Since it seems obvious that at present Apple can do nothing to help me: I need some way of getting as much of my content (music/apps/contacts/etc) out of this account... what can I do? All of my music/apps/contacts since like 2004 are in this account!

The answer which gives me the most ways of extracting my purchases will get the answer vote and bounty.

If my password is ever stolen I will not be able to change it, I would have to have the account locked and I would lose thousands of dollars worth of purchases!

Ok so I had enabled Apple's two-step authentication in order to have more security. It told me to "save the recovery key in a safe place like your wallet" so I just took that suggestion.

Now, I was robbed. My wallet AND iPhone (my authorized device) were both stolen. Now I have no way of managing my iCloud account so I cannot:

  • change my password
  • purchase anything from an iPhone

If I want to purchase new apps I have created a new account, but if there is an app already purchased on my old account I have to switch back and download it... however they changed it so now I cannot switch accounts on my iPhone for 90 days!

The only thing I can think to do, is to try and extract as much as I can from that account (contacts, music, apps) and then store them somewhere...

I am kind of sad that I have lost functionality and Apple has made there literally be NO WAY to recover without at least 2 of the recovery options (my 2 were stolen).

So this is also now LESS secure, because if my password becomes compromised I have no way of changing it (can't manage account with only password now).

Any idea what steps I should take? One I can think of is to go to all my accounts that I had used my iCloud e-mail for and change that. But as for my app purchases and music purchases, I am pretty much hosed.

Will I be able to stop using the old account entirely (I guess have them lock it) but before I do that extract out my content for use? Music I can burn to MP3, but apps... I don't think I will be able to get updates for apps purchased under that account if I lock the account.

EDIT just realized my apple developer account is bound to this login as well, FML

  • 1
    Have you tried contacting Apple about the issue? Feb 5, 2014 at 18:48
  • 1
    @JamesManes yep, and after much ado and the rep telling me how much they will surely be able to resolve the issue, they do some digging and say that this is now entirely in my hands which I agreed to when I signed up for two-step... my last ditch effort may be next time I am in Cupertino to show up with a photo-id and a sign that says "I AM ME PLS HALP"
    – MetaGuru
    Feb 5, 2014 at 18:51
  • Ouch - I probably have too many devices enrolled (I'm at 8 currently), but I do have both my cell SMS and a close friend's SMS in case of a fire that destroys my house where most of these devices. Are you sure you don't have a phone SMS option and truly have only iMessage to one iPhone as your trusted device?
    – bmike
    Feb 5, 2014 at 19:19
  • 2
    This may seem rather basic but why can't you reset your password from a computer? Also, did your iPhone have a passcode on it or Find My iPhone activated? You can track/delete the iPhone via iCloud.com and you can reset your password via forgot.apple.com. You will need to do also some work on the applied.apple.com page but if you had a passcode on the iPhone you are helped a good bit there.
    – Andrew U.
    Mar 3, 2014 at 8:52
  • @AndrewU. I wiped the phone using FMI. However I cannot reset the password because I have two-step authentication on the account and my only two authentication methods were stolen.
    – MetaGuru
    Nov 21, 2014 at 16:41

2 Answers 2


The way this is supposed to work is to log in to https://appleid.apple.com and have several devices for authentication.

Have you double checked that you don't have SMS as one of your options? If so, you can just get another SMS capable cell phone from the carrier using your number and be able to log in to reissue a new recovery key.

To paraphrase the KB article - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5577

If you lose permanently access to all of your trusted devices AND your recovery key, you will not be able to use that AppleID.

Hopefully you can either recover your phone or the wallet (police report and/or reward work in different situations) after a few days and add in some more items, regenerate your recovery key or disable the two-factor security on your account.

Also, you will want to make a phone call to developer support and ask if they have any way to assist you in enrolling another trusted device so that you can continue to do business with them. The developer program has far more ability to tell you from a random impersonator due to the legal forms and verification you may have filled out to enter the program and sell an app.

Also realize that Apple intentionally set this up knowing that some people would be in your situation and make sure you acknowledge that they don't have to help you out, but if they can find a way to, you would really appreciate it. However, since you have thousands of dollars at stake, I can't imagine you wouldn't be able to call into developer support and work with them to regain access as a one-time exception to the policy. Heck, Apple might be able to assist with a letter that corroborates a police report of the theft and open up options to claim this against insurance.

Lastly, check with your insurance since the cost to re-establish your accounts and purchases might just be covered. Your sure move is to get a new AppleID move on, securing it with more layers (and spread over more than one location) of verification devices. Hopefully, you can recover one of the items that was stolen and avoid the lengthy process of convincing either Apple or an insurance agent to help you out of this understandable but painful predicament.

  • this part cracks me up: As long as you remember your Apple ID password and still have access to one of your trusted devices, you can sign in and create a new Recovery Key. Go to My Apple ID, select "Manage your Apple ID," and sign in. Under Edit your Apple ID, select "Password and Security." Under Recovery Key, select Replace Lost Key and follow the onscreen instructions. NOPE: it asks for the RKEY when I try to login
    – MetaGuru
    Feb 5, 2014 at 20:47
  • I don't doubt you're locked out - and without seeing your list of devices, your only avenue may be to enter the key that has been lost. I figured describing how it's supposed to work was a long shot at helping your predicament. I wish I had any reports of Apple deviating from the policy, but I haven't heard of a case where they budged on this yet.
    – bmike
    Feb 5, 2014 at 23:12
  • yeah I hope they fix this soon, not only is it a security flaw because I can't change my password but also I am not going to make any new purchases until this is addressed, I don't want to tie up any more money in a system that I could be locked out of like this
    – MetaGuru
    Feb 7, 2014 at 20:36
  • 1
    @ioSamurai That's a good plan. What has come of your attempt to call into developer support. Did you open a line of communication with them to get your options to recover the account and/or transfer your app to a new account? My guess is developer support would be able to talk to iCloud and get an engineer to add a verified cell phone to your list of recovery devices and then let you reset things as normal. You might also be able to convince them of a purchase made in person at a retail store for a new iPod touch and grant that device permissions over the account.
    – bmike
    Feb 28, 2014 at 17:53
  • I have yet to call developer support, I will try that soon. I am wondering if the security is such that not even anyone at Apple can access the account. Kind of like how a password can be hashed.
    – MetaGuru
    Feb 28, 2014 at 19:10

"It told me to "save the recovery key in a safe place like your wallet" so I just took that suggestion."

It also said "You should consider printing more than one copy, so that you can keep your key in more than one place."

It also encouraged you to register more than one phone number that can receive SMS messages and made you tick that you understood what would be required to reconnect.

Take responsibility for your mistakes. Stop blaming Apple.

Then, if your still stuck...

...set up family sharing from your new ID. Invite the old ID to join the family as a child and accept the invitation from the old ID.

The old ID can bring its apps and music with it and make them available to the family, meaning your new ID.

And don't forget to not keep anything on the old ID so that it's security doesn't matter. It's just a home for the ownership of some apps and music.

  • 1
    The fact that I cannot change the password means that this account is even less secure now. It is a design flaw when a system that is suppose to make things more secure makes them less secure.
    – MetaGuru
    Nov 21, 2014 at 16:38
  • I saw the family sharing thing, have yet to attempt this but I had the same idea. Are you sure that it shares both directions like that?
    – MetaGuru
    Nov 21, 2014 at 16:39

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