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Apple Should Add “Last Accessed” to the Keychain

I opened Keychain Access a few days ago and was surprised that I had "875 items." Really? 875 items? Can't I get rid of some of these?

So I sorted by "Date Modified" and deleted a few keychain items I hadn't used in years. I noticed, though, that these "old" items were interspersed with keychain items that were old but in daily use. They simply hadn't been modified in years. Given this, I couldn't safely select everything from 2003 and delete them - I'd have to pick my way through a good portion of my 875 items to weed out the items I truly no longer use. Search can help (as it did for "freshsquee"), but only if you know what you're looking for. In the case of old keychain items, you've usually forgotten that they exist to begin with.

Keychain Access would be much more useful if it stored a "Last Accessed" date. I could sort by this date, see which keychain items I'd truly not used since 2003, and delete them en masse. I might even confidently delete items from 2004 and 2005!

Now, I realize that I might be a tad anal in trying to clean up my Keychain. I do it because it seems to me that a smaller keychain is less likely to corrupt itself. I do it because it is a pain to find the keychain item I need to find when there are 20 similar old ones to get in the way.

Adding a "Last Accessed" field to the keychain tools would not affect performance1, but would offer a substantial gain in usability to anyone who wants to tidy up their keychain from time to time.

P.S. Keychain Access itself is not without flaws. The "View" menu not only has a "Columns" item with no enabled sub-menu items, but a "Sort By" menu whose sub-menu items don't retain their check mark. Additionally, "Sort By -> Date & Time" isn't even the proper language. The column is named "Date Modified," not "Date & Time."

P.P.S. I'm currently down to 319 items.

Footnotes

  1. It's not like keychain access needs to happen as quickly as possible. An extra millisecond will make no difference. Keychain access is never the bottleneck in an operation.

3 Responses to "Apple Should Add “Last Accessed” to the Keychain"

  1. Agreed. It would also make it easier to figure out which entry should be deleted when I type an incorrect password (on initial entry) once in a while.

    What's the radar number?

  2. The Plaid Cow said on November 13, 2006:

    What's the radar number?

    It is #4833845. I often wait until posting a blog entry before I file a Radar report (unless I already know that such an item is already filed, in which case I file a bug report just to bump up the # of duplicates that particular bug has received) so that I can link to my blog entry in the feature request for further discussion or information.

  3. And I just got an email that this is a duplicate of #3429168. If someone inside Apple could verify this, I'd appreciate it.


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