What To Do If You Can Not Remember an Apple ID or Password
Forgetting the login and password to an Apple ID is not the best feeling in the world, particularly given how integral an Apple login is to the broader iOS and OS X experience. So, if you or someone else happens to forget an Apple ID or the password to an Apple account, what should you do? First, don’t freak out, we’re human and this stuff happens. Apple provides multiple ways to recover a forgotten ID login or password, and you can start the recovery process either directly on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, Mac, Windows PC, or just about anything with a web browser.
The different processes described below will work to recover a forgotten Apple ID (meaning the email address used to login), and/or reset a forgotten Apple ID password. This can be particularly helpful if you’re setting up a new device for yourself or someone else, switching a device to a credit card-free ID, or changing the Apple ID associated with a device, and you can’t remember the pertinent login information, or if your email changed at some point and you didn’t update your Apple details to go along with it.
Before anything else, know that you can always contact Apple support directly here if you want assistance through official channels to regain account access, which may be the best option for users who are overwhelmed or confused.
Recover or Reset Forgotten Apple ID or Password on iPhone & iPad
This is all done on an iOS device and is often the simplest way to log back into an Apple account:
- Open the Settings app and scroll down and tap on “iCloud”
- Tap on the email address at the very top of the iCloud settings screen
- Tap on the blue text underneath the password entry that says “Forgot Apple ID or Password?” where you’ll have two choices:
- If you know your Apple ID and don’t remember the password, type in your email address and click “Next” to start the reset process
- If you don’t know your Apple ID, tap on “Forgot your Apple ID?” and fill out your full name and email address to recover the Apple ID login (yes, you can then do the password reset after you have the Apple ID)
At this point you should be good to go, you can reset the password for the account and then login as usual.
What if this doesn’t work, or what if it doesn’t find your Apple ID? You can try one of the next two options:
Find a Forgotten Apple ID by Email or Old Email Address
This is a more advanced trick to search multiple email addresses, which is incredibly helpful if you switched email accounts at some point in time and that’s what has caused the login problem. This can be done with any web browser in iOS, OS X, or Windows:
- Open the web browser of choice and go to this Apple iForgot website (creative name, eh?)
- Enter the first and last name associated with the Apple ID, your current email address, and any and all prior email addresses to start the reset process
- Answer the security questions associated with the user to complete the reset process
This will help to find the Apple ID, but if you can’t recall the password to that ID then you’d need to go to the next step as well.
Reset an Apple ID Password from the Web
You can also start the password reset process from the official Apple ID website, this also can be done any device as long as you have a web browser:
- Go to this Apple ID site and under “Manage your Apple ID” choose the “Reset your password” option
- Enter the email address associated with the account and answer the security questions as usual to complete the password reset process
Finally, if you’re completely stuck, you’re annoyed, confused, or none of the above has worked, you can contact Apple directly about your account and in many situations they can help you to regain access again.