Apple ID Disabled? Fix It Fast!

Learn why you were disabled and what to do next

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.

iPhone screen showing a disabled Apple ID
Ben Kolde / Unsplash

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 on-screen message informing you of the problem. 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, Apple disabled your Apple ID.

Reasons Why an Apple ID Is Disabled

Apple automatically disables Apple IDs when someone tries to log in too many times using the wrong password, security question, or other account information. This can 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 passwords. Rather than allowing that to happen and potentially putting your account at risk, Apple disables the Apple ID account that may be a hacker's target after a few incorrect entries. Then, only the user who owns the account and knows the right information can reactivate it.

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

How to Fix a Disabled Apple ID

Reenabling your disabled Apple ID requires going to the Apple website and resetting your password. While you're there, turn on two-factor authentication, if you haven't already, for added protection from future hackers.

  1. Go to the iForgot.apple.com website.

    Apple's Apple ID recovery website

    If you entered the wrong password repeatedly after your account was disabled, you might have to wait for 24 hours before you can unlock your Apple ID.

  2. Log in to your account with your Apple ID username.

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

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

    Website showing instructions for resetting an Apple ID password with "Don't have access to any of your devices?" highlighted
  5. Whichever option you choose, follow the on-screen prompts to unlock your account or reset your password. Reactivating your Apple ID takes longer if you don't have access to any of your devices.

Two-Factor Authentication Adds a Step

Apple encourages users of its products to add security to their accounts by using two-factor authentication with their Apple ID. With this approach, you can access your Apple ID only if you have your username and password and a randomly generated code supplied by Apple.

When you use two-factor identification, fixing your disabled Apple ID is almost the same as when you don't use it. The only difference is that you need access to one of the trusted devices you designated when you set up the two-factor authentication. Apple sends the random code to that device during the process of unlocking or resetting your Apple ID.

If you changed your password while reenabling your Apple ID, log in to your Apple ID using your new password on all your devices, including iCloud, FaceTime, and elsewhere.

Contact Apple for Tech Support

If you followed the recommended steps and your Apple ID still isn't enabled, contact Apple for support. In this case, getting online support from Apple is the way to go.