WARNING never loose your Apple ID recovery key

WARNING never loose your Apple ID recovery key

Apple came out with a two-step security verification on the Apple ID. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204152 You had to sign up for it. With that enrollment it came with a 16 numeric/alphabetical code called a recovery key. Basically to manage anything on your apple account, you are required to have 2 of 3 security pieces of information; the password, a device or the recovery key. If you happen to misplace your recovery key and have the other information, not a problem you can sign on with your password and security device. However, if you pulled a move like I did yesterday and forgot your password, you better have the recovery key.

My iPad is 4 years old and runs very slow. instead of buying a new one my mom gave me her old one that’s only two years old. I erased all her data and was setting things up under my Apple ID and it asked for the password. On my iPhone I do everything with my thumbprint and the old iPad doesn’t require a password when I buy an app, so I can’t tell you the last time I actually entered the password in anywhere. I completely blanked out. I tried what I thought it was in a few variations and it didn’t work. What apple fails to do is warn you if you try again your account will be locked, and I locked my account.

Ok, no big deal, I called Apple support. This is where the nightmare occurred. When you lock your account in the two-step security verification, the password is no longer a possible step for the verification. That leaves only the device and the recovery key. I didn’t have the recovery key. It wasn’t saved anywhere in my notes or emails or in a screen shot like I normally do. It was nowhere to be found. The unfortunate solution from Apple is this:

The support team CANNOT gain access to your recovery key.

Without the recovery key, the Apple ID would forever remain locked. I would have to create a new Apple ID and everything I’ve purchased from Apple with my locked ID would be lost.  My entire iTunes library would be gone if I every plugged my iPod in again. i wouldn’t be able to sign on to iTunes because my ID is locked. Thousands of songs, gone. All my apps and ring tones I purchased on my phone would be lost because my phone isn’t connected to the iCloud because the ID is blocked. I was devastated, I was shaking, I was crying. Years I had this ID with Apple. In the middle of me ripping apart my home looking for any possible sign of this 16 digit code, I dropped my glasses which my puppy destroyed and so I also need to replace them for another $300. It was a very bad morning.

There was one thing I know about myself, I take screen shots  usually and  email myself the picture. I couldn’t find the email or the screen shot. I must have deleted it without realizing what it was.  I had one more hope.  I had another very old iPad that I haven’t turned on in a longtime. If I can get to it before it updated to the newer back up the screenshot may still possibly be on that iPad.  The Apple support team told me exact date that I set the two-step security verification so I knew exactly what date I was looking for. I had to plug in the iPad because it was completely dead. I stayed watching over it waiting for it to have enough power to come on.  As soon as I could power it on I went into my Photos on that specific day, and sure enough there was the recovery key snapshot. I took three pictures of it with my phone, grabbed a pen  wrote it down and by the time I was entering the digits in the computer the picture was gone and it updated to the current back up.


I still have to fix my glasses but luckily I didn’t lose 10+ years of Apple purchases. If you set yourself up for this two-step security MAKE SURE YOUR RECOVERY KEY IS IN A SAFE PLACE!!!!! Lesson learned.


4 thoughts on “WARNING never loose your Apple ID recovery key

  1. I feel your pain! I was on a chat with Amazon for an hour and a half today. We’re trying to figure out why a book that my mother bought for her kindle did not transfer to my Kindle app on my iPad. Turned out to be a very easy solution. But I had to talk to five people before it worked.

  2. How scary! How do I know if I set myself up for this? I don’t remember ever having a recovery code. Bit chances are if I did, I don’t think that I would have been clever enough to screenshot it like you did (good tip!) xx

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