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  Common Access Card help for your

Personal Mac Computer

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If you have problems accessing websites with your CAC please try the following ideas. 


Ideas 1-3 are for Safari users

Firefox users go here




Idea #1:  Manually delete the websites you are having problems accessing.

This can also help if you lost access [for no apparent reason] to any sites you use your CAC on.


Step 1-1:  Click: Go (top of screen), Utilities, double click Keychain 


(You can also type: keychain access using Spotlight (this is my preferred method))

Typing Keychain Access into Spotlight 

Step 1-2: Select login (under Keychains), and All Items (under Category) see image below.  You will see all items that are being saved in your Keychain Access.  These can include your Airport password for your home Wi-Fi network and / or CAC websites / Identity preferences that you have visited and used your CAC on previously.   

Step 1-3:  Click the column heading titled Kind, scroll down to Identity preference, Delete all CAC enabled websites you are having problems accessing.  You can hold your control key and click your single button Mac mouse and select Delete, or if you have a two button mouse right click and select Delete. 

Example of entries to remove.  You will see something different than "mont." 

NOTE:  Yours will probably have a red circle with a white X access denied image

Items to remove in keychain image



Some of the same "bad certs" that have caused problems for Windows users are now showing up in the keychain access section on Macs.


image   DoD Interoperability Root CA 1   certificate
image   DoD Root CA 2   certificate
image   SHA-1 Federal Root CA   certificate


  If you see them, delete them

Once all mentioned certs above are deleted, close keychain

Step 1-4:  Remove CAC from reader, then reinsert it. 

Step 1-5:  Clear your web browser history, then revisit the CAC website you were having problems accessing. 

Step 1-5a:  Click on the word Safari, then Clear History..

Safari Clear History


Step 1-5b:  Make sure all history is selected in the Clear (box), then select the Clear History (button) select the Clear History (button)

Safari Clear History


NOTE:  If you accidently delete the login folder rather than the items inside it, you can restore it by navigating to /users/<username>/library/keychains/login.keychain and double clicking it.

Solution found at:

Idea #2: You may have a corrupt preference.

Open Safari,  click the word Safari, Reset Safari... this will clear out cached pages

Further ideas can be seen on Apple Support


Idea #3:  Clearing the old certificates (after receiving a new CAC)


The Mac OS will cache some information about your CAC in order to read the data faster the next time it's being used on your computer.  Sometimes this cache can cause issues after receiving a new ID card.  Thursby's suggestion is that you remove your card from the reader if its present, download the utility from the link below, then run the app for "if you have received a new card or new certs."  This will clear all of the token cache information by running a Terminal command.  Also, there will not be a completion dialog, and at most you may be prompted to type in your computer password.

Please run this utility and contact Thursby if you continue to have trouble.



If you feel comfortable using command line, you can Run in

sudo rm -rf /var/db/TokenCache/tokens/

Instructions "borrowed" from this page



Firefox does not use the keychain access, it stores the files within the web browser.  Here is how to clear them:

1. Select the 3 equal lines in the upper right corner of your web browser.

2. Select:  Preferences

3. Select:  Advanced

4. Select:  Certificates

5. Select:  View Certificates

6. Select:  Servers

7. Scroll down to: U.S. Government

8. Select the certificates you want removed, then click Delete...



If you are still having problems, contact us



The four current CAC "models" are:  "GEMALTO TOP DL GX4 144",  "GEMALTO DLGX4-A 144", "G&D FIPS 201 SCE 3.2," and Oberthur ID One 128 v5.5 Dual."

If you have any other CAC, you need to replace it before proceeding


You can verify by looking on the back of your ID card above the black magnetic strip for either of these: 


Gemalto 144 CAC image GemaltoDLGX4-A 144 image G&D FIPS 201 SCE 3.2 image Oberthur 5.5 CAC image


You may also visit the individual pages for each version of OS X supported via this website:


El Capitan 10.11.x
Yosemite 10.10.5
Mavericks 10.9.5
Mountain Lion 10.8.5
Lion 10.7.5
Snow Leopard 10.6.8
Leopard 10.5.8
Tiger 10.4.11


If you have questions or suggestions for this site, contact Michael J. Danberry
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Last Update or Review:  Tuesday, 19 July 2016 22:13 hrs


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