Repair Keychain to Fix Slow OS X Lion

   Posted September 7, 2011 by David Kirk in Apple Mac

For many users updating to OS X Lion borks the keychain causing multiple errors to be written to the console. These error can cause a system running Lion to hang or to run slowly. To fix these errors, these directions will show you how to repair your keychain to speed up your mac system.

After updating to Lion, I noticed that my system has been running slower than I expected. The worst problem was TechTool Pro causing Lion to hang and crawl. However, even after fixing that issue, I noticed that occasionally my system would slow down. During this time, I would notice an ton of excessive errors messages being logged to the console. For example, I would see hundreds of these:

WebProcess(243) deny file-read-data /Users/davak/Library/Application Support/Adobe/AIR/ELS/ com.adobe.amp.4875E02D9FB21EE389F73B8D1702B320485DF8CE.1/ PrivateEncryptedDatak

example of excessive console messages

1. Open Spotlight by pressing the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
2. Starting typing in Keychain Access and select it when it appears. You can also find the app in the Utilities folder in your Applications folder.
3. Press the Keychain Access menu
4. Select Keychain First Aid

running keychain first aid

5. Insert your password and select Repair. Press the Start button.

steps for repairing the keychain

This will correct permissions and other various issues that commonly occur with the keychain. In my situation, it knocked the painful problem I was having with Adobe Air:

Checked contents of ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/AIR/ELS/ com.adobe.amp.4875E02D9FB21EE389F73B8D1702B320485DF8CE.1/PrivateEncryptedDatak
Problems successfully repaired

If the errors continue, then I would uninstall the application that is causing problems first. Then I would delete all the contents in associated its Application Support folder. So in this example, you might need to uninstall AIR and then delete everything in the ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/AIR/ folder. Then you’ll even need to clear the Trash to make sure the evil little guy is gone.


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

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  • Claire

    I can’t even open keychain access or activity monitor!

  • GR

    I did this and it deleted my passwords! all of them 🙁 i followed the steps exactly as stated above. Now I’m working to get them back.

  • karen

    thanks so very much – Mail was slowing down the whole computer and was super slow itself. I have tried a bunch of other fixes I found online, but once I did these steps there was just a single note about repairing something with Mail. Now Mail is opening much faster and not bogging down the whole machine. Fabulous! Thanks you so much for posting.

  • Yian

    I have extremely slow starting apps. After booting it may be bare able, but during a working day i have to watch Adobe Indesign 60 bounces to start up. Also Apple iWork apps start about five and more times slower. System preferences take long seconds to show the main window. And so on. It is really annoying, let me thinking about to abandon the Mac and switch. But it seems to be Adobe. After long time wasting search the perpetrators are Flexnet Publisher and AdobeAIR, so far.

    Your tip worked: THANK YOU

  • Joachim

    Ant clues as to how to do the fix with Windows? I open My iTunes client and the options above are not found in Windows 8 iTunes client.