Forgot your Apple ID recently? Still trying to guess the password and login? It can be a real headache when you just can’t remember your Apple Password because you’ll be instantly locked out of everything from iTunes to the App Store.
To get you back on track take a look at these handy hints and tips that will allow you to be browsing freely however you choose in next to no time!
Forgot Apple ID: Relax, it happens to the best of us
The first thing to do is take a step back and relax. Getting stressed out or worked up about the situation won’t help matters, and it certainly won’t persuade your beloved iPhone to let you log in! Even though you have to enter and re-enter your Apple Password multiple times every day, Apple knows that people will forget what they set it to and need a secure way to reset it.
Remind yourself of this when you just can’t remember what you chose to set it as, and you’ll be in the right frame of mind to work through the quick and easy steps that Apple have created to enable you to sort things out.
Resetting Your Apple ID’s Password
The thing to note here is that we’re focusing on the password, not on changing the ID itself. Your Apple ID stays with you for life and moves from device to device as you upgrade to the latest tablets, laptops, iPhones, you name it! Resetting your Apple ID wouldn’t help because if you were to then log in with a new one, all of your data, apps, and photos would not necessarily be on your device if you’ve saved them to iCloud.
The best piece of advice here is to keep things simple and only focus on resetting your password; not on creating a brand new Apple ID.
How to Reset Apple ID’s Password
Fortunately, Apple has made this nice and straightforward so that you can work through a few simple steps in a couple of minutes and get back to doing what you love to do.
Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way:
- Step 1: You’ll first need to head on over to the Apple ID page
- Step 2: Once you arrive you’ll need to click on ‘Forgot Apple ID or Password’
- Step 3: Enter the ‘email address that is linked to your Apple ID’ when prompted to do so and click ‘Continue’ to move to the next stage
- Step 4: A Captcha will open that checks you’re not a robot. That may seem like a nuisance, but it’s an extra layer of security that Apple has added to make sure automated programs can’t crack your password and access your Apple ID
- Step 5: Answer the ‘security questions’
Because step 5 can be a little, tricky, we’re going to focus on it in more detail below so that you know exactly what to expect when you get this far.
What are security questions?
This is the part that catches many of us out, especially if you’ve never had to do it before. Take your mind back to the day you set up your Apple ID; you’ll have been asked some questions that only you know the answer to. They’re not passwords; they’re actual questions and answers for an additional layer of security. Mother’s maiden name, first school, favorite pet, that kind of thing. Sound familiar?
If that has given you the prompt you need, then you can carry on with step 5. To make things simple, you can even follow these expanded steps that talk you through everything you need to know:
- You’ll first be asked to enter your ‘date of birth’
- Your Apple device will then ask you two different security questions. When you answer the correct answer for both, you’ll then be redirected to the Reset Password Page.
- Now is the moment you’ve been waiting for: you can finally select your new password. To make sure you get this right (and crucially don’t forget it first thing tomorrow morning) take a look at the section below that will talk you through everything you need to know
Password Restrictions and Guidance
Forgot Apple ID and looking to make your replacement password genuinely memorable? Stop right there because you need to make sure that you follow Apple’s advice and restrictions if your new password is going to be effective at securing your device online.
That may sound like a lot of fuss but think of it like this: it’s no use never forgetting your password and always being able to gain access if the rest of the world can too.
To avoid typos causing havoc Apple ask you to enter your new password twice. Additionally, they have made it so you can’t just copy and paste your first entry into the input field for the re-typed password as you try to save yourself a few precious seconds.
Before you start trying to come up with a password you’ll never forget, take a look at the following restrictions so that you can create a password that is safe and secure:
- Your password must be composed of ‘8 or more ’
- These 8 or more characters must include ‘a mixture of upper and lowercase ’
- They must also include at least one number
- Spaces do not count as characters and so cannot be included in your new password
- You’re not permitted to use the same characters more than twice in a row
- If you’re thinking of re-using a password, then you can’t choose one that you’ve used within the last 12-months
- As a cybersecurity rule it’s bad practice to re-use a password, ever; regardless of how long ago you last used it
You’ll then be prompted to enter your new password into every other Apple device you have the first time you use them. This is important because it is a way of Apple checking that you (the device owner) were the one who authorized the password to be reset in the first place.
While this process is quite straightforward, you may need, a little extra help in the right direction if you’ve forgotten your security question answers. As with forgetting the password in the first place; don’t worry it happens to the best of us. Take a look at the section below, and it will guide you through everything you need to know to straighten things out.
Forgotten the answers to your security questions?
This will slightly increase the length of time it takes you to regain access to your beloved device(s), but it’s something Apple took care of a long time ago to make sure you can still securely reset things.
First, take a look at these simple checks to make sure you’re not missing something simple:
- Did you enter the ‘correct spelling?’ This may sound like an obvious question but double check it before proceeding as this is a common mistake many of us make when we’re rushing to get something sorted out
- Did you ‘abbreviate your answer?’ Again, take the time to work through the options, and if in doubt use the ‘abbreviation and the full spelling’ and see if that helps things
If these two quick pointers didn’t help matters, then the next thing you want to do is request Apple send you a Password Reset Email. When you’ve Forgotten your Apple ID and your security questions this is always the way to go…
What is the Password Reset Email?
This is a secure way that bypasses the need to answer the security questions. Rather than being a workaround, it’s perfectly safe and secure. The security questions are just there so that you can speed things up a little bit.
The clever bit here is that Apple will send the email to a second email address. Instead of the address linked to your Apple ID, they’ll send the email to the secondary backup email address you’ll have had to enter during your initial introduction to the world of all things Apple. Here’s how to do it:
- Step 1: On the Reset Password screen you’ll need to select ‘Get an email’ and then click Continue
- Step 2: The email should arrive at your secondary email address with the subject header: ‘How to reset your Apple ID password.’ If you don’t see it come through after a couple of minutes ‘then double check your junk folder’ in case, it’s been diverted
- Step 3: Click the link entitled ‘Reset now’ in the password reset email you’ve just received
- Step 4: You’ll then be sent an email from Apple where they are double checking that it was indeed you who requested the reset
This will then take you through the same steps we’ve discussed previously and have you back up and running. There is, however, one other thing to discuss, and it’s known as ‘Two-factor authentication.’ Read on to find out everything you need to know…
The two-factor authentication beginner’s guide
From iOS 10 onwards this has been the standard way in which Apple has addressed the issue of forgotten passwords. As well as entering your new password you’re requested to enter a one-time-only code Apple sent to your iPhone or Mac. This may seem a little long-winded, but, it’s a secure way of ensuring that you are, who you say you are. Meaning it’s an extra layer of protection, and you have to have physical access to the device to do it.
During the same reset process as we’ve discussed above, you’ll be asked how you want to receive your code; there are two options open to you at this point:
- Choose to reset your password from another device
- Choose to reset your password from a trusted phone number
If you choose the latter, then the reset code will be sent to your phone via SMS, so it’s essential that you ensure you have a signal and access to that number. This is really the only thing different about two-factor authentication, and once you get started, you’ll have it sorted in no time.
There is one last possible scenario you may be faced with: you can’t remember your password, and you’ve also forgotten your Apple ID email. Read on to see what you can do in this case…
When you’ve forgotten your email and password
If you don’t have access to a second device that is logged into your Apple ID and your mind has gone blank as to which email you used to set up your ID in the first place, then there’s still hope. All is not lost!
What you’ll need to do is work through these simple steps, and you’ll be back up and running before you know it:
- Step 1: Go to the Apple ID page
- Step 2: Click ‘Forgot Apple ID or Password’
- Step 3: You’ll then be asked to enter your ‘full name and an email ’
- Step 4: Apple will then search and see if there’s an Apple ID registered with those details
Unfortunately, this may take some time to sort out, but, you’ll get there with some patience and persistence. Alternatively, you can search on ‘iTunes and browse your purchase history.’ Any payments you’ve made online for Apple content will be linked to your Apple ID so you’ll be able to see the email address you used to set it up.
Anything else I should know?
The final thing to remember here is that we’re concerned with security first and foremost. It may seem like a good idea to use someone’s name for your new password or to write it down or store it in a notes app. What we always recommend is picking something you can commit to memory for a few days and never write it down anywhere.
The name of the game is keeping your data safe, and it is always worth the slight inconvenience of having to remember 8-characters when you compare it to the headaches that can ensue if someone gains access to your data without your permission.