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Locked out of your iPhone or Mac? How your family and friends can get you back in



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Setting up an account recovery contact is the first thing to do when iOS 15 is released.

Angela Lang/CNET

This story is part of WWDC 2021

. All the latest from Apple’s annual developer conference.

Forgetting your Apple ID password — which is basically the master key for all your Apple devices, including your iPhone — sometimes happens, no matter how annoying and embarrassing it may be. Currently, if you try to sign in to your iCloud account too often, your account will be disabled and you’ll need to contact Apple Support to regain access.

It is not only a hassle, but also very inconvenient. However, later this year, Apple will add an account recovery feature to: iOS 15 that makes it easier to regain access to an account that you no longer have access to. With Account Recovery, you choose a contact (or contacts) you trust who can help you regain access to your account if you are locked out.

Apple iOS 15 released to developers through its beta program, with a public beta to follow sometime in July. You can install beta now nu if you have a developer account, but you should probably wait.

Start by choosing your account recovery contact(s)

From the demonstration Apple gave during the keynote, it looks like you’re designating one or two contacts as an Account Recovery contact. Of course, you want to choose a contact you trust. To be clear, the contact won’t be able to access your iCloud account or Apple ID at any time, but it’s still a good idea to limit these types of features to close friends or family members.






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You will likely add an account recovery contact in your iCloud account settings. We’ve asked Apple for more details about adding a contact and will update this post as soon as we know more.

What to do if you can’t access your Apple ID or iCloud account

If you can’t access your account anymore, you’ll need to call one of your account recovery contacts from your iPhone. Your contact will then give you a short code that you must enter to unlock your account.

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A recovery contact is the key to unlock your iCloud account or Apple ID if you forgot your password.

Screenshot/Apple

Once your account is unlocked, you will likely be prompted to create a new password. Rather than leave it to your memory or choose a simple password that you know you will remember, we recommend a password manager app. It creates a secure password for you, saves it, and even enters it when prompted.

There are many great features in iOS 15, including the addition of send FaceTime links for calls on Android and Windows. The AirPods also get plenty of useful tricks, together with the Apple Watch.


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