in sync. However, there are some tricks for some kinds of data. This installment talks about Keychains.

Mac users are familiar with the Keychain as the place where the OS can store regularly-used passwords and secure data for use later or by programs for automated operations. For many users, there's really nothing to doing Keychain synchronization but checking the checkbox in the Mobile Me sync pane.

However, if you're using a program such as 1Password (a fine password and form filling tool that works with numerous browsers), your data may be stored in a private Keychain. On my computer, I have two or three of these. The problem is, by default OS X doesn't synchronize anything except the users' default keychain.If you're unlucky, you may spend a few hours trying to figure out what's wrong with your syncing, all to find out that the problem is in your configuration.

OK, so how do I fix this? Good of you to ask. The solution is simple, if not straightforward. Go to the Keychain Access program (located in the Utilities subfolder of the Applications folder) and select Get Info on each of the Keychains you want to synchronize. Now select "Change Settings for Keychain" from the Edit menu and check the "Synchronize this Keychain using .Mac" box (yes, I noticed it too, Apple forgot to change the name).

Once you've done this (on each computer you want to sync the keychains with), you're all set!