iCloud Keychain: Removing Your Data from Apple's Servers

The new iOS 7/Mavericks iCloud Keychain feature is neat! You can use it to autofill passwords, credit cards, and more and then sync that data across all of your devices. What if you decide, though, that you want to break up with iCloud Keychain and clean your data from Apple’s servers? It’s easy to do, but it's completely entirely totally not obvious how. To start the process from an iOS device, you’ll visit Settings> iCloud> Account. Under that is a section that’s labeled Keychain.

Touch that, and then on the next screen, toggle off Approve with Security Code. You’ll be warned that you’re doing An Important and Scary Thing™, so tap Don’t Use to approve the change.

Then all you need to do is go to each of your other devices that you’re using with iCloud Keychain and turn the syncing off. For iOS gadgets, you’ll turn off Settings> iCloud> Keychain; on a Mac, it’ll be System Preferences> iCloud> Keychain.

If you’d like to start the process on a Mac instead, go to System Preferences> iCloud and click on Account Details. Under that button, you’ll find a similar choice to what we turned off before—Allow approving with security code.

Turn that off, and again, you’ll be warned! Be careful, you.

Afterward, the same steps apply—make sure you turn iCloud Keychain off on any other devices you own to prevent your information from being stored by Apple.

If you’d like more information about iCloud Keychain (such as how to configure and use it), Apple’s put up a fairly comprehensive support article that you can check out. For me, it's not a replacement for my precious, precious 1Password, but it's certain to be a time-saver for a lot of people.