Why your Apple ID was disabled or locked and how to fix it

In certain scenarios, your Apple ID may be disabled, locking you out of it. This guide will explain you why your Apple ID was disabled or locked, and how to fix it using your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Windows PC.

Apple ID Disabled alert

Why your Apple ID is disabled?

Apple may disable your Apple ID for various reasons, but they are typically all tied to keeping your data 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 (iCloud.com, iPhone, Mac) and what version of software you’re using. Among those, some alerts that you might see are:

  • This Apple ID has been disabled for security reasons
  • You can’t sign in because your account was disabled for security reasons
  • Apple ID Locked. Your Apple ID has been locked for security reasons. To unlock it, you must verify your identity
  • Apple ID Disabled. Your Apple ID has been disabled for security reasons. To enable your account, reset your password at forgot.apple.com

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 (applicable for old Apple IDs)
  • Other Apple ID account information was entered incorrectly too many times
  • Suspicious activity

How to fix your disabled Apple ID

Here are two ways to regain access to your disabled Apple ID. You can follow these steps on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or your Windows PC.

Reset your Apple ID password

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. All you need to do is visit https://iforgot.apple.com/, enter your Apple ID, and complete the verification to establish that you’re the correct owner. After that, reset your password to unlock your Apple ID.

During this, you’ll need to have your phone number added to your Apple ID. If you reset the password using the Settings app or System Preferences, there may not be a need to enter 2FA verification code sent to your phone number or other trusted Apple devices.

Reset Apple ID password to fix disabled or locked Apple ID

Once you set a new password for your Apple ID, it’s unlocked. Next, you’ll have to enter this new password on all your Apple devices. Usually, you’ll see an alert asking you to enter the new, updated password. If you don’t see an alert, go to the Settings app on iPhone and iPad or System Preferences on Mac, and you should see an additional option or red badge to sign in with your new Apple ID password.

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.

Contact Apple Support

If you still have trouble getting your account unlocked, or if your Apple ID is disabled for use in the App Store and iTunes Store, make sure your address and payment methods are up to date. In case the problem continues, use this link to contact Apple Support via call or chat.

Contact Apple Support to fix "Your account has been disabled in the App Store and iTunes" alert

Prevent Apple ID from locking again in the future

A locked or disabled 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, the 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 will avoid issues like this. Prevent people from gaining access to your account and playing with your Apple ID settings by having a strong password that is unlikely to be compromised in the first place.
  • Set up two-factor authentication: To increase your account’s security, Apple now compulsorily uses two-factor authentication on all new Apple ID accounts and modern operating systems. If you haven’t used your Apple ID in several years and reactivated it today, follow the prompts to set up this additional layer of security.

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