Locked out of your iCloud account? Here's what to do!

Apple ID on iPhone
Apple ID on iPhone (Image credit: Joseph Keller/iMore)

If Twitter is any indication, an unusually large number of iCloud accounts got locked down over night. No word yet on what might have caused it. But, while I'm sure many of us would find the reason(s) fascinating from an information security perspective, all most people want to know right now is how to get back into their accounts.

The answer to that depends on the degree to which your iCloud account has been locked down. So, from easiest to most complex.

If your account has been locked, you should have a pop up alert you can tap on to go straight to iCloud Settings. Never trust links you see in media or online.

If not:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, and then tap your profile picture and name at the very top to go into iCloud Settings.
  2. Launch the System Preferences app on your Mac, Click on iCloud.

Next, here's what you can try:

  • If you've simply been logged out, re-enter your existing iCloud password to log yourself back in. You may need to two-factor authenticate if you have that set up.
  • If your account has actually been locked, you may have to answer security questions or use another device, one associated with your recovery phone number, to authenticate, as well as two-factor authenticate if you have that set up.
  • If there's been suspicious activity, you may be required to do one of the two previous steps, then enter a new password. And yeah, that means you'll have to change that password — and go through the previous steps — on all your other devices as well.

Apple is no doubt already looking into what happened and hopefully we'll all know more about it soon.

For more on working with iCloud, see:

Any questions, let me know!

○ Video: YouTube
○ Podcast: Apple | Overcast | Pocket Casts | RSS
○ Column: iMore | RSS
○ Social: Twitter | Instagram

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.