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How to set up an account recovery contact on your Apple device


Strong and unique passwords are among your first lines of defense against cybercriminals. If you’re using the same password for multiple accounts, you’re putting yourself at serious risk of being hacked. Tap or click here for 10 ways to secure your accounts with strong passwords.

Have you ever been locked out of an account? You could have tried to enter the wrong password too many times or failed a CAPTCHA test. Some accounts lock you out when they detect suspicious activity.

It’s not always your fault — outside forces can get into your account and change your passwords, locking you out. The same can happen with your Apple ID. That’s why Apple lets you set trusted contacts to help you regain access to your data. Here’s how it works.

Who do you trust?

Account recovery contacts are trusted people who can help you regain access to your device if you forget your password or passcode or if it was changed without your permission.

Account recovery contacts don’t have access to your account — they only have the ability to send you an account recovery code if you need one. Set up an account recovery contact on your iPhone, iPad or Mac to regain access if you ever get locked out.

Here’s what a person needs to be an account recovery contact:

  • Must be over the age of 13.
  • The contact needs a device running iOS 15, iPadOS 15, or macOS 12 or newer.
  • They must have two-factor authentication turned on for their Apple ID.
  • They must have a passcode set up on their device.

RELATED: Can’t remember your passwords? Passkeys could make them obsolete

Set up an account recovery contact on your iPhone or iPad

  • Go to Settings > [your name] > Password & Security.
  • Select Account Recovery > Add Recovery Contact > Add Recovery Contact
  • Authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, a passcode or password.
  • If you’re in a Family Sharing group, the members of the group are recommended. Or you can choose one of your contacts.
  • If you select a family member, they’re added automatically. If you select a contact, they must accept the request.
  • After they accept your request, you’ll get a message that they’ve been added as your account recovery contact.

Set up an account recovery contact on your Mac

  • Go to the Apple menu > System Settings > Apple ID and select Password & Security in the sidebar.
  • Select Account Recovery > Add Recovery Contact > Add Recovery Contact.
  • Authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, a passcode or password.
  • If you’re in a Family Sharing group, the members of the group are recommended. Or you can choose one of your contacts.
  • If you select a family member, they’re added automatically. If you select a contact, they must accept the request.
  • After they accept your request, you’ll get a message that they’ve been added as your account recovery contact.

How to cut them off

If the person set as your recovery contact is someone you no longer trust, you can remove them as your recovery contact.

Remove a recovery contact from your iPhone or iPad

  • Go to Settings > [your name] > Password & Security > Account Recovery.
  • Under Recovery Assistance, choose the Recovery Contact you would like to remove, then remove them.

Remove a recovery contact from your iPhone or iPad

  • Go to the Apple menu > System Settings > Apple ID and select Password & Security in the sidebar.
  • Select Account Recovery and under Recovery Assistance, choose the Recovery Contact you would like to remove, then remove them.

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