How to Recover a Forgotten iCloud Mail Password

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

Forgetting your iCloud Mail password doesn't mean that you'll never have access to your emails or Apple account again. In fact, it's really easy to reset your iCloud Mail password if you follow a few simple steps.

Below are all the instructions necessary to reset an Apple iCloud Mail password to restore access to your account. If you lose your Recovery Key, an extra recovery step is available at the end of this page.

If you've had to follow these or similar steps more than once, chances are you should store your password somewhere safe where you can more easily recover it, like in a free password manager.​

How to Reset Your iCloud Mail Password

An illustration of the ways to recover a forgotten iCloud email password.
Lifewire / Kelly Miller

The steps for recovering a forgotten iCloud Mail password are a bit different depending on whether you have extra security set up, but first, start with these instructions:

If your account is using two-step authentication and you're currently logged in to your iCloud Mail account on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, then skip down to the "When Two-Step Authentication Is Enabled" section for a much quicker solution to resetting your password.

  1. Visit the Apple ID or the iCloud sign-in page.
  2. Click the Forgot Apple ID or password? link below the login fields, or jump directly there through this link.
  3. Type your iCloud Mail email address in the first text box.
  4. Below that, type the characters you see in the security image.
    1. Tip: If you can't read the characters in the picture, make a new image with the New Code link, or listen to the code with the Vision Impaired option.
  5. Click Continue.

Jump to the next set of instructions below depending on what you see on the screen:

Select what information you want to reset:

  1. Choose I need to reset my password, and then click Continue to reach the Select how you want to reset your password: screen.
  2. Pick Get an email if you have access to the email address you used to set up the account or choose Answer security questions if you think you can remember the answers to those, and then press Continue.
  3. If you chose Get an email, press Continue and then open the link Apple should have just sent you to the email address on file.
    1. If you chose Answer security questions, use the Continue button to get to the page asking for your birthday. Enter it and then click Continue again to get to the page with your security questions. Answer each question you're asked, followed by the Continue button 
  4. On the Reset Password page, enter a brand-new password for iCloud Mail. Do it twice to confirm that you've typed it correctly.
  5. Press Reset Password.

Enter Recovery Key.

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

  1. Enter the Recovery Key you should have printed or saved to your computer when you first set up two-step verification. 
  2. Press Continue.
  3. Check your phone for a text message from Apple. Enter that code into the Enter verification code screen on Apple's website.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Set up an entirely new password on the Reset Password page.
  6. Press the Reset Password button to finally reset your iCloud Mail password.

When Two-Step Authentication Is Enabled:

If you have two-factor authentication set up, you have a device that's logged in to this iCloud account, and the device uses a passcode or login password, you can reset your iCloud Mail password from a trusted device. 

Here's how to do this on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Navigate to Settings > [your name] > Password & Security > Change Password. If you're using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go instead to Settings > iCloud > [your name] > Password & Security > Change Password.
  2. Enter the passcode to your device.
  3. Type a new password and then type it again to verify it.
  4. Hit the Change button to change the Apple password.

If you're using a Mac, do this instead:

  1. From the Apple menu, open the System Preferences... menu item.
  2. Open iCloud.
  3. Click the Account Details button.
    1. Note: If you're now asked to reset your Apple ID password, choose Forgot Apple ID or password and follow the on-screen steps, skipping Step 4 below.
  4. Open the Security tab and then choose the option to reset your password. To continue, you'll need to authenticate yourself by entering the password you use to log in to your Mac.

How to Recover a Lost iCloud Mail Recovery Key

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

  1. Visit the Manage your Apple ID page and log in when asked.
  2. Find the Security section and click the Edit button there.
  3. Select the Create New Key... link.
  4. Click Continue on the pop-up message about your old Recovery Key deactivating upon the creation of a new one.
  5. Use the Print Key button to save the Recovery Key.
  6. Click Activate, enter the key, and then press Confirm to verify that you've saved it.