If you don’t know what or where your Apple Recovery Key is, then you should. In the event someone hacks your Apple ID which if identified by Apple automatically means your Apple account and access to iCloud will be disabled. What can you do?
Did you backup locally? If so, then you can recover your lost data. If not, your luck is out. Why?
If you haven’t enabled two-step verification on your Apple ID, then you will be unable to use your Apple Recovery Key. Two-step verification is setup so that if your credentials are lost, Apple will be unable to recover your data. Apple is unable to gain access to your encrypted data without the data you retain on your device or only you possess. This adds an extra layer of protection in the event Apple servers (databases) are hacked.
Here are scenarios you should be aware of:
- If you lose your password, you can enter your Recovery Key and receive a message on a ‘trusted’ iOS device
- Losing all your trusted devices means you can use your password and Recovery Key to add new ones
- If you lost your Recovery Key, you can still login and generate a new one
- Entering the wrong password repeatedly, means Apple will disable your account. This is when you will need the Recovery Key
Apple, unlike Google only provides you with one recovery code (Google provides 10).
If you have logged in with your Apple ID, you can contact Apple Support if you are experiencing problems with your Recovery Key. They may ask for a ‘Temporary Support PIN’ which you can obtain from this page > https://appleid.apple.com/account/manage/security scroll down this page and you will see on the bottom left ‘Temporary Support PIN’. Click this to generate your PIN.
How to find your Apple Recovery Key
- Go to the Apple ID page https://appleid.apple.com/signin > Click > Manage Your Apple ID then log in
- Click > Password and Security (left navigation bar) then Click > Replace Lost Key
- Follow the steps to make your Recovery Key invalid and create a new key
Lastly, you should make backup copies of the Recovery key. You can create an encrypted folder using Disk Utility to store the key on a USB and also on your local OS X drive.
Read more – Encrypt and password protect existing Mac OS X folders