Apple ID Disabled? Fix It Fast!

Learn why you were disabled and what to do next

iPhone screen showing a disabled Apple ID

Ben Kolde / Unsplash

Having a working Apple ID is essential to using your iPhone (or any Apple device), so a disabled Apple ID is a problem. In that situation, you won't be able to do things like buy apps from the App Store or update your Apple ID billing or subscription information. A disabled Apple ID might seem like a big problem, but it's easy to fix.

How to Know If Your Apple ID Has Been Disabled

When your Apple ID is disabled, the Apple device lets you know. You won't be able to perform any of the actions that require an Apple ID, and you'll see an onscreen message informing you about the issue. The exact message may be different, but the most common ones are:

  • This Apple ID has been disabled for security reasons.
  • You can't sign in because your account was disabled for security reasons.
  • This Apple ID has been locked for security reasons.

If you see any of these alerts, your Apple ID is disabled.

Why Your Apple ID Has Been Disabled

Apple automatically disables Apple IDs when someone tries to log in to them too many times using the wrong password, security questions, or other account information. This could happen if you forget your password or accidentally type the wrong password too many times. More likely, though, someone is trying to gain unauthorized access to your Apple ID.

A standard hacking technique is called a Brute Force Attack, which works by logging in to an account with guesses for things like passwords. Rather than allow that to happen, and potentially put your account at risk, Apple disables the Apple ID account that may be getting hacked after a few incorrect entries. Then, only the user who owns the account and knows the right information can re-activate it.

When your Apple ID is disabled, you can't log in (even with the correct password) until you re-enable the account.

How to Fix a Disabled Apple ID

Re-enabling your disabled Apple ID requires going to the Apple website and resetting your password. While you're there, you might want to turn on two-factor authentication.

  1. Apple's Apple ID recovery website
  2. Log in to your account using your Apple ID username.

    Logging in to an Apple ID
  3. Enter your phone number, then click Continue.

    Phone number verification on the Apple ID recovery website with the Continue button highlighted
  4. Apple sends notifications to the devices that are linked to your Apple ID so that you can reset your password there. If you don't have access to any of those devices, click Don't have access to any of your devices? (located at the bottom of the screen).

    Website showing instructions for resetting an Apple ID password with
  5. Whichever option you choose, follow the onscreen prompts to unlock your account or reset your password.

For detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to reset your Apple ID, check out how to reset your Apple ID password in a few easy steps. You'll also learn how to reset your account if you use Two-Factor Authentication.

Have Your Trusted Device Handy for Two-Factor Authentication

Some people prefer to add additional security to their accounts by using Two-Factor Authentication with their Apple ID. With this approach, you can only access your Apple ID if you have both your username and password and a randomly generated code supplied by Apple when you log in.

In that case, the process of fixing your disabled Apple ID is similar. The only difference is that you need access to one of the trusted devices you designated when you set up Two-Factor Authentication. Apple sends the random code to that device during the process of unlocking or resetting your Apple ID.

If you re-enabled your Apple ID by changing your password, log in to your Apple ID using your new password on all of your devices, including iCloud, FaceTime, and elsewhere.

Contact Apple for Additional Tech Support

If you followed the instructions to either log back in to your Apple ID or to reset your Apple ID password, and your Apple ID still isn't enabled, contact Apple for support. Either go to your local Apple Store for in-person support (but make sure to make an appointment in advance) or get online support from Apple.