tip : OSX’s built in password generator

Question :

It seems like I have to come up with a new password for each new device and each new  web service I’m using. My inspiration for new passwords has dried up. Can you help me ?

Answer :

There is a random password generator already built into OSX that is free for you to use.

It’s called Password Assistant and you can access it by opening the Keychain Access app and clicking on the ‘+’-icon in the lower menu bar, then in the pulldown window that appears, click on the ‘black key’-icon ; that will open up the password generator window of Password Assistant.

In Password Assistant, you can choose from 5 types of passwords : Manual, Memorable, Letters & Numbers, Numbers Only, Random or FIPS-181 compliant. Then it will tell you the quality (strenght) of your password in a colored status bar, and if your not satisfied with the suggested password, you can click on the ‘black triangle’-icon and you will be shown some alternative suggestions.

If you’ve found your ‘ideal’ password, select it and copy (press ‘CDM’+’C’) and paste it onto the desired location.

When you’re done, click the CANCEL-button to exit and close Keychain Manager.

but… since this very helpful function is rather hidden within OSX, someone called CodePoet has written a FREE launch script (back in 2006) that you can install and use just like a regular application. Too bad that for some reason CodePoet’s website has stopped working, so all download links you will find will get you nowhere.

Luckily, a Dutch website called appletips.nl is hosting a mirror of the download (and they’ve added Dutch language support) – Thank you apple tips.nl ! Since there was no icon, I’ve added one myself and renamed it into OSX Password Assistant Launcher, a name that better suits what the script actually does (but you can change that yourself if you don’t agree). And now you can download it here also :


Note : the file will have a .zip.doc-extension after you’ve downloaded it, please change that into a regular .zip-extension manually and then unZIP the file


5 thoughts on “tip : OSX’s built in password generator

  1. Pingback: fixed : bypassing AirPort Guest Network conflict with TG712 router-modem « MacManus.nl

  2. Phew! Thanks for this. My hard disk just crashed and I lost all my apps (I know, I know, I’ve now improved my back-up plan), including Password Assistant, which I’ve used for years. Thanks to you I still can. Whatever happened to codepoetry.net?

    • @Graham :

      Thanks for your feedback !

      Happy to have helped you out 😉

      Note : thanks to your feedback, I’ve found a little more on Code Poet and codeproetry.net (which is offline nowadays) here :
      CodePoetry.net on Mac.Informer
      the Notae app still seems available, and after I’ve updated my version of Password Assistant with the original icon, I will update the link on Mac.Informer

  3. This makes me so happy. I accessed it a different way on OSX, but it was equally convoluted (Apple Menu > System Prefs > Users & Groups > Change Password > Key Icon > Copy > Cancel)

    Your applet was exactly what I was hoping to find when I started Googling! Thank you.

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