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Everyone with an iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Apple Watch has an Apple ID. It’s an essential prerequisite to get the most out of Apple’s services, including the iTunes Store, App Store, Apple Music, and iCloud. An Apple ID isn’t the only account with credentials you need to keep track of these days, however, and there’s always the possibility that you may forget certain login information — like your all-important password.
Thankfully, there’s no need to panic if you forget your Apple ID password. There are steps you can take to reset it, all of which are pretty straightforward. There’s no way for Apple to simply tell you what your current password is, though, not even through email. Instead, every method to deal with a forgotten Apple ID password involves resetting it completely. Here’s how to go about it.
How to reset your password using the Apple ID account page
Step 1: To start, go to appleid.apple.com and click Forgot Apple ID or password in the center of the page. (Your password may automatically prefill the sign-in screen in a dropdown menu, especially if you checked the Remember Me box, so look for it first and click to see if it works.)
Step 2: You’ll be taken to a page where you enter your Apple ID (in most cases, it is the primary email address for your Apple account), and then to a new page where you’ll enter your name and the email address associated with the account. Click Continue, then select I need to reset my password.
Note: If you have two-factor authentication set up for your account, your screen will look different, and you’ll be asked to confirm your phone number (more on that later).
Step 3: You’ll now be able to choose how you want to reset your password, whether it be through email or by answering a set of security questions. Which option you choose is based on your personal preference.
Step 4: Choosing the email method prompts Apple to send instructions to the primary email address you used to begin this process, or a rescue email if you decided to make one. You’ll know the email has been sent when you see the Email has been sent page with a large, green checkmark. If you can’t find the email, be sure to check your Spam, Junk, and Trash folders, or repeat the steps above to have the email sent again. Going with the security questions requires you to confirm your birthday and answer specific questions before you’re able to create a new password.
If you ever forget the answers to your security questions
If you forgot your password, answering security questions is one of the quickest ways to get back into your account to make changes. After all, only you — or someone who knows you really well — would know the answers to questions like “Who was your favorite teacher?” But what if you forgot the answers to your security questions? In the event that you forget your security questions, changing them is also a simple process (although you will need access to your password to change them).
Step 1: Go to iforgot.apple.com and enter your Apple ID.
Step 2: Select I need to reset my security questions and click Continue.
Step 3: Enter your password, then click Continue.
Step 4: Choose three questions from the drop-down menus, and provide answers (hopefully ones that only you would know). And that’s it!
If you use two-factor authentication
If you set up and enabled two-factor authentication — which is different from two-step verification — resetting your password will be even easier, as you’ll be able to reset your password directly from your trusted iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or from the Apple ID account page. If you’re unsure if you have any trusted devices, don’t be; when you set up two-factor authentication, you created trusted devices. All iOS devices will also need to have a passcode enabled.
Using your iOS device
Step 1: Go to Settings > [your name] > Password & Security.
Step 2: Tap Change Password.
Step 3: You will be asked to enter your passcode. Once you’re done, you can enter your new password.
Using the Apple ID account page
Step 1: Go to iforgot.apple.com and enter the trusted phone number you submitted when you set up two-factor authentication.
Step 2: Choose Continue to send a notification to your trusted iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
Step 3: When you receive the notification on your iOS device, tap Allow.
Step 4: Follow the provided steps, enter your passcode, and reset your password.
Note: If you no longer have access to a trusted device and aren’t able to set up a new one, the process for changing your password gets a bit more complicated (but that’s a good thing as it means your data is more secure). Getting around two-factor authentication is possible, but a pain, and may take several days to verify before you can change your password.
How to reset your password using Account Recovery
If you don’t have your trusted iOS device nearby, you’ll still be able to reset your password by requesting an Account Recovery. This is best used when your device has been lost or stolen, and you want access to your account while simultaneously denying access to anyone trying to impersonate you. This process could take a few days, however, depending on how much information you provided to prove your identity.
Step 1: While going through the steps to reset your password on iForgot or iOS, you should see an option to Request Account Recovery.
Step 2: Enter a number where you can be reached when your account is ready, then enter the verification code that is sent to you to verify your information. After verification, you’ll receive a confirmation that your request has been received and you’ll be contacted when your account is ready.
Step 3: After some time, your account will be ready and you’ll be contacted via a text or phone call.
Step 4: Go to iforgot.apple.com, enter your Apple ID, and confirm the number you used in step two.
Step 5: You’ll be sent an Account Recovery code via a text or phone call, which needs to be entered in the provided field on iForgot.
Step 6: Click Continue, and you’ll be taken to a new page where you can make a new password, verify your trusted phone number, and sign in.
However you reset your password, you should sign in to your Apple account with your new password and also make sure to update your password in Settings on all your devices. That way you’ll never have to worry about being locked out of your Apple account.