Apple Account Recovery – Everything You Need To Know


Have you compromised your Apple ID? Is your iPhone disabled, and it requires you to connect to iTunes to gain access again? Or maybe you forgot your passcode and tried many guesses ending up with a locked Apple device? Don’t worry! I’m here to help.

The Apple Account Recovery can be a very long and tedious process. There’s a good reason why, since Apple takes security as their top priority, they have to make sure that you and you alone have control over your data, including your Apple ID.

Want to read more about Apple accounts and Apple IDs? Make sure to read the rest of my article, as I will provide you with the best answers to all your questions related to recovering your Apple account.

How Long Does Apple Account Recovery Take?

Depending on the gravity of the situation, Apple Account Recovery takes hours, days, or even weeks to recover your Apple account. It’s to make sure that it’s isolating people that are trying to compromise your account.

The Apple Account Recovery is an automated system where Apple needs to ensure that you’re the account’s rightful owner. Since Apple prides itself on having top-notch security, they have to take precautionary measures to make sure you’re the owner of its Apple ID or at least has access to the “Trusted Device.”

The time frame of getting your Apple account back is different for everybody. One key factor is how much information you provide to the Recover Your Apple IDOpens in a new tab. website, where you can retrieve your Apple ID there.

The Apple account recovery system is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Apple prioritizes people who have provided more information about their device than the rest who’re trying to retrieve their Apple ID. Think about it, when another person gets a hold of an Apple device, they could claim they’re the original owner, right? Well, that’s not possible with Apple’s security system.

There are many reasons you would want to recover your Apple ID, one of them is simply forgetting your Apple ID in the first place. However, as long as you have your iPhone with you and can still access the email used to create your Apple ID, then all you have to do is choose to answer the security questions (if you know them) and follow the following steps:

  1. Head over to Recover Your Apple IDOpens in a new tab..
  2. Enter the email (that you can access) you used for creating the Apple ID.
  3. Apple will now display recovery steps. You’re given the freedom to choose among the recovery steps.
  4. If you chose the recovery step that requires you to answer the security questions, then answer all the questions correctly.
  5. After answering the security questions, click “Continue.
  6. Apple will take a few minutes to verify the answer and will take you to a page where you’re required to create a new strong password.
  7. You can check if you successfully retrieved your apple id, by logging it in on your iOS device.

Account recovery can be that easy. However, some cases require even more attention, especially if your account is locked. When your iOS device is locked out and has no access to your Apple ID, then you may have to contact Apple’s Tech Support.

Why Is My Apple Account Recovery Taking So Long?

Unwanted people may simultaneously try to compromise your account. To make sure Apple keeps those people out, they need to follow a complex process to lock the Apple ID account for it breaches your Apple ID security.

There can be other reasons why your Apple Account Recovery is taking longer than usual. Apple ID is essential in every iOS device since you’re required to provide the password for your Apple Account to change your password, install apps, and change various information on your account.

It’s always important to know the login details of the email linked to your Apple Account to ensure that you will have an easier time regaining access to your Apple ID if you have lost/forgotten its login details.

Can You Speed Up Apple Account Recovery?

Unfortunately, there’s no way you can speed up the recovery process of your Apple Account, time of recovery may be increased if you provided insufficient evidence of ownership when trying to recover your Apple Account.

The Apple Account Recovery process can be tedious, especially if you have already forgotten the specific details needed to speed up the recovery procedure. 

However, there is one way where you can speed up the Apple Account Recovery if you haven’t been completely locked out of your iOS device yet. You can do this by setting up an account recovery contactOpens in a new tab.Please take note that this is only applicable for people who still know their Apple ID login details. However, this feature can drastically speed up the recovery of your account in the future when you need it.

What is an Account Recovery Contact?

The goal of the Account Recovery Contact is to make sure that you always have access to your account even if you completely forgot your Apple ID password or device passcode. It is essentially setting up a “trusted” contact, like your family, close friends, and relatives, that can help regain access to your iOS device in the future.

You can use this feature with a contact person by possessing an iOS device with iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 or later and must meet all the minimum requirementsOpens in a new tab. to make sure that they are eligible/qualified to be your contact person.

Requirements of Setting up a Recovery Contact

To set up a recovery contact, ensure that you have two-factor authentication turned on for your Apple ID and that all the iOS devices (linked to your Apple Account/ID) are updated to the latest software. This can be your iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, and iOS. It would help if you also were over the age of 13Opens in a new tab. to be a recovery contact.

How to Set Up an Account Recovery Contact

Setting up an account recovery contact before you compromise your Apple Account is an excellent thing. It drastically speeds up the Account recovery process if you plan to retrieve your Apple account in the future.

  1. On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, navigate to Settings, then tap on your name.
  2. Tap Password & Security, then Account Recovery.
  3. Under Recovery Assistance, tap Add Recovery Contact.
  4. You can choose from your contacts, but those in that group are automatically recommended if you’re in a Family Sharing Group.
  5. If you select a family member, they’re automatically added. If you choose a contact, they need to accept your request to be an Account Recovery Contact.
  6. After accepting the request, you will see a message that they have been added as your account recovery contact.

Follow the steps aboveOpens in a new tab., and you will add a person to your Account Recovery Contact list, with a maximum of 5 people who can be added to your recovery contact list. 

How do I Check my Apple Account Recovery Status?

According to Apple’s support page, you can check your account’s recovery status at any time if they have successfully verified it’s you or when new information is available for you to see on their website iforgot.apple.comOpens in a new tab..

On the website, you’re going to follow the automated process that Apple has already prepared for people looking to reset their Apple ID. However, if you currently have a processed recovery with your Apple ID, you have to wait and make sure NOT TO RESET the whole recovery process again. It will make the recovery process even longer, which you don’t want.

How do I Shorten my Apple ID Recovery?

There’s not a lot you can do to shorten your Apple ID recovery. For example, you already have done the Apple Account Recovery process on iforgot.apple.comOpens in a new tab.. In that case, you either have to wait for the process to finish, contact Apple’s customer support, or regain access to another trusted device that’s already signed in with a similar Apple ID.

Having your iOS device disabled or locked out is one of the common reasons people try to retrieve the Apple ID using the account recovery method. It’s a fail-safe method for people that have forgotten their Apple ID (since they haven’t used/entered their Apple ID passwords for a long time) who have no other means of resetting their Apple accounts.

Do you want to know more about Apple ID? Then, make sure you head to my other article, where we tackle common Apple ID questions and answer each one with factsOpens in a new tab..

When you’re on the account recovery page, you can provide specific details that might help speed up the recovery process, as your credit card details. For example, you can be given the option to confirm your credit card details, and an authorization request goes to the card issuer. Make sure you call your card issuer so that they will ensure Apple sends the authorization attempts.

I suggest you try these methods to shorten your Apple ID Recovery Time:

Contacting Apple’s support team will immensely shorten the time it takes for your account to be recovered. In addition, unlike the typical automated Account Recovery that you would go through on iforgot.apple.comOpens in a new tab., you’re talking to a real live person if you decide to call them by phone.

During the call, they’re going to ask for VERY SPECIFIC details about your iOS device to prove that you’re the owner of the device. Some of the questions can be between the lines of  “Do you have the original receipt containing the serial number of your iOS device?” or “Do you know the specific date you have purchased your Apple Device?”, or even “Do you have access to the Email that is linked to your Apple ID?”

Once you answer these questions correctly, you have a higher chance of speeding up your account recovery since their technical help desk will guide you through the retrieval process. Eventually, they will send you a message containing the link to reset your Apple ID password once you have verified your identity to their customer support.

  • Try to Access your Apple ID on Another “Trusted Device”

Similar to contacting Apple’s support team, accessing your Apple ID from another trusted device will reset the recovery process of your Apple account. From there, you can reset the account recovery settings on that deviceOpens in a new tab. and try to recover the Apple Account from that device.

As I’ve said, there aren’t many things you can do to shorten the account recovery time of your Apple ID, but the methods above are worth the try while you’re trying to wait for Apple to send you a reset link and create a new password for your Apple Account. Just make sure that YOU DON’T START THE WHOLE ACCOUNT RECOVERY process again, as this will extend the time it takes to get your account back.

Why Does Account Recovery ID Take so Long?

Apple values the security of the user’s data to the next level. To ensure no security breaches on your end (the user’s end), recovering the account must go through a long process before you can be granted access to the iOS device.

Think about it, if the recovery process were quick and easy, stolen iPhones would have all the data stored in these devices from previous owners leaked/hacked by the thieves. However, this isn’t the case because Apple automatically locks your iOS device if it detects an unusual login pattern with your device.

What Happens When my iOS Device is Disabled?

An iOS device doesn’t get disabled immediately right off the bat. Instead, things happen gradually when your iPhone or iOS device shows an unusual pattern with your iPhone’s passcode security system. Again, it is to make sure that your phone is protected from theft even if you currently don’t have the phone with you.

For example, you would receive a timeout and retry after a 1-minute error if you have mistakenly input the wrong passcode several times. Do the same thing, and you might get yourself locked out from your iPhone for a few minutes up to an hour where you cannot try to input your passcode and access your device. You will be greeted with the error “iPhone Disabled – Connect to iTunes” until such time.

Although your iOS device says it’s disabled after you follow Apple’s Guide on recovering a disabled Apple device, then you may have better chances to regain access to your old iPhone or iPad.

What you’re going to need:

  • A Computer/Laptop – Preferably a macOS computer or Windows (whichever one you have will work fine).
  • The Cable Your Device Came With – Some cables that are bought online are only for charging purposes, so it’s more reliable to use the original line to avoid any faulty installation/recovery.
  • Internet Connection – If you need to reset or recover your iOS device to gain access to it immediately, you may need to have an internet connection to install the latest firmware updates for your device after it resets.
  • Disabled iOS Device – Since we’re recovering a disabled device, we need to make sure that your iOS device is prepared and ready to be connected to the computer (NOTE: You can also try to update all your Apple Devices by connecting them to the computer for faster update speeds, compared to updating them on Wi-Fi).

Restoring and Regaining Access to Your Apple Device with iTunes

If you see the Restore screen on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, you must learn what to do:

1. Connect your Apple Device with the original cable that came with it, and don’t disconnect your device from the computer.

2. Restart Your Apple Device.

  • iPad models without a Home button: Press and quickly release the volume button closest to the top button. Press and quickly release the volume button farthest from the top button. Press and hold the top button until the device restarts. If you’re not sure, see which buttons you need to press to restart your iPadOpens in a new tab..
  • iPhone 8 or later: Press and quickly release the volume up button. Press and quickly release the volume down button. Press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.
  • iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPod touch (7th generation): Press and hold both the side (or top) button and the volume down button until you see the Apple logo.
  • iPad models with a Home button, iPhone 6s or earlier, and iPod touch (6th generation) or earlier: Press and hold both the side (or top) button and the Home button until you see the Apple logo.

The steps above are taken directly from Apple’s support page on recovering an iOS device if it shows the Restore screen. However, if you wish to update your iOS device while you have your device connected to iTunes, you can easily do so with the following steps:

  1. On your Mac/Windows Pc, make sure you have installed the latest software updates on your iOS device, and ensure you have the newest version of iTunes on your computer/laptopOpens in a new tab. as well.
  2. Make sure that your device is still connected to your computer. You should see this message: “There’s a problem with the [Your Device Name] that requires it to be updated or restored.” Don’t panic as this will show up because your iOS is disabled.
  3. Click Update (not Restore) to reinstall iOS or iPadOS and keep your data. But if you want to restore your iOS device and remove all personal data, you can do so, but you need to enter your Apple ID password to verify the ownership of your iPhone/iPad.

What Happens if I Cancel Apple Account Recovery?

Have you remembered your forgotten password using a trusted device to access it? Then Apple Account Recovery will cancel itself out. Whenever Apple detects that you have regained access over the Apple ID with the proper credentials, the Apple Account recovery will cancel automatically.

Forgetting your Apple ID can occur many times, and if you have access to one of your trusted devices, it will completely cancel out the current Apple Account Recovery that you have started.

However, suppose you have no access to other trusted devices and want to cancel the current Apple account recovery that locked you out of your device. In that case, you need to follow the instructions sent to your email and cancel your Apple Account Recovery from there. Apple sends a message to the linked Email of your Apple ID to make sure you’re updated with the happenings on your iOS device.

What is Account Recovery In Progress on iPhone?

The Account Recovery In Progress is when your Account Recovery has come through, and Apple is in the works of fixing your Apple ID problem and hopefully regaining access to your device.

Apple’s account recovery system has a waiting period before sending the next step to the user. As a result, people who have this problem have been stuck waiting for days, or even worse, weeks, trying to get out of this screen:

  1. Go to iforgot.apple.comOpens in a new tab. and enter your Apple ID. Enter your Apple account details (the email linked to your Apple account).
  2. Confirm the Phone Number. You need to provide the phone number used for account recovery.
  3. After confirming the phone number used for recovery, Apple will send you a code by text or phone call.
  4. Enter the account recovery code in the field provided and click Continue.

After following the steps above, by entering the recovery code, you can now choose a new password, verify your trusted phone number, and sign in on Apple’s website normally, which means the “Account Recovery in Progress” screen will most likely disappear after you restart the iOS device and sign in with the right credentials.

Want to know more about iPhones and Apple IDs? Read my iPhone & Apple IDs: The Complete GuideOpens in a new tab. to know the ins and outs of the account used on every iOS device for listening to music, installing apps, and many more.

How Can I Recover my Apple ID Without a Trusted Number?

If you don’t have a trusted number but have a trusted device, recovering your Apple ID will be simple and done within a few taps. All you need to do is open the Trusted Device and try recovering your Apple ID from there.

One of the account recovery processes require you to use the Trusted Number linked to your Apple ID as it will be used to send a recovery code that can be transmitted through SMS/Private Call, either way, it’s useless to recover your Apple ID through that method if you don’t have access to that Trusted Number in the first place.

First, you need to go to iforgot.apple.comOpens in a new tab. and try to recover your Apple ID there. With a trusted device, you’re at least have better chances of speeding up the process or completing the recovery process since you have a Trusted Device linked with the same Apple ID.

However, if you don’t have access to your Trusted Devices, Trusted Numbers, and Apple ID password, then your last resort may be trying to contact Apple SupportOpens in a new tab. and try to get in a call with their customer service specialists and provide them with either:

  • Receipts of your iOS Device
  • Original Serial Number of the Device
  • Specific Date of Purchase
  • Online Receipt (If you won the device from an external source, where you aren’t the original owner, you need to ask them for a receipt that may have been sent to the initial purchasers of the iOS device.

What if I Don’t Have access to my other Trusted Devices/Number?

As long as you still have your Recovery Key and remember your Apple ID password, you can sign in and add a new trusted device or phone number to your account. In addition, you can manage and remove devices you may have lost, sold, or given away on this page.

  1. Go to your Apple Account PageOpens in a new tab. and enter your Apple ID Password.
  2. On the Verify Your Identity section, select “Can’t access your trusted devices?”
  3. In the pop-up window, enter your Recovery Key.
  4. Go to the security section and click Edit to manage all the linked Trusted Numbers & Devices to your Apple ID.

For security purposes, remove all the devices you no longer wish to use to verify your identity. If you have additional Apple Devices that you want to list as your Trusted Device, or numbers that you want to add to be listed as a Trusted Number can be done in the Security section of the Apple Account Page.

Why Does it Take Three Days to Recover my Apple ID?

The recovery process of an Apple ID can take three days or more depending on the information you provide on the iforgot.apple.comOpens in a new tab. site. Suppose you provided credit card information; you should regain access to your Apple ID within the week.

The account recovery system has a waiting period before it sends out the following steps to its user, locking out the compromised linked to the Apple ID. Providing credit card information that was used to purchase your iOS device will speed up the process.

If you have given credit card information, you need to call your card issuer and tell them to accept the confirmation request by Apple as they may have been declining the confirmation request. After they confirm that you’re the rightful owner, you’ll access your Apple ID in no time.

Can I Get my Apple ID Verification Code Sent to My Email?

No. If you have two-factor authenticationOpens in a new tab. for your Apple devices, you’re not going to receive the verification code through Email. The way two-factor authentication works is you need your Apple ID password and the six-digit verification code that’s sent either on a Trusted Number or shown on-screen on a Trusted Device.

Trusted Devices

A trusted phone number is used to receive verification codes through SMS or an automated phone call. Similar to Trusted devices, they’re primarily used for sending verification codes when signing in your Apple ID on a new gadget.

Trusted Numbers

A trusted phone number is a number that can be used to receive verification codes through SMS or an automated phone call. Similar to Trusted devices, they’re primarily used for sending verification codes when signing in your Apple ID on a new device.

Verification Code? What is That?

A verification code is different from the code you would typically enter before opening your iOS device unless you’re using Face ID (which you should really use). Read my article Is an iPhone Useless Without Face ID? The FactsOpens in a new tab. to know why you should use the Face ID feature for faster access to your Apple Device.

How Can I Recover my Apple ID Without two-factor authentication?

Other than the Apple Account Recovery process that you would typically use to retrieve your Apple ID, it’s more efficient and faster if you’ll contact Apple’s support desk directly and provide them with sufficient information. After, your Apple ID recovery process will be completed in a few days.

After trying to recover your Apple ID in iforgot.apple.comOpens in a new tab., you may want to wait for the waiting period to be over and provide all the information you can give for speedy account retrieval. However, you are left with three options if you already have two-factor authentication set up before recovering your Apple ID.

OptionDescription
Trusted DevicesSince you have two-factor authentication enabled, there’s a high chance that you have access to another trusted device that’s used to get a verification code when you’re logging on to a new device. Try accessing the Trusted Device and recover your Apple ID by clicking “Allow” on your Trusted Device if you’re trying to log in to a separate device. 
Trusted NumbersYou can use the verification code sent through your Trusted Number while you’re going to log in Apple Account PageOpens in a new tab. and use that as a way to recover your Apple ID.
Contacting Apple SupportUse this as a last resort, provide evidence like receipts, specific dates of purchase, and the credit card details used to purchase the device, if necessary, to verify ownership of your Apple device.

How Long Does it Take for Apple to Verify an Account?

In regaining access to your Apple account, it may take a few days or a couple of weeks before you can fully recover and change your Apple ID password.

However, once you’ve completed the recovery process and Apple has verified that you’re the owner, then they’re going to send you a reset link to change your Apple ID password.

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