How to Recover a Forgotten iCloud Mail Password

Here's what to do if you can't remember your iCloud Mail password

What to Know

  • Go to the Apple ID or the iCloud sign-in page and select Forgot Apple ID or password? below the login fields.
  • If you set up your Apple ID with two-step verification, you must enter your Recovery Key.
  • If you lost your password and your Recovery Key, you can use an Account Recovery Contact; otherwise, you must make a new ID.

This article explains how to recover a forgotten iCloud email password or Apple ID.

How to Reset Your iCloud Mail Password

There are different steps for recovering a forgotten iCloud Mail password depending on whether you have extra security set up. You should start with these instructions:

  1. Go to the Apple ID or the iCloud sign-in page.

  2. Select Forgot Apple ID or password? below the login fields.

    The "Forgot Apple ID or Password?" link on iCloud
  3. Enter your Apple ID or iCloud email address in the text box and select Continue.

    Apple ID password reset

Jump to the next set of instructions depending on the page you see.

Your Apple ID is used for signing into iCloud, including iCloud Mail. Resetting your iCloud Mail password is a matter of resetting your Apple ID password.

Select the Information You Want to Reset

If you land on a page with the heading "Select what information you want to reset," follow these steps to reset your password:

  1. Choose I need to reset my password, then select Continue.

  2. On the Select how you want to reset your password page, choose from the following:

    • Get an email: Select this option if you have access to the email address you used to set up the account.
    • Answer security questions: Select this option if you can provide answers to the security questions created when you set up the account.
  3. If you chose Get an email, select Continue. Then, go to the respective email account, open the email from Apple titled "How to reset your Apple ID password," and open the link included in the email.

    If you chose Answer security questions, select Continue. You are asked to confirm your birthday, then you are asked to answer the two security questions set up with your account. Select Continue.

  4. On the Reset Password page, enter a new Apple ID password. Enter it again to confirm that you typed it correctly.

  5. Select Reset Password.

Enter the Recovery Key

You'll see this screen only if you set up your Apple ID with two-step verification.

  1. Enter the Recovery Key you printed or saved to your computer when you first set up two-step verification, then select Continue.

    Apple ID Enter Recovery Key
  2. Check your phone for a text message from Apple. Enter that code into the Enter verification code screen on the Apple website, then select Continue.

  3. Set up a new password on the Reset Password page.

  4. Select Reset Password to reset your Apple ID password.

If you followed these or similar steps more than once, you should store your password somewhere safe where you can easily recover it, like in a free password manager.​

Change Your Apple ID Password With Two-Factor Authentication

If you set up two-factor authentication, you can reset your Apple ID password from a trusted device.

iOS Two-Factor Authentication

Here's how to change your Apple ID password using two-factor authentication on an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch):

  1. On your iOS device, open the Settings app and select [your name] > Password & Security > Change Password. In iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings > iCloud > [your name] > Password & Security > Change Password.

    Changing iCloud password on an iPhone
  2. Enter the passcode to your device.

  3. Enter a new password and then enter it again to verify the password.

  4. Select Change to change the Apple password.

macOS Two-Factor Authentication

Here's how to change your Apple ID password using two-factor authentication on a Mac desktop or laptop computer:

  1. From the Apple menu, select System Preferences.

    The System Preferences command under the Apple menu
  2. In macOS Catalina (10.15), select Apple ID > Password & Security, then select Change Password.

    In macOS Mojave (10.14) or earlier, select iCloud > Account Details > Security, then select Change Password.

    The "Change Password" button in macOS Catalina
  3. To continue, authenticate yourself by entering the password you use to log in to your Mac.

How to Recover a Lost Apple ID Recovery Key

If you don't know your Recovery Key, create a new one to replace the old one. You need this key to log in to an untrusted device with your Apple ID when two-step authentication is enabled.

  1. Go to the Manage your Apple ID page on the Apple website and log in when asked.

  2. In the Security section, select Edit.

    The Edit button under Security
  3. Select Create New Key.

    If you don't see this option, the Recovery Key option isn't available. You should instead rely on two-factor authentication.

  4. Select Continue on the pop-up message about your old Recovery Key deactivating upon the creation of a new one.

  5. Press the Print Key button to save the Recovery Key.

  6. Select Activate, enter the key, and then press Confirm to verify that you saved it.

How to Use an Account Recovery Contact

If you're running iOS 15, iPadOS 15, or macOS Monterey (10.12), you have another option to access your iCloud if you lose the login information. An account recovery contact lets you designate a trusted contact who will confirm who you are to let you get into your settings.

To set an account recovery contact, you must be over 13 years of age, have two-factor authorization turned on, and have a passcode set. Your contact must use an Apple device that's also running a compatible version of the firmware. These instructions use an iPhone, but the directions will be similar on an iPad or Mac.

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Select your name.

  3. Tap Password & Security.

  4. Choose Account Recovery.

  5. Select the plus sign next to Add Recovery Contact.

  6. If you have people designated as family members, you'll receive them as suggestions. Pick one of them or select Choose Someone Else.

  7. Choose someone from your contacts, and follow the instructions to send them a text.

  8. Once your recipient accepts the request, they'll appear as one of your recovery options and can generate a recovery code for you.

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