Fed up with entering the same information over and over again whenever you sign up on a website, or buy something online? Hopeless at remembering passwords so you have the same one for everything, even though you know that's not a good idea?
Luckily Apple is so thoughtful that it is possible for your iPhone to do all this for you - entering your name, address, email, phone number, passwords and more. Here's how to get that working, and what to do if autofill is autofilling incorrect information.
How autofill works on iPhone
Autofill will kick in when you encounter certain web forms, for example, when you are signing up for a new account and tap on the name field. You will see Autofill suggestions appear above the on-screen keyboard and the fields that are autofilled will have a yellow highlight to remind you to check them.
If you were shopping online you could use autofill to complete your name, email, phone number, address, and even enter your credit card information. The only thing you need to enter yourself is the three digit code from the back of your card.
Before you set your iPhone, iPad and Mac up to use autofill it’s very important that you make sure that it is password protected.
Password protect your iPhone
If you are going to save passwords and credit card info in order to use autofill then it’s really important that you use a passcode to protect your device. Don’t leave your iPhone unlocked because anyone would be able to use it and access your data. Don’t use an easy to guess passcode either - like 0000 or 1234. You can choose to use a multifigure passcode that includes numbers and letters. Read our advice about creating a safe passcode here.
If you are using a 6 digit passcode, or worse a 4 digit passcode, it’s time to update.
- Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode (or Face ID & Passcode).
- Enter your current code, then scroll to Change Passcode.
- Enter your passcode again and before entering a new code, tap on Passcode Options.
- Here you have the choice of adding a custom alphanumeric code, or a custom numeric code. Choose something that won't give you a headache everytime you enter it, but keep the folloing in mind...
Of course you can continue to use your fingerprint or face to unlock the phone, but the Passcode is what really protects your data should your phone fall into someone else hands. A passcode that is longer than six digits will be a lot more secure - apparently it could take a few months to hack an eight-digit pin, while a ten-digit pin could take a decade to crack. Alternatively a passphrase that combines numbers and letters and even symbols would be even more secure - but probably more hassle for you every time you need to enter it. Read more about iPhone security here.
How to edit your autofill information, name and address
Over time your autofill information can get out of date. Say you move house or get married. If you want to autofill the correct data you need to make sure your personal card in Contacts is up to date.
Tap on Contacts and locate your own name in the list. Tap on your name from the Contacts list to view your own details, and tap Edit to fill in the information. You should ensure that your telephone number, email and physical address is correct.
- Open Contacts
- At the top you will find your own card, click on that.
Here you will find your phone numbers, various email addresses you use, your home and work addresses, birthday, and medical ID, under which you can list any medical conditions or allergies and your blood type, in case of emergency.
When this information is correct you won’t have to keep entering your data in online forms and the like.
In order for Safari to know to use this information, you may need to update your settings.
- Go to Settings > Safari > Autofill
- Make sure that Use Contact Info is selected.
- And that the right contact card is being used for My Info.
- Also select Names and Passwords.
There is also the option to Select Credit Cards, which we will look at next.
Note that it may take a while before your Contact Info syncs across your devices.
How to add a debit of Credit Cards to Autofill
Generally the first time you use a new card it will find its way into your Autofill memory, but if you want to add it yourself, here's what to do:
- Go to Settings > Safari > Autofill.
- Click on the arrow beside Saved Credit Cards.
- Use Touch ID/Face ID or enter your passcode.
- Tap on Add Credit Card.
- You can use the camera to save having to enter all the digits. Otherwise, just tap them in.
How to remove old Credit Cards from Autofill
If you are anything like us, you probably lose your card from time to time, and have to get a new one from the bank. When this happens you can end up with lots of listings for old cards you can no longer use. Here's how to remove them.
- Go to Settings > Safari > Autofill
- Click on the arrow beside Saved Credit Cards
- Use Touch ID/Face ID or enter your passcode
- Tap on Edit
- Tap on the circle beside any cards you want to remove.
- Tap on Delete
This will remove the old cards from the keychain on all your devices.
What to do if your iPhone keeps autofilling the wrong information
Getting fed up with autofill suggesting the wrong details? It’s easy to correct what’s in the autofill memory.
If autofill keeps entering your maiden name, for example, you need to change it on your card in Contacts, as above. Similarly, if you have moved house then enter your new address in your contact card.
If you only have one debit card but every time you pay for something online you have to sift through 12 old cards then you just need to delete the old ones, as above.
If autofill is entering the wrong passwords for sites though that can be a bit more complicated. We’ll look at that scenario next.
How to set up password autofill on iPhone
If you are hopeless at remembering passwords don’t feel bad - we all are. The problem with our inability to remember passwords is that it leads to us choosing one easy to remember password for everything, or we write them down somewhere (like the Notes app on our iPhone). The problem with easy to remember passwords is they are also quite easy to guess, and the problem with using the same password for everything is that once it’s guessed, everything is exposed (including that list in Notes).
Apple endeavours to help you by remembering all your complicated passwords for you, so all you need to remember is one passcode to unlock your iPhone (and use your fingerprint or face the rest of the time) and you can log in wherever you need to.
All your passwords will be stored in your iCloud Keychain, so you will need to set up iCloud Keychain on your iPhone if you haven’t already. Here's how:
- Go to Settings and tap on your profile at the top.
- Tap on iCloud.
- Scroll down to Keychain and tap on it.
To make sure that you passwords autofill, you may also need to switch things on in Settings, so:
- Go to Settings > Safari > Autofill
- Make sure that Names and Passwords is on.
When you set up a new login and password on a website using Safari your phone will add the password and user name to your keychain.
How to view all the passwords you have stored in iCloud Keychain
If you are always forgetting your passwords but you don't want to rely on autofill to complete them (maybe you are using a non Apple device, or sharing your WiFi password with a friend) it is possible to find your password in your keychain. Here's how:
- Go to Settings > Accounts & Passwords > App & Website Passwords.
- Your Touch ID or Face ID will be requested.
- You will be presented with a list of all the services you have passwords for, listed by domain.
- Scroll through the list until you identify the service you are looking for.
- Tap on it and you will see your password on the next screen.
- If you want to delete a password from the list, tap on it, choose Edit, and tap on the - beside it.
We have more advice about finding your WiFi password here.