iOS 15: How to Set a Recovery Contact for Your Apple ID Account

Losing your Apple ID password can make your digital life miserable because it can leave you locked out of the account you use to manage your Apple devices, unable to access your iCloud data and manage your app and service subscriptions.

In this scenario, Apple can not just reset your password for you, especially if you have two-factor authentication enabled. Setting up a recovery is an alternative solution, but in such cases you cannot change your password unless you have a reliable other device as well as the recovery key.

In an effort to make things easier, Apple in iOS 15 allows you to create an account recovery contact that can help you ensure that you always have access to your account, even if you forget your ‌Apple ID‌ password or device password. Your recovery contact is someone who can verify your identity and help you regain access to your account and all your data if you are ever locked out.

Who should be my recovery contact?

Your recovery contact should be someone you know and trust, e.g. A family member or close friend. They must have their own iOS device running ‌iOS 15‌ or iPadOS 15 or later, and must be over 13 years old. They must also have two-factor authentication enabled for their own account and a password configured on their device.

How to invite someone to be your recovery contact

  1. open Settings app on your iOS device and tap your ‌Apple ID‌ banner at the top of the main menu.
  2. Press Password and security.
    settings
  3. Press Account recovery.
  4. Under “Recovery Assistance”, press Add recovery contact.
    settings
  5. Read the information on the screen, then tap Add recovery contact.
  6. Select a restore contact. If you are part of a family sharing group, qualified contacts are shown in the settings. Alternatively, you can press Choose another to search your contacts.
  7. Press Next and the following screen lets you send your selected contact a message telling them that you have added them as your restore contact. You can send the default message or edit it before sending. Press Send when you are ready, press done.
    settings

Remember to save the person’s phone number so you can contact them if you need help with account recovery.

How to help someone regain access to their account

If you are someone else’s designated recovery contact, here you can help. They must first verify some of their ‌Apple ID‌ account information, and then they will contact you by phone or in person. The following steps show you how to create and share a recovery code, which they can then enter on their device.

  1. open Settings app on your iOS device and tap your ‌Apple ID‌ banner at the top of the main menu.
  2. Press Password and security -> Account recovery.
  3. Tap the name of your contact, then tap Get recovery code.
  4. When your friend is ready, read that person’s recovery code. After entering it on their device, they can reset their password and regain access to their Apple account.

How to remove yourself as a restore contact

If you no longer want to be a restore contact, follow these steps on your iOS device.

  1. open Settings app on your iOS device and tap your ‌Apple ID‌ banner at the top of the main menu.
  2. Press Password and security -> Account recovery.
  3. Under “Account Restoration To”, tap the person’s name.
  4. Press Remove contact.

After completing these steps, the contact will automatically receive a message explaining that you are no longer their account recovery contact.

Note: To configure the restore contact feature, all iOS devices associated with your account must be upgraded to ‌iOS 15‌ or ‌iPadOS 15‌ or later. Apple Watches need to be upgraded to watchOS 8 or later. You will not be able to use the restore contact feature until you upgrade all your devices or remove them from your ‌Apple ID‌ account.

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