Yesterday, Apple released the first public beta of macOS Sonoma — the next major update for macOS that will be available to everyone this fall. Following this update, Mac users will be able to use Apple’s password manager in third-party web browsers, such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Arc.
You may not be aware that macOS has a built-in password manager that can securely store all your passwords. You can access it from the system settings and view your stored passwords using your fingerprint or your computer password.
There are many advantages in using a password manager. It means that you can use a different, sophisticated password for every website and service where you have an account. This way, when a service faces a data breach, your online accounts remain relatively safe. You can change your password on the targeted site and move on.
Thanks to iCloud, if you store your passwords in Apple’s password manager, they are synchronized with your other Apple devices, such as your iPhone or iPad. But what if you have an iPhone but you use a Windows computer at work?
In 2021, Apple released a Google Chrome extension for Windows called iCloud Passwords. The company released a similar extension for Microsoft Edge shortly after that.
But those extensions don’t work on macOS, which means that you have to use Safari if you want to take advantage of Apple’s password manager on the Mac. Safari automatically fills out login information, generates passwords when you create a new account and saves your passwords in Apple’s password manager. Safari is also a great web browser but, yes, a lot of people use Google Chrome.
As Apple’s Ricky Mondello pointed out on Twitter, this is about to change with macOS Sonoma. The company is going to bring the iCloud Passwords extension to Google Chrome on the Mac.
As many web browsers are based on Chromium, they tend to support Chrome extensions natively. For instance, Arc and Brave should support the iCloud Passwords extension for macOS Sonoma.
As for other browsers, Apple is already actively working on porting the Microsoft Edge extension to macOS too. “We don’t have support for Mozilla Firefox at this time, but it’s a request I understand,” Mondello wrote on Mastodon.
Having a password manager that you can access from anywhere is going to be even more important in the near future as more sites start offering passkey support.
For instance, you can now use a passkey to sign in to Gmail instead of the usual password. A passkey is automatically generated by your device and stored in a secure location. On macOS, it can be stored in Apple’s password manager and synchronized with your other Apple devices.
It’s also worth noting that many Mac users have been enthusiastically using 1Password as their personal password manager. But 1Password is now increasingly focused on enterprise customers and cross-platform compatibility.
As Apple’s password manager will soon be accessible from Google Chrome, many people could start considering moving away from 1Password and using Apple’s built-in password manager instead. Shared passwords are coming with iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma too.