Not a week goes by that I don't hear from someone who has lost access to their Apple ID. It can be pretty traumatic -- you can lose access to a lot of different features and services.
And Apple has several ways for users to get themselves out of a jam.
It's just they're all a bit of a hassle.
A far easier way is to plan in advance and set up an account recovery contact (or contacts!).
What is an account recovery contact?
If you lose access to your Apple ID, you can follow the steps on your device to share the onscreen instructions with your recovery contact and request a six-digit code that will allow you to reset your Apple ID password.
Oh, and don't worry. Your account contacts don't get access to any of your data.
On the iPhone or the iPad, you must be running iOS 15 or later:
- Tap on Settings and then on your name at the top of the screen
- Tap Password & Security, then Account Recovery
- Tap on Add Recovery Contact (you'll need to authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID), and then you can choose your contact (those in your Family Sharing group are added automatically, whereas any other contact will need to accept your request first)
It's that simple.
You can also do the same on the Mac, but you must be running macOS Monterey or later:
- Click on the Apple menu, then go to System Preferences
- Click on Apple ID
- Click Password & Security
- Next to Account Recovery, click on Manage
- Click on + and then Add Recovery Contact (you will need to authenticate with Touch ID or your password), and then you can choose your contact (those in your Family Sharing group are added automatically, whereas any other contact will need to accept your request first)
Again, it's all quite straightforward.
Apple has detailed information on how to set this up, along with information for those who are set as account recovery contacts.
I recommend you set up a recovery contact today because having one -- or several, you can have up to five -- set up can save you a lot of grief down the line.