What do you do if you can’t remember your Apple ID password? Apple ID passwords are so commonly forgotten that Apple created a unique website for that reason.
Apple has a simple platform available to help you recover your Apple ID password. Simply go to iforgot.apple.com and follow the on-screen prompts. If you are logged into a device with your Apple ID, you can use the Settings app on that device to reset your password using the device’s passcode.
Your ability to reset your Apple ID password will depend mainly on a few factors. For example, do you still have access to a device that’s logged into your Apple ID? Do you remember the email address that you used for your Apple ID? Do you remember the answers to the security questions? The more of these you can answer “yes” to, the better your chances.
If You Have A Device That’s Logged Into Your Apple ID
The easiest way to change your Apple ID password is if you still have a device that fits these criteria:
- It must be logged into, and trusted on, your Apple ID
- It must have a device passcode enabled
- You must remember the passcode and be able to unlock the device
If your device matches all of these criteria, you can easily reset your Apple ID password. If the device is an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch (with watchOS 8 or later), follow these steps:
- Open Settings
- Tap on your Apple ID name (right at the top of the Settings app)
- Select “Password & Security,” then “Change Password”
- You will be prompted for your device’s passcode, after which you will be able to change your Apple ID password
On a Mac (if it’s running a macOS version newer than Catalina), follow these steps:
- Open the Apple menu (the one with the Apple logo in the top left of your screen)
- Select “System Preferences”
- Click on “Apple ID”
- Click on “Password & Security”
- It may ask you to enter the password for your Apple ID. If this is the case, simply click on “Forgot Apple ID or Password” and follow the instructions
- If it does not ask you for your Apple ID password but for your device passcode instead, manually click on “Change Password” and follow the prompts to change it
Reset Your Apple ID Password From Another User’s Apple Device
If you don’t currently have a device that’s logged into your Apple ID or cannot access your device, you can also opt to use another Apple user’s device. This can be a friend or family member, or you can even ask any Apple Store to use a device on their premises. Whichever you choose, there are two apps that you can use to reset your password on another user’s device.
The Apple Support App
This app is not available for all versions of iOS devices, but if you can get into contact with someone whose iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch can install it (from the App Store), follow these steps:
- Open the Apple Support app
- Select “Passwords & Security”
- Choose “Reset Apple ID Password”
- Tap on “Get Started,” then “A Different Apple ID”
- Enter your Apple ID (the one with the forgotten password)
- Now follow the steps to reset the password. Rest assured that none of your information will be stored on this device.
The “Find My” App
If you can’t find a device that can install the Apple Support app, the “Find My” app is also an excellent tool to use, and it comes pre-installed on all modern Apple devices. If this is your chosen method, simply follow these steps:
- Open the “Find My” app on the device you’re using to reset your password
- If you don’t see a Sign In screen, select “Sign Out”
- When you’re at the Sign In screen, make sure that there’s nothing in the Apple ID field
- Now you can tap on “Forgot Apple ID Or Password” and follow the on-screen prompts to reset your Apple ID password
Reset Your Password Using The “iForgot” Website
What options do you have if you don’t have any other Apple devices handy? Well, as long as you have any device with internet access available, you should still be able to reset your Apple ID password using the convenient (and slightly tongue-in-cheek) website at iforgot.apple.com. This website was created specifically to help those who forgot their Apple IDs or passwords.
The iForgot website has a simple interface. When you open the page, you immediately have the option to enter your Apple ID. After entering it, you will have the choice of how you want to reset your password. The iForgot website supports the following options:
Answer Security Questions
This is the age-old “what is your mother’s maiden name” approach to security, but being old doesn’t make it any less effective. If you choose this approach to reset your password, Apple will ask you a series of questions that you had to provide answers to when you created your Apple ID. When you’ve answered three questions correctly, Apple accepts that it is you, and it resets your password.
There are two pitfalls with this approach. The first is that you have to answer the questions exactly as you answered them when you created your account. Used capital letters the first time? Don’t try to answer it in lower case. Did you make your Apple ID when you were 15 and couldn’t be bothered about spelling? Hopefully, you can still remember how you spelled your answer back then.
The second potential problem occurs when other people create your Apple ID for you. This often happens when a well-meaning friend or family member wants to save you the trouble. Now they would have to make the security questions and answers, and you can’t always be sure that they gave the correct answers.
Get A Verification Email Or Text Message
Suppose you have a verified email address or phone number associated with your Apple ID. In that case, you have the option of sending a six-digit verification code to this email address or number. This is a simple and fool-proof way of resetting your Apple ID password.
Unless you don’t have access to that email or number, of course. If your email account was set up only on a device that’s now locked, or you can’t remember the email account’s password, you will have to reset an additional password before you can even begin to reset your Apple ID password.
Preventing A Forgotten Password: Add A Recovery Contact
The easiest way by far to get access to a forgotten Apple ID is through the Recovery Contact feature. Unfortunately, very few people seem to be aware that this feature exists, and even fewer are actually using it.
Apple’s Recovery Contact feature allows you to select a person (or multiple people) from your Apple Family or contact list and nominate them as Recovery Contacts. If they accept, and you forgot your Apple ID password (or a device passcode), you can select your Recovery Contact from a list. Apple will send them a code on their Apple device that you can enter to confirm your identity.
To add a Recovery Contact to your Apple ID, simply follow these steps:
- On any iOS or macOS device, go to Settings or System Preferences
- Select your name or the “Apple ID” option
- Go to “Password & Security”
- Tap on “Account Recovery”
- Select “Add Recovery Contact”
- Choose your Recovery Contact from a list
- They will receive a message from you requesting that they be your Recovery Contact. They can approve the request by following these same steps.
A forgotten Apple ID password is not the end of the world. It’s effortless to get access back into your account. The only way to mess this up is if you forgot your Apple ID, don’t have access to the email address used to make it, and lost contact with whoever helped you set it up. But if you can successfully prove that you are who you say you are, you should have no problems.