How to generate a recovery key

With two-factor authentication and an Apple device, you have the option to generate a recovery key to help improve account security. If you need to reset your password, you can then use your recovery key to regain access to your Apple ID.

A recovery key is a 28-character code that you can use to help reset your password or regain access to your Apple ID. While it’s not required, using a recovery key improves the security of your account by putting you in control of resetting your password. Creating a recovery key turns off account recovery. Account recovery is a process that would otherwise help you get back into your Apple ID account when you don’t have enough information to reset 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 recovery key. If you lose both of these items, you could be locked out of your account permanently. With that in mind, 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.

Generate a recovery key

You can generate a new recovery key from Settings or System Preferences on a trusted device signed in with your Apple ID.

On your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

  1. Go to Settings > [your name] > Password & Security. You may 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 > Apple ID > Account Details. You may 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.

If you can't create a recovery key on your Mac, use an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch instead. 

Use a recovery key

If you forget your Apple ID password, 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. Learn more about what to do if you forget your Apple ID password

If you decide to stop using a recovery key, follow the steps above on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, and slide to turn off Recovery Key. On your Mac, click Turn Off in the Recovery Key section.

Learn more

  • When you generate a recovery key, you can't use account recovery. Account recovery is a process that would otherwise help you get back into your Apple ID account when you don’t have enough information to reset your password. Learn more about account recovery
  • Learn more about two-factor authentication and how to manage your trusted devices and trusted phone numbers. 
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