Clearing or Resetting the Gnome-Keyring

By | 2007/07/06

UPDATE: Reset GNOME Keyring Password on Ubuntu

I ran into the weirdest problem the other day.  My gnome-keyring prompted me for a keyring password to authorize the use of a key, but didn’t want to take any of my passphases.  I tried any passphrase I could think of to no use.  My gnome-keyring, for whatever reason, was basically useless at this point.

I did a little bit of digging and found a solution here on the Ubuntu Forums.  Let me outline the quick fix if you ever run into the same problem.

Command Line Version

rm ~/.gnome2/keyrings/default.keyring

GUI Version

Navigate to Places > Home.  Press ctrl-h for "hidden files".  Navigate to .gnome2 > keyrings.  Delete default.keyring file.

At this point your gnome-keyring should be toast and you can reset the password on next use.  If anyone has any other ways around resetting the password without destroying the keyring I’m all ears.

39 thoughts on “Clearing or Resetting the Gnome-Keyring

  1. erik

    Shouldn’t that be doable with gnome-keyring-manager ?

  2. Ubuntu Tutorials

    alex – this is a secure solution because it also wipes any saved data in the gnome-keyring. ie; it doesn’t allow anyone access to the contents of the keyring, it destroys it and anything saved within.

    erik – the gnome-keyring-manager will ask for your current password to change the password, and in this case I don’t have it.

  3. erik

    Yes, change. But can’t it delete the keyrings and recreate new empty ones? I have been too afraid to actually try that but the right click context menu suggests it is possible.

  4. alex

    Ubuntu Tutorials:
    My post was a comment on this part of the post:
    “any other ways around resetting the password without destroying the keyring”

    which would be _not_ secure because the data stays intact. Hence the use of subjunctive.

  5. corba the geek

    I ran into the same problem. But I kept trying different passwords that I might have used. Then I tried what I thought was my most recent password **with the CAPS LOCK on** and, son of a b@#$h, it worked. I **really** don’t think I had the accursed caps lock key on at the time.

  6. Edgar

    I deleted the default keyring in the keyring manager. Is it possible to recreate it? Thanks for the info.

    Right now I’m only able to use my wired connection, my wireless is not functional after my error… (by the way I’m using network manager and wap wireless security)

  7. Slate8

    Thanks, the worked a treat with my myth-frontend box. Was getting sick of unlocking the default keyring for wireless after booting 🙂

  8. Phil

    Thanks for this posting. It worked for me. I’m really new to Ubuntu, let alone Linux, and I’m just stumbling around trying to get familiar. I

  9. cmnorton

    I found a new wrinkle to this problem. I did not have a default.keyring. I had to create it.

  10. NJC

    In Ubuntu 9.04 it is called login.keyring although deleting did not help my problem.

  11. David

    I fixed this issue by not deleting my keyring (login.keyring) on Ubuntu 9.10….but by going to the Menu

    Accessories/Passwords and Encryption Keys

    Then go to the last tab (Passwords)

    Then right click on the keyring and you get the option to change password!

    Hope this is of help.

    1. Kozmik

      What about in Mint 13 MATE? How do I find the keyring password thing to change my password? Every time I have to access fb chat via Empathy, it asks for my keyring password, which I have set, but I want to change it now.

  12. Themis

    I do think that this is the best solution I have found so far.

  13. Henrik Heino

    Changing the password didn't worked for me, but removing the old key (login) and creating a new one with the same name did the trick. Thanks for help 🙂

    Offtopic: IMO it's not very intuitive that "Passwords and Encryption keys" lives in "Accessories". It should be in System > Preferences

  14. Phil

    Thank you very much indeed for this most informative post. I was having trouble with the keyring popping up and asking for my password all the time, and this seems to have solved this problem.


  15. Aaman

    Thanks for this – this really helped

  16. Richard

    Hi, David's advice pointed the way to my solution. I'm using Ubuntu 8:10, which has a slightly different layout to 9.10

    Accessories/Passwords and Encryption Keys

    Then go to the last tab (Passwords)

    At this point select [Edit][Preferences], where you will see the login password. Highlight this and click [Change Unlock Password]

    Fingers crossed… and it worked (thanks David)

  17. Piotr

    This tip does not work with Karmic:
    gdm complains during login after selecting the user.

  18. trench

    It works in Karmic Koala just fine.

    If you've forgotten your Gnome Default Keyring password you need to open "Passwords and Encryption Keys" (Applications>Accessories>Passwords and Encryption Keys), right click "login.keyring", delete it.

    Or, in a terminal, "rm ~/.gnome2/keyrings/login.keyring" without quotes.

    After doing this, open a program that uses the default keyring. You'll be prompted to create a new password. (Also note there's a checkbox that says "unlock default keyring at login" – very useful, I recommend checking it.) Once you've created the new password, a new login.keyring is create.


  19. RamL

    This worked for me on 9.04. Right click on Passwords, Select Change Password and you are done!

  20. Kurian Mathew

    Dear Sir,
    I too have a Gnome keyring password problem.

    I tried to solved it as suggested by you. But, when I navigate to Places > Home and then press ctrl-h for "hidden files" to reach .gnome2 > keyrings, I find inside the folder a file called login.keyring, not default.keyring file. What should I do? Delete login.keyring? Will it create serious problems?

    By the way, I have Karmic Koala installed in my laptop. I had changed my original password into a new one few days after installation.
    Can you please help me?
    Kurian Mathew

  21. Whitney

    I also have the file login.keyring instead of default.keyring (running eeebuntu 3.0 on a 2 Gb eeePC Surf). I deleted login.keyring & everything works now. I think they just renamed the file.

    Thanks for the tip!

  22. Alex

    If you’ve forgotten your password, then, well delete the keyring and start over as suggested…

    However, if you only want to change the keyring password (and keep the keyring), use Seahorse.

    sudo apt-get install seahorse

    then run it. Right click on the key folder and change the password

  23. BojlEr

    Thanks, i’m using Kubuntu but one day the Gnome keyring ask me for setting up new password and then when i try to make svn up, ask me for this password. I don’t know why only in this case but with this tip it’s gone.

  24. Tony

    I have a dell mini with Ubunto and gnome on it which I don’t understand that well. I set up the computer without a password as far as I knew but whenever I want to do an admin task it asks for one. I have tried all the passwords I know but no joy any suggesttions?

  25. Javier Garcìa Prieto

    I have to change the keyring password because it doesent match wit my user new password , then in apps / accesories / keyring app you can change it after unblock your passwords in the users login window.
    Right click over the item.

    Hope this can be helpfull

  26. Pingback: XFCE vs Evolution vs Gnome Keyring « The Smell of Molten Projects in the Morning

  27. eyebug

    i have same problem when i change my old password to a new one and then when i login again error pops up “The application ‘NetworkManager Applet’ (/usr/bin/nm-applet) wants access to the default keyring, but it is locked.”

    I deleted the default keyring and it worked!…..thanks for sharing

  28. geza

    it simply works!!!
    Thanks a lot,
    keep up the good work

  29. jay

    CAUTION: we deleted all the files inside .gnome2/keyrings, then changed the system password (under Users & Groups), logged out and now no known passwords are working to log back in. My guess is that we should have logged out & in first to recreate the keyring files, then we could safely change the user password. Now I’m going to be spending two hours tomorrow driving & repairing this from a liveCD…

  30. eflat

    I am new and I am having the same problem. But I am thinking that if it is so easy to access the password settings and modify them then what is the purpose of having them in the first place. Seems to some sort of a joke.

  31. stefan

    Tried the command prompt and got, gnome 2 keyring file not found.

Comments are closed.