There's a bit of a story, but the nub of the issue is we have forgotten the answers to the security questions on an Apple ID used for purchasing apps and music and can't reset the answers / questions due the security email address pointing to an account we don't control.

Here's the rest of the story...

Being the good son I am, I bought my mother an iPhone4s for her birthday. Now, don't get me wrong - my mother is fairly tech savvy considering her age. She runs her company's website, manages a Facebook community, and shares pictures of her grandsons via Gmail. But Apple Accounts is what stumped her.

She registered and signed up her Apple account using her iPhone, all nice and well. When she came to making her first purchase on the AppStore, she was asked the security questions. The questions were phrased in Hebrew, and for the life of her she couldn't remember the answers. To make matters worse, she did not know whether she answered them in Hebrew or English.

This is where I stepped in. After trying out dozens of combinations, I resorted to resetting her security questions via her account page. But alas, the security email points an email account with a typo, rather than her main defined email account.

Still I did not lose hope, and sent an email to Apple support, which instructed me to contact their security team via the phone number in this page. The phone number provided for Israel does not work (I think it's disconnected or out of service).

I tried contacting Apple Support in the US, but they claim that the device, as identified by its serial number is not covered by Apple support. Great.

What can I do at this point? I'm at a loss.

I really don't want her to open a different account. How can I help her salvage this one so she can answer the three security questions when they are asked for adding new devices or adding a credit card to the account?

  • Does she have a credit card (or iTunes Gift Card) assigned to that Apple ID account? If no (and since your mom's correct (not typo) email address isn't assigned to any Apple ID, perhaps create a new Apple ID with the correct email address? Feb 14, 2013 at 11:45
  • 1
    Allow me to clarify: The email address associated with her Apple ID is correct. I can use it, and her password to login into the account successfully. However, I cannot change the security questions or make a purchase on the App store, and only the security verification email is incorrect (and different than the one used to log in into the account). She doesn't have a credit card assigned, since adding a credit card requires answering the security questions - that's the point where I'm at. As mentioned, I don't want to open a different account as she already has data on that one.
    – OpherV
    Feb 14, 2013 at 12:00
  • What data does she have associated with this Apple ID? Is it just iCloud data such as Photostream, Contacts, and Calendars? Feb 14, 2013 at 12:53
  • Is any information stored in your keychain? there is where i store it in the comments field
    – Ruskes
    May 27, 2013 at 16:32

1 Answer 1


Focus on iTunes billing support. When you need support on a device and the software support window is over, you pay for that help.

iTunes billing support is generally free since you can't spend more money in the store without a working account. You always have to get a support person to call you since people that have access to the store accounts are a very limited subset of all the support personnel.

Just be persistent - keep good notes, provide a phone number where they can reach you and have all the details of the account you can muster ready. Things like purchase history, credit card bills so you can tell the person the last two or three purchases made from that account in terms of date, transaction number and amount.

Once you've gotten the password reset, you can go back and fix all the security questions at https://appleid.apple.com

Worst case, you can add a new email address to the account, verify it, and then see if you can send a security question reset after that email is verified by Apple and in use for a week or so. Also - make more purchases from that account (free apps are fine) to show that the device that was registered to that account is still in use and still associated with the account even though the email address on file is new.

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    But that's the thing - I can't seem to get a hold of a live person! The phone number they have for Israel, a UK based one, is incorrect and the US number does not support Israeli customers. In any case, my mother had not made any purchases yet, so there are no credit card bills. By the way, I don't see how adding a new email address to the account will help? The recovery email address , which is the one used for password reset will still be incorrect.
    – OpherV
    Feb 17, 2013 at 21:44
  • I doubt you'll ever get a live person on the phone by calling. I've heard of people convincing them to call you at times you are available if they can't or won't just reset the second email for you after being presented with enough detail that person owning the account is intending to give you access to the account. As long as you are polite and keep at it, someone in the US can and will reset things once you've explained how you've tried and exhausted the other avenues to reset the questions.
    – bmike
    Feb 17, 2013 at 22:01
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    Do keep in mind, that account has messed up 4 pieces of security information. The emergency email, and three challenge / responses. You might also just have to write off doing anything that requires a challenge and being happy with knowing the password and moving forward with a more carefully set up account.
    – bmike
    Feb 17, 2013 at 22:04

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