View Full Version : Can't change my password because don't have my recovery code

04-11-2017, 08:55 PM
Last week, I changed my password for iCloud and also got a new recovery code (RK----). I wrote them both down on a piece of paper and also saved them on Dashlane, or so I thought. It turns our that Dashlane did not save them and I can't find the paper where my password was written down.

I can contune to get my email, so long as I don't get logged out, because i have already inputted the new password. But I can't sign in to iCloud to update my OS. I can't find my iPhone if i lose it. I can't update my apps.

I called Apple support and they tried to walk me through the recovery process, but it seems that because I was given an RK recovery code and you must have two of apple ID, password and recovery code, the only solution is to get a new Apple id altogether, and presumably that will result in my losing everything I have saved on the cloud. And that means among other things all the music I purchased on iTunes.

Any advice on how to solve this would be very gratefully received.


04-11-2017, 08:58 PM
Sorry; didn't mean to post this twice. Can someone delete the other one with the typo in the title?

04-11-2017, 09:06 PM
Don't quite have an answer for you but I did delete the other thread.

04-11-2017, 09:21 PM
Thanks for part two of your answer!

04-11-2017, 09:31 PM
Any advice on how to solve this would be very gratefully received.

Other than finding that piece of paper, we can give you no other advice. We just had another member go thru the same thing and it took him 19 days to get his account reset. We constantly warn folks about using 2FA for security. It's great as a security device, but you had better keep up with your recovery code and or password for your Apple ID. Try to find that piece of paper.

04-11-2017, 09:50 PM
I thought that would be the answer. I honestly did not understand what the two-step verification process would mean. If I get a new apple id, can apple delete my old one; if not I am going to continue to pay for storage on icloud that I cannot access.

04-11-2017, 09:57 PM
We just had another member go thru the same thing and it took him 19 days to get his account reset.

That implies that he did manage it. What was he able to do to get his reset.

04-11-2017, 10:00 PM
They will not delete your old Apple ID account but will restore it. You will have to live with two accounts which might cause confusion so be careful in the future to keep things separate. And it might be best when things settle down that you remove 2FA and just use your three questions and passcode. I know it's perhaps not as secure but Apple's 2FA account restoration is backlogged because of the many requests they get to restore accounts. Which is why is may take 2 or 3 weeks to restore your account.

04-11-2017, 10:27 PM
I am not sure that they can restore it. I called Apple support and they tried to walk me through the restore account option, but it did not even appear as an option when I went into the system. Then she tried to share my screen and wasn't able to do that either. I am truly snookered. I don't think the paper is going to turn up.I was getting rid of the content of an old filing cabinet and I think it must have been turfed out with them.

I will definitely not do 2-step verification again.

04-11-2017, 10:39 PM
I just read here that someone was able to recover his lost key from a Time Machine backup. How would you do that? I back up to Time Machine on ann external drive.

04-13-2017, 12:05 PM

It's a long shot, but if you were using Safari (?), did it offer to save your Password (PW)? If you even think it possible, Go into Applications > Utilities > Keychain Access.

You will need your Admin PW to unlock it (padlock), then you can use the search facility. Try everything under Apple, try under the date you changed etc.

If you find something, double click on it. This will bring up a small window; bottom left is "Show Password" - check the box. This opens yet another box - Admin PW - "Allow" and PW will be shown.

At the moment, anything is worth a try?

And you are quite sure Dashlane didn't store anything - checked, searched, tried different name combinations - you might have misspelt the input?


04-13-2017, 03:36 PM
Thank you Ian. Unfortunately, I have tried both of these. Nothing in keychain and nothing in Dashlane. I manually changed it in Dashlane and maybe didn't click save.

I have learned that Apple can get an engineer to hack your iPhone iPad, computer and then give you a temporary password to make changes. While they are working on it, you can't use the equipment. It also doesn't sound like once in, you can change the password. My iPhone and iPad have Find my iPhone/IPad activated, so that's a problem. I can't do without my phone or my laptop because it's the only one I have. So I am stuck.

Rod Sprague
04-13-2017, 11:16 PM
Searching for this topic I found this article, note the authors reply to his own post. I dont know if it applies in this case but worth a look I think. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6055913?start=0&tstart=0

04-14-2017, 12:46 AM

Thank you so much for finding discussion. Unfortunately, my problem is not the same. I have not been locked out of my ID at this point; however, I don't know what the password is that I am logged in with, and I don't have the recovery key. So I can't change my password.

I can keep going with everything working as normal, so long as I don't get logged out. But I can't update any software, and I can't deactivate find my iPhone and find my iPad because I don't have the current password. Fortunately, I did not activate find my Macbook Air, so I could start over with another Apple Id on my laptop.

Apple did tell me what one of the posters in that link you sent me said, that I can get the engineers to provide me with a temporary password to turn off the find my iDevice. I need proof of purchase. I bought the phone and the iPad through AT&T and a person I chatted to told me she would email me that proof, but she hasn't done it. So I need to follow up on that. If I go that route, I will not not be able to use the devices while the engineers are working on them, and I cannot be without my phone because it is my only one. So I guess I need to start thinking about buying another phone.

I can wait. I have all of my iTunes music burned into CDs and copied onto an external hard drive. My photos are all on the external drive too. I seldom used my apple email, and what I have, I still have access to for now. But if I do go to my second Apple ID, I will lose all my apps, I suppose. Many of them were free, so I can get them again.

I just need to work on getting the proof of purchase of my iPad and at least get it untethered to the locked ID. And never do two step again.

So my situation is not as dire as everyone else's at this point and there does seem to be a solution, but I will never be able to get into my account again once I do log out. Apparently if I had a more recent OS, it would be different. But I am now stuck with 10.10.5.

04-14-2017, 05:57 PM
Did you look in Safari > Preferences > Passwords? It may be saved there.

04-15-2017, 11:05 AM
And never do two step again.No reason for that sentiment. Just don't lose the password and RK and 2FA works just fine. I've been using it from about when it started with zero problems, but I do have the password and RK stored in multiple formats and multiple locations.

04-15-2017, 02:24 PM
The problem Jake is that not everyone is as savvy or diligent as you are. I agree that if one does not lose the password and RK, that 2FA is a viable security feature, however, when human error enters into the equation, the result can be disastrous. I'm not using 2FA and probably should but "Murphy" and I have this close relationship that's hard to break away from. :P

Rod Sprague
04-15-2017, 09:20 PM
I might add that we (as members of this forum) have the distinct advantage of knowing what a problem losing RK and 2FA passwords can be without having to experience it first hand.

Every time I read another variation of this issue I do a quick mental check to make sure that cannot happen to me.
Case in point, I then extend that thought to my wife. So I asked her if she had 2FA on her Apple Account and she said, "What's 2FA?" A quick check on her Apple ID showed that she did indeed have 2FA enabled so I asked her where was her RK code and she said she didn't know. Oh dear.

So it was a simple enough process to turn it off, knowing her Apple ID and password. The next day we turned it back on and this time I recorded her RK and wrote it on paper and in my password manager and stored the paper copy in our safe in a clearly marked envelope.
I also wrote a Word .doc titled what to do if I need my 2FA password and stored it on her laptop. Overkill?

On another angle I have been encouraging people to tick the box in new macOSX installation setup which says "Allow Admin Password Reset Using Apple ID" what do people think about this?

04-15-2017, 09:36 PM
I'm glad you mentioned that Rod. I need to do likewise. I'm not sure I remember / wrote down my recovery code. I'll definitely mention this again in this week's video chat.

04-15-2017, 09:43 PM
That's a great idea Sly. However, keep in mind that tomorrow - Sunday - is Easter for many folks who may or may not be available due to committments elsewhere. Might want to move the chat to Monday nite?

04-15-2017, 10:14 PM
I was planning to do that anyway. I'm usually AFK on Easter Sunday evening anyway.

04-16-2017, 02:49 AM
"Allow Admin Password Reset Using Apple ID" what do people think about this?

Hi Rod. I've had that box checked for several years now. An extra bit of protection.


Rod Sprague
04-17-2017, 12:55 AM
Yes, it seemed like a good idea to me but seldom mentioned.

04-17-2017, 08:57 AM
Well, I won't take much credit for my savvy or diligence. I just read the rather strident warning that came with the RK at the time. I was struck by the warning because it seemed unusually dire for an Apple warning and I remember thinking, "If THEY think it needs that, I better keep this one safe." Maybe they toned down the caution? In any event, as one who has had personal data stolen (OPM (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Personnel_Management_data_breach) and one other), I take all the security I am offered. The risk is, to me, worth the benefit.