Apple ID Recovery Key serves as an additional way of authenticating your Apple account, and it can be used if you forget your password and lose access to another trusted device. Using a recovery key eliminates the need to visit Apple’s website to jump through hoops like verifying payment method details and answering security questions for a password reset. The ability to generate a recovery key from the Mac requires macOS Big Sur or macOS Monterey.
If you have a Mac, it’s pretty easy to generate and use a recovery key.
• Open “System Preferences” on the Mac (from Apple menu or Dock).
• This will open a new window on your Mac. Click on the Apple ID option located at the top-right corner.
• Now, click on “Password & Security” from the left pane. In this section, you’ll find the Recovery Key option below Trusted phone numbers. Click on “Turn on” next to the Recovery key option to continue.
• When you’re prompted to confirm your action, click on “Use recovery key” to proceed.
• Next, you’ll be asked to enter your Mac user password. Type in the password and click “OK”.
• If you have an iPhone, you’ll also be prompted the enter the passcode you use to unlock your iPhone.
• Now, your unique recovery key will be shown to you on the screen. Make sure to write it down in a safe place that you’re able to easily access. Once you’re done, click on “Continue”.
• Next, you’ll be asked to enter your 28-character recovery key to verify that you’ve noted it down. Click on “Done” after typing it in.
• The feature is now turned on. If you want to change the recovery key for any reason, you can click on “Create new key”. You also have the option to turn this feature off at any time.
From now on, you’ll have just two ways to reset the password for your Apple account. You can either reset the password from a device that you’re already logged into, whether it’s your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, or you can use the recovery key instead. The latter could prove to be invaluable if you don’t have access to another trusted device, or if you only have one Apple device.
Note that when you disable and re-enable the Recovery Key feature, a completely new key will be generated for your account. If you lost your current recovery key somehow, you can replace the key with a new one on your Mac from the same menu using the “Create new key” option.