gconsync wants to use my keychain…

Today’s tidbit is about a nagging OSX dialog that doesn’t offer “remember this decision” or “don’t ask me again.”

I got a new iPhone, and decided to use Google’s ActiveSync (MS Exchange) integration to sync my contacts in the cloud for free and not $99/year. The cloud’s not all that useful if it’s only covering one device, so I set up Google contact sync on my account on our family mac.

gconsync keychain prompt

Apparently this causes a background process called gconsync to be run at an interval. Understandably, this tool has to log into your Google account in order to synchronize contact updates with Address Book. For me, whenever it would try to run it would enqueue a prompt asking if it’s OK to access a local keychain which holds Google login info. I say enqueue because since I don’t use that computer often, I’d sit down to have to click through a half dozen of the same prompt… click cancel, cancel, cancel… you get the picture. The actual text of the dialog is “gconsync wants to use the ‘sheaberlin’ keychain. Please enter the keychain password.”

To make the matter worse, the prompt seems to make Finder hang (even the menu) until you appease its desire for Google info. This wasn’t going to cut it for me.

I found an Apple Support thread discussing a different daemon process which steered me to the solution: to unlock the keychain it was asking for. Unlike my screenshot above, gconsync was looking for an application password entry in my personal keychain (“sheaberlin” instead of “login”) named GoogleContactSyncService. There was nothing else in that keychain so I set it to never lock after system sleep or idle. Boom, no more gconsync nags.

keychain settings to prevent nagging google sync dialog

Steps to squelch this dialog (from the aforementioned knowledge base thread):
1) Launch Keychain Access. On Snow Leopard it’s found in Applications —> Utilities —> Keychain Access
2) Highlight “login” (or whichever keychain is mentioned in your gconsync prompt – for me it was the one for my username, “sheaberlin”) under “Keychains” in the upper left
3) From the Edit menu select “Change settings for Keychain…”
4) Uncheck “Lock when sleeping” and click “Save”. Also uncheck “lock after … minutes of inactivity”.

Hope this helps someone,



7 thoughts on “gconsync wants to use my keychain…

  1. Pablo says:

    Having the same issue, but haven’t had as much luck as you. It’s frustrating because of the hangs (sometimes it will hang even after entering correct password). It’s clearly poorly written and I’ve been hoping for each of the 5 point releases to see resolution without any luck. Even after re-imaging my machine I have this issue. My keychain has already been changed to disabled the two lock options you mention. Not sure what else to do to resolve this.

  2. Arlene Bailey says:

    Dear God I hope this works because my husband is going to throw this Mac out the literal window if this keychain crap doesn’t go away!

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