Because your Apple ID is used so for many of Apple’s important services, forgetting your Apple ID password can create a lot of problems. Without being able to log into your Apple ID, you won’t be able to use iMessage or FaceTime, Apple Music or the iTunes Store, and you won’t be able to make changes to your iTunes account.
Most people use the same Apple ID for all their Apple services (technically you can use one Apple ID for things like FaceTime and iMessage and another for the iTunes Store, but most people don’t do that).
That makes forgetting your password a particularly serious problem.
Resetting Your Apple ID Password on the Web
If you’ve tried all the passwords you think might be correct and you still can’t log in, you need to reset your Apple ID password. Here’s how to do that using Apple’s website:
- In your browser, go to iforgot.apple.com.
- Enter your Apple ID username and the CAPTCHA, then click Continue. If you have two-factor authentication set up on your Apple ID, skip to the next section.
- Next chose what information you want to reset, your password or your security questions, and then click Continue.
- There are two ways to reset your password: using the recovery email address you have on file in your account or answering your security questions. Make your choice and click Continue.
- If you chose to Get an email, check the email account shown on the screen, then enter the verification code from the email and click Continue. Now skip to step 7.
- If you chose to Answer security questions, begin by entering your birthday, then answer two of your security questions and click Continue.
- Enter your new Apple ID password. The password must be 8 or more characters, include upper and lowercase letters, and have at least one number. The Strength indicator shows how secure the password you choose is.
- When you’re happy with your new password, click Reset Password to make the change.
Resetting Your Apple ID Password with Two-Factor Authentication
Resetting your Apple ID password is a bit more complex if you’re using two-factor authentication to provide an additional layer of security. In that case:
- Follow the first two steps in the instructions above.
- Next confirm your trusted phone number. Enter the number and click Continue.
- Now you have a choice of how to reset your Apple ID password. You can Reset from another device or Use trusted phone number. I recommend choosing Reset from another device, since the other option is quite a bit more complex and sends you to the Account Recovery process, which can include a waiting period of hours or days before you can reset your password.
- If you chose Reset from another device, a message will tell you what device instructions were sent to. On that device, a Reset Password pop-up window appears. Click or tap Allow.
- On an iPhone, enter the device’s passcode.
- Then enter your new Apple ID password, enter it a second time for verification and tap Next to change your password.
Resetting Your Apple ID Password in iTunes on a Mac
If you use a Mac and prefer this approach, you can also reset your Apple ID password via iTunes.
- Begin by launching iTunes on your computer
- Click the Account menu
- Click View My Account
- In the pop-up window, click Forgot Password? (it’s a small link just above the password field)
- In the next pop-window, click Reset Password
- Another pop-up window will ask you to enter the password you use for your computer user account. This is the password you use to log on to the computer.
- Enter your new password, enter it a second time for verification, and then click Continue.
NOTE: You can use this process in the iCloud control panel, too. To do that, go to Apple menu > iCloud > Account Details > Forgot Password?
However you chose to reset your password, with all the steps completed, you should be able to log into your account again. Try logging in to the iTunes Store and another Apple service with the new password to make sure it works. If it doesn’t, go through this process again and make sure you keep track of your new password.