What is an Apple recovery contact?

An Apple recovery contact is a trusted person that you choose who can help you access and secure your account if you ever get locked out or forget your Apple ID password. Choosing a recovery contact is an important part of keeping your Apple account secure.

Why is an Apple recovery contact important?

Having an Apple recovery contact set up provides an essential backup option if you ever lose access to your account. Some reasons why choosing a recovery contact is a good idea include:

  • Forgotten password – If you forget your Apple ID password, your recovery contact can help you reset it to regain access.
  • Lost or disabled device – If you lose your iPhone, iPad, or Mac or those devices get disabled, your recovery contact can help you unlock them.
  • Account security issues – If you notice suspicious activity on your Apple account, your recovery contact can help you secure it.
  • Lost recovery keys – If you lose access to trusted phone numbers or email addresses associated with your account, the recovery contact provides backup options for verification.
  • Emergency access – If you are ever injured, ill, or otherwise unable to access your account, your recovery contact can help gain emergency access.

Having a trusted recovery contact set up ensures you have someone who can help restore access to your account if you ever get locked out. It provides important account security protections.

Who should you choose as your Apple recovery contact?

When selecting an Apple recovery contact, it’s important to choose someone you trust. Some guidelines on who to select include:

  • Choose someone reliable – Pick someone responsible who would be willing and able to help you recover access to your account if needed.
  • Choose someone secure – Select someone who also takes care to keep their own account secure. You want to ensure they don’t compromise your account security.
  • Choose someone accessible – Pick someone who would be easy for you to contact if you lost access to your account. Ideally, they would be readily available to help.
  • Choose someone stable – Select someone unlikely to change their contact information. You want to make sure you could still reach them if needed.
  • Choose someone you know well – Pick someone familiar with you and your account habits, so they can detect suspicious activity if your account is compromised.

Good Apple recovery contact options often include a spouse, family member, close friend, or trusted connection. Avoid picking contacts with whom you no longer have a relationship.

How to add an Apple recovery contact

Adding an Apple recovery contact is simple and takes just a few steps:

  1. Go to appleid.apple.com and sign in.
  2. Click “Edit” under Account Recovery Contact.
  3. Enter the email address or phone number of the contact you want to add.
  4. Check your contact’s information after entering it to confirm it is correct.
  5. Click Continue and follow the prompts to confirm your recovery contact.

Once you confirm your recovery contact, Apple will send a notification to your contact confirming that they have been added. Your recovery contact does not get access to your account and cannot make changes unless assisting in an account recovery.

How your Apple recovery contact helps you

Your Apple recovery contact can provide assistance if you get locked out of your account, such as:

  • Resetting your password – They can help reset your Apple ID password so you can sign in again.
  • Regaining access to a lost device – They can assist in unlocking a missing or disabled iPhone, iPad, Mac, or other device.
  • Reviewing account activity – They can look over recent account activity with you to spot any suspicious access attempts.
  • Recovering account – If you lose access to trusted phone numbers or emails associated with your account, they provide backup verification options for recovery.
  • Emergency access – They can work with Apple Support to gain emergency access to your iCloud data if you are medically incapacitated or deceased.

Your recovery contact serves as a backup if you get locked out and cannot access your account through normal processes. They help you get back in securely.

How the recovery contact gains access to help you

For privacy reasons, your recovery contact cannot access your account directly. To help you regain access, the recovery contact has two options:

  1. Generate a recovery key – Your contact can generate a temporary recovery key that provides them access to help recover your account. The key is only active for 3 days.
  2. Complete account recovery steps – Your contact can work with Apple Support and follow steps to verify their identity and relationship to you to gain emergency access.

In either case, your recovery contact’s access permissions are temporary and they cannot see your passwords or the content of private data. Permissions are strictly limited to those necessary to recover your account.

Recovery contact access in emergency situations

In emergency situations where you cannot provide consent, such as if you are medically incapacitated, deceased, or missing, your recovery contact can work with law enforcement and Apple Support to gain temporary access to your account data.

This emergency access allows them to access your personal information in your iCloud account to deal with urgent needs, contact people on your behalf, or handle financial or property matters. Access permissions are limited and temporary.

How to edit or remove your recovery contact

You can edit or remove your Apple recovery contact anytime. Follow these steps:

  • Go to appleid.apple.com and sign in.
  • Click “Edit” under Account Recovery Contact.
  • To edit your contact, enter the new email address or phone number.
  • To remove your contact, click Remove and confirm.

Apple will notify your previous contact when you remove them. You can also add a new recovery contact at any time if your circumstances change.

Recovery contact FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Apple recovery contacts:

Can I add more than one recovery contact?

No, you can only have one recovery contact associated with your Apple ID at a time. You can change your contact at any time.

What info can the recovery contact access?

Your recovery contact cannot directly access your account or see your passwords, data, or devices. They can only assist in the account recovery process.

Can the recovery contact reset my Apple ID password?

Yes, your recovery contact can generate a temporary key to reset your password so you can access your account again.

Does my recovery contact get notifications about my account?

No, your recovery contact will not receive any notifications or alerts about your account activity unless assisting with an account recovery.

Can I remove a recovery contact?

Yes, you can remove a recovery contact at any time in your Apple ID account settings.

The importance of choosing a recovery contact

Having an Apple recovery contact set up provides an essential account security backup if you ever get locked out of your Apple account. Your recovery contact can quickly help you reinstate access. Be sure to select someone trustworthy who can serve as a reliable resource if you ever get locked out of your Apple account.