How to use account recovery when you can’t reset your Apple ID password

If you use two-factor authentication and can’t sign in or reset your password, you can regain access after an account recovery waiting period.

What is account recovery?

Account recovery is a process designed to get you back into your Apple ID account when you don’t have enough information to reset your password. For security reasons, it may take several days or longer before you can use your account again. We know this delay is inconvenient, but it's important so that we can keep your account and information safe.

Before you start the account recovery waiting period, try to reset your password. 

  • If you don’t know your Apple ID, try your email address or phone number. In addition to your Apple ID, you can sign in and reset your password with other email addresses or phone numbers on file in your Apple ID account.
  • Find out how to reset your Apple ID password on a trusted device or through the Apple Support app on a family member’s iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. You can also visit an Apple Store and ask to use a device on site.
  • If you set up an account recovery contact, they can also help you reset your password.

Only use account recovery as a last resort when you can’t sign in or reset your Apple ID password.

After you've started account recovery

After you’ve requested account recovery, you’ll receive an email confirming your request and the date and time of when you can expect to regain access. This email will arrive within 72 hours.

  • If you’ve submitted your account recovery request with through your device’s browser, you should avoid using that device during this period. Using that device may cancel account recovery. 
  • To avoid delays, turn off other devices that are signed in with your Apple ID until account recovery has been completed. 

When the waiting period is over, Apple sends you a text or automated phone call with instructions on how to regain access to your account. Follow the instructions to regain access to your Apple ID.

In some cases, you may be able to speed up the account recovery process or reset your password immediately by verifying a six-digit code that is sent to your primary email address. You may also be able to shorten the waiting time by providing credit-card details to confirm your identity. If you’re given this option, an authorisation request will be sent to the card issuer.*

Check the status of your request

At any time, you can see how long it will be until your account is ready for recovery or when more information will be available. Just go to and enter your Apple ID.

Cancel your request

  • If you remember your information and can sign in successfully, your waiting period will be cancelled automatically and you can use your Apple ID immediately.
  • To cancel a recovery request that you did not make, follow the instructions in your email confirmation. 

* Apple Pay doesn't work as a credit card. If you've entered your credit-card details correctly and are asked to re-enter your security information, contact your card issuer. The issuer may have declined your authorisation attempts. 

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