How to fix disappearing iPhone passwords

Once you've changed your Apple/iCloud password you may find it keeps disappearing from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Here's how to bring it back for good.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

VIDEO: Did your iCloud password stop working? Try these fixes

Last week, to protect myself from the Apple iCloud crack, I changed my password for my Apple ID, which is also the iCloud. So far, so good. Then, I discovered that my 6th generation iPod Touch, running iOS 10.2.1, wouldn't remember my new Apple/iCloud password. Soon afterwards, some friends using iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s smartphones were having the same trouble. In fact, one of them is still having trouble after updating to the brand new iOS 10.3.

iCloud Password

Is your iCloud password disappearing on you? Here's how to bring it back for good.

What the heck? It turns out this is a known problem and it's been happening for ages. If there's any rhyme or reason to it, no one seems to have an answer. People have found a variety of ways to fix this. Starting with the easiest to the most pain-in-the-rump methods they are:

1) Is iCloud working?

iCloud is built on top of Amazon Web Services (AWS). That means not only can iCloud go down, but when AWS fails, as it did earlier this year, iCloud falls down with it. So, before throwing your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad across the room, make sure iCloud is up and running at Apple's servers status page. If all's well on the cloud, the problem lies closer to home.

2) Try resetting your password again

I know, I know you just did this, but sometimes resetting the password again will work. Don't bother trying to go back to your old password. Apple won't let you do it.

3) When in doubt, cold reboot

Like so many other computer problems, there's nothing like a cold reboot to fix many of them. With an iDevice, take the following steps:

Hold down your device's power button until the Slide to Power Off dialog appears.

  • Slide this to off and wait for 30 seconds.
  • Restart the device by pressing the power button.
  • Once more, your gadget asks you for your Apple ID and password, but this time, we hope, the password will stick.

4) Reset iCloud

OK, now we're moving into more painful fixes. With this method, you uninstall iCloud and reinstall it. By doing this, you're disabling Apple Pay and removing Photo Stream photos and iCloud data from your iGadget. Ready? Here we go:

  • On your device, head to Settings>iCloud. Once there, tap "Sign Out" and then "Delete from [Your Device]".
  • Follow this up by disabling your Find My iPhone app. You do this by heading to Settings>iCloud>Find My iPhone and toggling it to off.
  • Now power your device off and on again
  • Go back to Settings>iCloud, tap "Sign In" and enter your Apple ID and Password.
  • Re-enable your Find My iPhone app and Apple Pay.

  • 5) Restore device

    Yes, I'm going there. Sometimes the only way you can fix this miserable problem is to hook your device up with your PC or Mac and use iTunes to restore it. This is so much fun. Ready? Here we go.

    • First, make sure your computer is running the latest versions of its operating system and iTunes.
    • Next, connect your device to the computer with a physical connection. Wi-Fi doesn't cut it. After that, launch iTunes.
    • Backup the gadget to your computer, not the cloud.
    • If you want to save Health and Activity data from your iOS device or Apple Watch, you need to encrypt your backup. Do this by selecting Encrypt [device] backup with a good password.
    • If a message asks for your device passcode or to Trust This Computer, follow the on-screen steps.
    • Select your iPhone, iPad, or iPod in iTunes.
    • When the backup completes -- this can take a while -- and while your gadget is still connected to your Mac, switch Find My iPhone off in Settings>iCloud.
    • That done, return to iTunes and select Restore iPhone or Restore iPad. Use the backup you just created to restore it.

    Unfortunately for you and anyone else who owns Apple gear, Apple backup and restore doesn't backup or restore everything. You must reauthorize Apple Pay and re-enter Wi-Fi network and web service passwords.

    In my case, resetting iCloud did the trick.

    What's that? None of this worked? Bug Apple Support and tell them to fix this bug once and for all. Good luck!

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