How to Replace a Lost Recovery Key for Apple ID with iPhone or iPad

Sep 20, 2021 - 18 Comments

How to Replace Lost Recovery Key on iPhone

Apple reintroduced the Recovery Key security feature in modern iOS and iPadOS versions that may come in handy for resetting your Apple ID password. Recovery Key acts as an extra layer of security for your Apple account just in case you forget your password, and lose access to your trusted device. But what happens if you need a new recovery key for your Apple ID?

Although resetting an Apple ID password is a pretty simple task in most cases, things could get super complicated and frustrating if you don’t have access to the device you’re already signed into. However, with Recovery Key turned on, you can use the 28-digit unique key as an alternate method to reset the password rather than having to go through various hoops such as entering payment method details and answering your security questions for a password reset.

That being said, you could still lose your recovery key which means more trouble. Thankfully, if you have access to a device you’re already signed into, you can quickly create a new recovery key in case you lose the current one. Let’s take a look at how you can can replace a lost recovery key on your iPhone.

How to Replace a Lost Recovery Key for Apple ID via iPhone or iPad

As long as you have access to a device running iOS 14/iPadOS 14 or newer that you’re already signed into the same Apple ID with, replacing the recovery key with a new one is a pretty straightforward procedure.

  1. Head over to “Settings” from the home screen of your iPhone or iPad.

    iOS settings icon
  2. In the settings menu, tap on your Apple ID Name located right at the top.

    How to Replace Lost Recovery Key on iPhone
  3. Here, head over to “Password & Security” as shown in the screenshot below.

    How to Replace Lost Recovery Key on iPhone
  4. Next, scroll down to the bottom of the menu and tap on “Recovery Key”.

    How to Replace Lost Recovery Key on iPhone
  5. Now, tap on “Create New Recovery Key” as shown in the screenshot below.

    How to Replace Lost Recovery Key on iPhone
  6. You’ll get a pop-up on your screen prompting you to confirm your action. Choose “Replace Recovery Key” to proceed. You’ll be asked to entire your device passcode.

    How to Replace Lost Recovery Key on iPhone
  7. Your 28-digit recovery key will now be shown to you. You can write it down in a safe place that you’re able to easily access. Once you’re done, tap on “Continue”.

    How to Replace Lost Recovery Key on iPhone
  8. Now, you’ll need to manually type in your recovery key for verification and making sure that you haven’t made any mistakes while noting it down. Tap “Next” when you’re done.

    How to Replace Lost Recovery Key on iPhone

There you have it, you’ve managed to change the recovery key for your Apple account right from your iPhone or iPad.

Once again, we’d like to remind you that you can replace your recovery key only if you have access to a device that you’re already logged into. Make sure you don’t ever lose both your trusted device and your recovery key, because even Apple Support may be unable to help you with the password reset.

Every time you disable and re-enable the recovery key feature for your Apple ID, a new 28-digit key will be generated for your account. Therefore, you can also do this if you lost your current key or feel like someone else knows it, or has otherwise been compromised.

However, if you feel like you can’t keep your recovery key somewhere safe and secure, maybe this feature is not for you. In that case, you can turn Recovery Key off and still follow the old school method of resetting your lost or forgotten password from Apple’s website.

Were you able to replace the recovery key and get a new one for your Apple ID? What are your thoughts on this feature? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below.


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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in iPad, iPhone, Security, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


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  1. Tammy Mercure says:

    An account I have had since 2011 was hacked and phone was stolen. I went threw hell trying to find it and get it back. Once I was able to get phone back I’m locked out due to a recovery key I didn’t even set up! All my stuff in iCloud I can’t access now. My kids pictures everything was in my iCloud. I’m told nothing Apple can do without that recovery code! I’m am at a loss right now! I can prove everything yet I can’t access account again this is straight bs!

  2. JP says:

    The recovery key is a joke. If it’s that easy to generate a new one I a screwed.
    Why because the person(s) responsible for hacking me can just so easily generate a new one.
    Apple is less secure than any smartphone on the market.
    I am going back to the old Flip Phone.
    Harder to hack.

  3. Gsonja says:

    I lost my recovery key code and I need to reset it

  4. U can get that back…. BecUse if the i chain…. Once u go with the 28 character option app hope is lost.. your basically telling apple , I don’t need u, I got this…. Someone stole my iWatch “ironically,about the same period”which is/was my trusted device. Besides my phone changed my 28 bit character code now my phone is locked and I can’t take it off of this account because I told them that I want/ they are going to fix it”them to fix it, they need to verify two weeks worth of information, I told them “I don’t care there’s a redundancy, and I added it so I can send my father a code if this happened“. so far nobody’s told me anything about that I’m gonna have to get Steve Jobs on the line from heaven.

    I apologize for any typos

  5. Sara says:

    TEN YEARS OF INFO + an Apple Card that’s TRASH bc it’s linked to the “locked” Apple ID…

    I can give you a blood sample, ID, old PW… anything but a recovery key and you aren’t able to verify my identity!!!!

    I now tell over 100 customers a month how much better Androids are than iPhones. I realize there was a warning not to lose the recovery key, but let’s be honest, is it that difficult to prove we really are who we say we are????? 😡😡😡

  6. John Kucera says:

    2years of data lost over an antiquated recovery key system! Screw you Apple!

  7. Abdul Abdulbasheer says:

    I swear I’m getting to hate this apple of a thing because android would never do this because I’m any case android gonna provide solution to this account recovery loss I swear I’m hating my self because I’m gonna loose all my files in short my life I hate APPLE

  8. Mohamed says:

    I forget iPhone Id password and I can’t Generate recovery key.

  9. Ziad says:

    Hamlin, i followed the tutorial, all i saw was notification email and two-step verification (ON) with no other options.

    i wonder if you can help out as i lost my recovery key and my trusted device was stolen and we all know Apple support…..


    • JP says:

      Apple support is such a joke.
      They don’t know anything about the workings of the product they represent.
      I wonder how many iPhone owners know you can only create 10 icloud accounts. After that you have to use Gmail, or one of the others.
      Without an icloud account you can’t utilize many iPhone features.
      What a joke. Should have stuck with android.

  10. Cindy Labishak says:

    The recovery key is an absolute joke and very frustrating. I lost all my kids photos, apps, contacts, important information and documents etc…… The don’t truly explain the process of enabling this feature.

    • Rob McCoy says:

      I have big concerns about the security of the iPhone recovery key.
      It takes very little authentication to generate a new Recovery Key.
      Why do I say this you may ask.?
      Simple if a their hacks your iPhone, instantly he can simply change your icloud account password with great ease. All he needs to know is your screen lock pass code. That he already has because he hacked you and had a Keylogger record your every move on the keypad.
      Trust me I know what I am talking about, because I was compromised, and the hacker changed all my passwords to my email accounts. Taking it a few steps further, and changed all my 2factor authentication emails, so I wasn’t getting the notifications to unlock my email accounts.
      The person(s) responsible did it all right under my nose.
      I didn’t know I had been compromised until I noticed the weird email addresses in the settings app.

      Tell me what kind of smart phone can you only create a very limited amount of icloud accounts.
      An IPhone!!! 10 is the number of times you can factory reset an iPhone, 10
      How stupid

      • Ted says:

        I agree, Apple needs to improve the ability to regain access to an iCloud account.

        What you describe is a nightmare scenario that hopefully nobody else has to go through.

        WSJ and other mainstream news have written about this before, it is a serious problem of legitimate people getting locked out of their own iCloud accounts.

        Apple needs to establish a protocol of identity verification; physical ID cards, address proof, whatever, banks do this all the time, and be able to provide access to iCloud accounts and Apple ID accounts accordingly.

        Apple expects everyone to put all their data, photos, and life into iCloud and an Apple ID, they need to let people recover one in case of disaster too, whether it’s from a hack, or a forgotten password.

      • MyGreyDay says:

        Crazy thing about the key logger – I’m dealing with the same s**t dude. My Girlfriend of ten years got her iPhone 11 Pro Max stolen by someone I thought was a friend, whose a little too good at hacking, he got entry into her WhatsApp connected to her old iCloud & her number that she’s had for 15+ years – long story short, he’s basically controlling our lives through our devices right now that are apple devices, I even cashed out & bought a MacBook Air m2 chip 2022 version & an iPad Pro & upgraded her to an iPhone 14 Pro Max & upgraded myself from an iPhone 8 to an iPhone 13 allllll in hopes of hopefully just HOPEFULLY gaining control of basically all of our digital information. Truly didn’t realize how much of our lives & important Information was on phones until this happened. The hacker has implemented new recovery keys & gained access to my old iCloud as well & did some s*** remotely & is constantly changing accessibility settings with a flipper device or a smart switch or something but definitely a key logger – taught us more about security in the long run n your not alone with your frustrations & I hope that people read this & really invest in keeping security keys on separate devices or on other hard drives in a safe, sounds extensive but, once you have this happen to you & have apple turn their backs on you when you’ve passed every authentication & have been 1000% transparent – it’s devastating. Cash app accounts have been lost now with thousands on it & although we have the same numbers & can verify the numbers – they won’t let us in. It’s been half a year since it’s happened & I still try & research every now & then in hopes of finding a solution. Ahh. Maybe in the future. Keep your devices close people – even around your friends, don’t use public hotspots & definitely don’t use charging cords that aren’t yours & DO NOT EVER implement the security key feature that doesn’t care to explain the consequences of losing your account forever if your not being able to authenticate it- have it written down immediately.

  11. Ian Rae says:

    Straightforward? However if your Apple account has been locked disabled you can’t get in to reset anything! They sure know how to bill you for services but don’t want to help you through a bad problem!!!?*

  12. Arieltamor says:

    May Apple ID is lock ples unlock my Apple ID account I need helf

    • Rob Mc says:

      Reset your iPhone ID password then.
      It’s easy to do. All you need to know is your screen lock passcode.
      I’m sure you know that?

  13. Alex says:


    Your recovery key is in plain sight.

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