All Apple accounts are accessed using an Apple ID and password. So you need to know these to unlock your Apple account.
If you forget your Apple account credentials then you won’t be able to use any of the Apple services on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac properly or login iCloud via a web browser.
This guide provides Apple ID unlocking tips I have been using to help clients for over a decade.
Each method has easy-to-follow steps and only takes a few minutes to complete. This article describes:
- 4 easiest ways to unlock Apple ID
- How to create an Apple ID
- Apple ID account management
So if you want to unlock your Apple ID, read on…
How to unlock Apple ID account
You can reset your Apple ID account using iForgot from a web browser on a computer or other device.
- Go to https://appleid.apple.com/
- Click the link that says Forgotten your Apple ID or password?
- You will be prompted for your Apple ID. If you don’t know it, click the link that says If you have forgotten your Apple ID, you can look it up.
- When prompted, fill in your name and email address.
- Click Continue.
- If an Apple ID exists that matches the details provided it will be displayed. If not, it will say no Apple ID found. Click try again to have another go. In my experience, I have found that this issue is caused by using a different email address than the one registered with Apple – so repeat the processing using every email account you can think of. If you can’t work out your Apple ID then find out about account recovery when you can’t reset your Apple ID password.
- Enter your Apple ID in the box, once you know it, then click continue.
- In the box, enter the phone number that you use with your Apple ID. The last 2 digits are shown to help jog your memory. It is usually a cellphone number.
- If you get the number correct a message with instructions is sent to all of the Apple devices where you are signed in to iCloud. Use any of these Apple devices to reset your password.
- Simple, on-screen instructions are provided to let you reset the Apple ID password. On an iPhone or iPad, you will be asked for the device passcode before the Apple ID password is reset. On a Mac, you need the user account password.
- If you don’t have another Apple device you have the option of using a friend or relatives or using a device in an Apple Store instead.
- If you don’t have access to other iOS devices, you have to wait to reset your password. To find out more, see Account recovery waiting period.
- Apple will be in touch in due course to allow you to reset the password.
The only issue you may have is if you don’t have your phone so you don’t get the Apple ID verification code. To find out what to do then, see Get Apple ID verification code without a phone.
Using Apple Support
- Visit Apple Support Website.
- Choose your region and country.
- At the bottom of the page under Tell us how we can help, select Get support.
- Click on “Apple ID”.
- Pick Apple ID has been disabled for security reasons alert.
- Next, get in touch with an Apple support employee via a call, or chat to get them to aid you in unlocking your Apple ID.
Using two-factor authentication
To use this method, you need to have a trusted device such as your friend’s iOS device or computer.
If using a trusted Apple iOS device, such as iPhone or iPad
- On the trusted device tap Settings.
- At the top of the screen, tap [your name].
- Next, tap Password and Security.
- Then, select Change Password.
- When prompted, enter the 4 or 6 digit passcode for the device.
- Enter a new Apple ID password.
- Verify the password by entering it a second time.
- Finally, at the top right click the Change button.
If using a Mac computer:
- At the top left in the menu bar, click the Apple logo.
- In the drop-down menu, select System Preferences.
- At the top right of the box., Click Apple ID
- From the menu on the left pain, click Password & Security.
- Click Change password.
- When prompted, enter the password for the Mac.
- When asked, enter a new password and verify it.
- Click Change to update your Apple ID password.
Using a recovery key
A recovery key is a randomly generated 28-character code that you can use to regain access to your Apple ID.
While it’s not required, it improves the security of your account by putting you in control of resetting your password.
Using a recovery key is more secure, but it means that you’re responsible for maintaining access to your trusted devices and your key. If you lose both of these items, you could be locked out of your account permanently.
MacWorld says, with an Apple ID recovery key enabled, the account’s password can’t be changed through any means except on a trusted device and with possession of the key. A trusted device is one logged into iCloud using the Apple ID (or an account within macOS logged into iCloud with that account), and enrolled in two-factor authentication.
Apple doesn’t yet fully document how to use a recovery key as an element of changing your Apple ID password nor in recovering access to a locked account. The online documentation suggests, “you can try to regain access using your trusted device protected by a passcode. Or you can use your recovery key, a trusted phone number, and an Apple device to reset your password.” But the steps aren’t documented, and I’ve been unable to trigger a request for a recovery key.
So this method is a last resort until apple fully documents the process.
For more information, see How to reset Apple ID password if you forget it.
How do I create an Apple ID?
You can create a new Apple ID on:
- iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, when you first set it up.
- iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, via the App Store on your device.
- Mac computer, via system preferences.
- Windows PC, via iTunes.
- Web browsers such as Chrome or Safari, via appleid.apple.com.
To find out more, see How to create a new Apple ID.
How do I manage an Apple ID password?
An Apple ID is the account you use to access services, such as iCloud, the App Store, the iTunes Store, Apple Music, and more. It is sometimes described as an iCloud account.
Sign in to appleid.apple.com to manage your Apple ID via the Apple account page.
What if my Apple ID has been disabled for security reasons?
Apple says, “if you see one of the following messages, your Apple ID is automatically locked to protect your security and you can’t sign in to any Apple services:
- This Apple ID has been disabled for security reasons
- You can’t sign in because your account was disabled for security reasons
- This Apple ID has been locked for security reasons
You need to reset your password to regain access.”
To find out more, see how to unlock an Apple ID locked for security reasons.
What if my account has been disabled in the App Store and iTunes Store?
If you see a message that says your account has been disabled in the App Store and iTunes Store, contact Apple Support for help.
Does my Apple ID login to iCloud?
Your Apple ID is used to access all of the services, including iCloud. Some people mistakenly call the Apple ID the iCloud account, but it allows access to more services than that.
If your account is locked you will not be able to sign in, purchase, or use:
- App Store
- Apple Music
- and more.
This is why you should always know your Apple ID details.
If you want to know more about iCloud unlocking, see How to unlock an iCloud locked iPhone for free.
This guide explains what to do if your Apple ID (also known as an iCloud account) is locked or disabled.
If you get locked out of your Apple ID you should stay calm and focused. Don’t panic and rush to change your Apple ID password. Go through the steps described in the preceding guide and you will regain access.
When your Apple device account is disabled this article can help you unlock it regardless of whether you use two-factor authentication or security questions to secure it. And if all else fails Apple Support can help you.