If You Lose Your Apple ID Recovery Key, Your Account is Gone Forever

Do you know where your two-factor Recovery Key is? For those unaware, when you turn on the two-factor authentication, you receive a Recovery Key, which is the ultimate tool to access your digital life (aka Apple ID) in case you forget your password or your account is the target of a hacking attack.

Recovery key apple id

Why is this so important? The Next Web’s Owen Williams has a horror story: he got locked out of his Apple account because the above scenario happened to him. Someone tried to hack his account, and the two-factor authentication did its job: it protected his account, but it also disabled his Apple account for security reasons.

The only solution to recover his digital life — seven years of purchase history and all of the important info connected to that Apple ID — was to enter the Recovery Key he received when enabling the two-factor authentication.

Well, that’s no problem, you may say, let’s enter the key — if you have it at hand, of course. Because if you don’t, you are screwed. Apple’s latest security measures lock you out of your own account, because after several failed attempts you cannot use your trusted device anymore. Just the key. This is something Apple doesn’t tell you, so you better be cautious with that security key.

When I headed to the account recovery service, dubbed iForgot, I discovered that there was no way back in without my recovery key. That’s when it hit me; I had no idea where my recovery key was or if I’d ever even put the piece of paper in a safe place. I’ve moved since I set up two-factor on iCloud.

You can forget about calling Apple or using your Apple connections to access your account. If you have lost that code, the only advice you get is to create a new Apple ID.

Apple support told me that the security lock doesn’t expire, so there’s no way to get around requiring the key, even though its support site says you can use trusted devices. You’re simply not given that option when your account is locked.

So, once again: do you know where your Recovery Key is?