Disabled Apple ID? Here is what to do about it

By , Apr 1, 2016

Apple ID disabled (image 001)

In certain scenarios, your Apple ID may become disabled and you could end up locked out of it. These situations are frustrating, but there are different reasons why an Apple ID may become disabled.

We’ll talk about the various reasons an Apple ID could become disabled and what you can do about it in this piece.

Why your Apple ID is disabled

Apple may disable your Apple ID for various reasons, but they’re typically all tied to one thing: keeping you secure. In situations where your Apple ID is locked out, there are various types of messages you might see depending on where you’re trying to sign in and what version of software you’re using, whether it’s from iCloud.com, your iPhone, or your Mac.

Among those are:

  • “This Apple ID has been disabled for security reasons”
  • “You can’t sign in because your account was disabled for security reasons”
  • “This Apple ID has been locked for security reasons”

In any case, the message you may see about your Apple ID being disabled is typically caused by security problems. The most common reasons an Apple ID gets disabled or locked are:

  • Someone tried to log in to your Apple ID incorrectly too many times
  • Someone entered your security questions incorrectly too many times
  • Other Apple ID account information was entered incorrectly too many times
  • Suspicious activity

What to do about it

If your Apple ID is ever disabled or locked, Apple has an account recovery system in place, called iForgot, which you can use to regain access to your account. In many cases, but not all of them, you will be asked to reset your Apple ID password to gain access to your account once again.

Alternatively, you can also use two-factor authentication to unlock your Apple ID on another trusted device or phone of yours; just keep in mind that if you’re using two-step verification, a recovery key will be required as well as a trusted device.

If you are unsuccessful in recovering your Apple ID too many times in one day, you may need to wait a full day before you can proceed with more attempts to unlock your account. This is another security feature that prevents brute force attacks from hackers from being effective.

If you still have trouble getting your account unlocked, which usually shouldn’t be the case if you’re the true owner of the Apple ID, you have another option: call Apple and have them assist you over the phone.

Prevent this issue from happening again

A locked Apple ID is never fun, so there are some things you can do to protect yourself and keep your account from getting locked again in the future:

  • Don’t give your Apple ID email out – If you give too many people your Apple ID email address, chances are that one of them might try to be ‘that guy’ and lock you out of your account by attempting to gain unsanctioned access or purposely entering a password wrongly too many times. I call these people login trolls.
  • Only log into your Apple ID through Apple – Tons of people are tricked every day. A false prompt, mocked up website, or phishing email claims to be Apple and wants you to log in with your Apple ID. Avoid these kinds of prompts to log in to your Apple ID unless you’re 100% sure they’re from Apple, because they might just be trying to steal your info.
  • Use a strong Apple ID password – The more you keep people out of your Apple ID, the more likely you are to avoid issues like this. Prevent people form gaining access to your account and playing with your Apple ID settings by having a strong password that is unlikely be compromised in the first place.
  • Set up two-factor authentication or two-step verification – These account recovery methods are a lot more convenient that going through the runaround with security questions. Consider setting these features up for your Apple ID to increase your account’s security.

Wrapping up

Having a disabled or locked Apple ID is not the best feeling in the world, but there are ways around it; you just need to remain patient. It’s a good idea to get familiar with the ways to recover your account, as well as with ways to prevent the problem from happening again.

If you found this piece helpful, or wish to share any experiences with the topic, drop us a comment below!

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • crcking


  • Dagny Taggart

    To prevent being locked out I suggest the following:

    1- Write down your password, your answers to security questions and credit card number associated with your account OUTSIDE your devices. Paper works better than relying on your memory.

    2- Keep control of the email address (including recovery emails) used as Apple ID: make sure the email actually exists, you know its password and that you have a device to access it. Many people use an email provided by an EX employer or by an internet service provider they no longer use.

  • Joel

    I tried the revovery and changed my password three times now and i still cant update my apps because it says its disabled

    • JohnPackel

      Me, too. And I’ve updated the password several times. Apple support is useless – just says to reset with iForgot, which doesn’t work. I can log in but I can’t buy anything (even though I have a balance) and I can’t download my previously purchased books, even though the icon shows the cloud symbol. WTF, Apple?! $100B in the bank and you can’t hire someone to monitor these complaints and fix the problem locking people out of content they bought from you – with your 30% cut, no less? Maddening.

  • Jennifer Weber

    If you’re locked out of your own phone, how exactly do you use that handy number?