How To

How to Use Passkeys on iPhone, iPad, or Mac In iOS 16 (Test & Set Up)


Enjoy a simpler form of website login from any Apple device; How to Use Passkeys on iPhone, iPad, or Mac.Passkeys on iPhone

Passkeys are Apple’s take on a well-known and widely used standard security technology with the goal of eliminating passwords. Apple’s version of an industry-standard website login requires a little effort to set up and then almost none to use. How to Use Passkeys on iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

Apple’s introduction of Passkeys means you can authenticate with some apps and services using Face ID or Touch ID instead of remembering a password. “Passkey” is Apple’s name for a simplified login process to websites that arrives in its full glory later this year with macOS 13 Ventura, iOS 16, and iPadOS 16. A passkey relies on broadly supported industry standards to let you carry out an encrypted login with almost no effort on your part after the initial setup. This is how you get started.

Introduced in iOS 16, passkeys eliminate passwords for supported apps and websites, instead letting you sign in with Face ID or Touch ID. This article provides step-by-step instructions on how to create and use a Passkeys on iPhone or other Apple devices.

What to Know

  • Create Passkey on supported site: Log into account, look for Passkey option in security settings, then follow instructions.
  • To then use a Passkey: At login screen choose Passkey option > email address > verify with Face ID or Touch ID.
  • Passkeys are available on iOS 16 and up, iPadOS 16 and up, and macOS Ventura and up.

How do Passkeys work?

Your iPhone stores each passkey using iCloud Keychain. After generating a passkey for a specific app or site, that key is securely saved on your phone for future use. All you need to do to log into an account is authenticate with facial or fingerprint recognition.

From a technical angle, a passkey replaces your password with hidden cryptographic keys. A passkey actually consists of two separate keys, known as a key pair. One key is public and registered with the app or website you’re using. The other key is private and stored only on your mobile device. The key pair seamlessly handles the authentication process between your device and the app or website.

Beyond being simpler and more manageable than passwords, passkeys are designed to be more secure. Using cryptography, the passkeys are strong and built to resist hacking attempts. Each set of passkeys is linked only with a specific app or website, so they can’t be used to sign into a phony app or site. The key never leaves your device, so it can’t be leaked. Plus, the exchange with iCloud Keychain is encrypted end to end so that no one can read it.

The device itself has to confirm the user’s identity before the exchange takes place. This is handled by biometrics, which on an iPhone could be Face ID or Touch ID.

Once biometrically confirmed, the device performs its exchange with the relevant service, and access is then granted.

What can I use Passkeys with?

As a relatively new security standard, it can take time for online services to adopt it. With Apple’s pushing of Passkeys, as well as as Google and Microsoft’s adoption of it, more online destinations should employ it for authentication as time marches on.

As you would expect, the list of prominent apps and online services that work with Passkeys is relatively small, but will probably grow quite quickly.

As of November 15, 2022, prominent services that can use Passkeys include:

  • Best Buy
  • Dashlane
  • eBay
  • GoDaddy
  • Google
  • Kayak
  • Nvidia
  • PayPal
  • WordPress.

How to Create a Passkey on an iPhone

Creating a passkey using an iPhone is relatively simple; Passkeys on iPhone. In order to create one, though, you need to have:

  • An iPhone running iOS 16 or higher to support Passkeys on iPhone.
  • An account with a site or app that supports Passkeys.

Assuming you meet those requirements, here’s how to create a passkey:

The screenshots in this article show the process of creating a Passkey for Best Buy; Passkeys on iPhone. These exact steps apply only to that website. For different sites, the specific steps will likely differ, but the concepts are always the same.

  1. After logging into your account, go to the account settings section, look for security options.

  2. The name of the menu that lets you create a Passkey will be different on each site. It may be called Passkey, or FIDO2 or FIDO credential, or CTAP, face or fingerprint sign in, or WebAuthn. All of these names refer to the same technology Apple uses to create Passkeys.

  3. Follow the onscreen instructions to create the Passkey. Your Passkey will be saved in your iCloud Keychain just like a normal password so you can use it whenever you want to log into this website again.

When you create a Passkey, it’s specific to the site you created it on just like a password is. So, for every site, app, or account you want to use a Passkey with, you’ll need to create a separate Passkey; Passkeys on iPhone (assuming the site you want to use it with supports Passkeys, of course).

How to Use a Passkey on an iPhone

Once you’ve seen up a Passkey for a compatible site or app; Passkeys on iPhone, you won’t need to use your password again. You can use the much more secure Passkey instead. Here’s how:

Again, this shows the process for signing into Best Buy with a Passkey, but the basic principles apply to any site that supports Passkeys.

  1. Go to the site for which you’ve created a Passkey. On the sign-in screen, tap the Passkey option (at Best Buy, the option iOS Sign In with WebAuthn, but remember that Passkey has many different names).

  2. Tap the Email Address field and enter the address prompted by your iPhone.

  3. In the pop-up that asks if you want to sign in using your Passkey, tap Continue.

  4. Authorize with Face ID or Touch ID and you’ll be signed into your account.

    Unlike other uses of Face ID or Touch ID, like with Apple Pay, you cannot enter your device’s passcode. Passkeys only work with the biometric security provided by Face ID or Touch ID.

What Is an Apple Passkey and Why Is It Beneficial?

A Passkey might sound a lot like a traditional password and not necessarily worth the hassle of going through these steps. The more you know about Passkeys, though, the more their benefits seem clear.

Passkeys rely on a long-standing security practice that uses a pair of encryption keys. In this situation, every Passkey you create has both a public key and a private key, which are paired with each other. When you set up a Passkey, the public and private keys are created. Your device sends the public key to the website you want to sign into and then uses the private key—which never leaves your device, unlike a password—to verify that you are really you.

As mentioned above, the private key can only be used with the public key to access your account when you use Face ID or Touch ID. This is a crucial aspect of Passkeys: since those systems are so secure, and faking your biometric data is so difficult, the security is extremely high.

So, the benefits of using a Passkey instead of a password include:

  • There’s No Password to Steal: Because Passkeys work with a key pair that can only be unlocked when together and with biometrics, phishing and hacking to steal your password literally can’t work. That’s pretty secure!
  • Passkey Stays On Your Device: Passwords have to be stored on the computers of the company which you have an account with. That means that the password can be stolen from you or the company. That’s two risks. With Passkey, the highly secure private key always stays on your device, so the risk is lower.
  • Face ID and Touch ID Are Highly Secure: Apple’s biometric-security systems are powerful and extremely difficult to fool, so the likelihood of them being hacked is low.
  • Syncs with iCloud Keychain Across Devices: Once you create a Passkey, it’s synced using iCloud Keychain to all of your Apple devices using the same Apple ID. That’s easy!
  • Compatible with Non-Apple Devices and Security Devices: Even though your Passkeys are stored on your Apple devices, you can use them on non-Apple devices via a shared QR code. Passkeys can also support security fobs used in many corporate environments.

Why Are Passkeys More Secure Than Passwords?

Unlike traditional passwords, passkeys are “never guessable, reused, or weak,” according to Apple. Passkeys are stored on your device and not a web server, so they are protected against leaks and phishing; Passkeys on iPhone. Plus, passkeys are also end-to-end encrypted, so not even Apple can read them.

“With passkeys, not only is the user experience better than with a password, but entire categories of security problems, like weak and reused credentials, credential leaks, and phishing, are just not possible anymore.” Garrett Davidson of Apple’s authentication experience team said at the 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference event.

  • Can’t be guessed, stolen, or cracked: Unlike text-based passwords, which are hard to remember and easy to steal, passkeys use Face ID and Touch ID. These biometric checks are easy for you to use, but they are also very strong and hard for hackers to bypass.
  • Protected from Phishing – Since all passkeys are unique for every website and app, they “completely eliminate the human factor from phishing,” according to Apple. That means cybercriminals won’t be able to trick you into signing in to fake websites or apps, no matter how convincing they appear.
  • Safe from leaks – Passkeys can’t be compromised in server leaks because the private keys are never stored on servers. Also, since all passkeys are unique, hackers can’t use your login credentials from one site to access your accounts on other sites (where you might otherwise reuse the same password).
  • End-to-end encryption: While iCloud Keychain makes it easy to share passkeys across your devices, the communication is totally encrypted from end to end. In fact, Apple claims they can’t even read your passkeys.
  • Credential recovery: Since passkeys are connected to a specific device, you might not be able to sign in to a website or app without it. However, you can always create multiple passkeys and sync them across your devices with iCloud Keychain. If your devices are all lost or stolen, you can recover them with iCloud keychain escrow.

While you can use passkeys to replace your passwords, you can also use them alongside traditional passwords to provide an extra layer of security. However, it is important to note that when you set up a passkey on a website, you will not be able to log in without that device or another device that has your passkeys synced.

If you are looking to improve your security online, HelloTech offers a Home Technology Checkup service that will determine if your WiFi network is up to date. We have thousands of technicians across the country who can come to your home and test your WiFi security and speed in every room of your home.

  • How do I find my Bluetooth passkey on an iPhone?

    Bluetooth devices don’t regularly require a password to set up, and they don’t use Apple’s passkeys, but you might be asked for a PIN, password, or passcode when pairing. If that happens, using the default code “0000” or “1234” should work.

  • How do I access my saved passkeys on my iPhone or iPad?

    Open Settings and select Passwords, then enter your device’s password (or use Face ID or Touch ID) when prompted. From there you can freely browse through a list of sites and apps that have associated passwords and passkeys, and select one to see the details. You can also update or delete passkeys from this list.

    Which Apple Devices Use Passkeys?

    Passkeys are now available on iPhones running iOS 16; Passkeys on iPhone, which can only be installed on the 2nd-generation iPhone SE, the iPhone 8, and all newer models. You can also use passkeys on an iPad running iPadOS 16 or a Mac running macOS Ventura. However, the macOS update won’t be available until October.

    How to Use Passkeys on a Windows PC

    If you are using a computer that is not synced with your iCloud account, a Windows PC, or an Android device, you can create a QR code from a non-Apple device. When you scan this QR code from your iPhone, then you can use Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate.


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