Generate a recovery key after you update to two-factor authentication

If you use two-step verification and you sign in on a device running iOS 11 or macOS High Sierra, your Apple ID is automatically updated to two-factor authentication. After your account is updated, you have the option to generate a new recovery key.

A recovery key isn't required with two-factor authentication, but using one gives you more control over the security of your Apple ID. When you generate a new recovery key, you turn off other account recovery methods. Then the only way to reset your password or regain access to your account is to use your recovery key.

Remember, if you lose your recovery key, you might be locked out of your Apple ID account permanently. That's why it's important to keep your recovery key in a safe place. You might want to give a copy of your recovery key to a family member, or keep copies in more than one place. That way you always have your recovery key when you need it.

You can generate a new recovery key from Settings or System Preferences.

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Go to Settings > [your name] > Password & Security. You might need to enter your Apple ID password.
  2. Tap Recovery Key.
  3. Slide to turn on Recovery Key.
  4. Tap Use Recovery Key and enter your device passcode.
  5. Write down your recovery key and keep it in a safe place.
  6. Confirm your recovery key by entering it on the next screen.

On your Mac

  1. Go to System Preferences > iCloud > Account Details. You might need to enter your Apple ID password.
  2. Click Security.
  3. In the Recovery Key section, click Turn On.
  4. Click Use Recovery Key.
  5. Write down your recovery key and keep it in a safe place.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. Confirm your recovery key by entering it on the next screen.
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