Edward Swift - What to do if you forget your Apple or Google password

Publish Date
Saturday, 17 January 2015, 10:42AM
File photo (stock.xchng)

File photo (stock.xchng)

By Edward Swift

So you unwrapped that shiny new iPhone that was sitting at the end of last year. Or perhaps it was an Android tablet. You go to set it up and it asks you for your Apple ID or Google account details. The look of horror on your face as you rack your brain to remember what your password is, or perhaps even your username.

Lukcily, it’s not the end of the world. In this brief guide, I’ll take you through the steps on how to recover your username or password for these two popular platforms.

Apple ID is the standard login for all things Apple. It allows you to log in to the App store and download apps, you use it in iTunes to buy music and movies, and it’s also the login for iCloud where you can backup your contacts, documents and photos.

The Apple ID username is the email address you used to sign up. Where it gets confusing is if you have multiple email addresses, or perhaps you might’ve signed up using your old work email address instead of your personal address (which may make it tricky to recover a password if you’ve forgotten it).

If you aren’t sure which email address you registered for Apple ID with, Apple has come to the party and come up with a tool to help you figure out which one you signed up with.

  • Go to https://appleid.apple.com/ and click Find your Apple ID.
  • Enter your first name, last name, current email address, and any prior email addresses that you might have used as an Apple ID.
  • If you can't find a matching Apple ID, you can create a new one.
  • If you find multiple Apple IDs, select the one that matches your current email address.
  • Once you find your Apple ID, follow the steps to access your account (you'll be asked to reset your password too).

After you sign in, you can update your Apple ID email address to make sure it's your personal email address instead of that old work address or an address you could forget. You can alos update your password.

If you already know your Apple ID but have forgotten your password, don’t worry – there’s a step by step process.

  • Go to https://appleid.apple.com/ and select “Reset your password”.
  • Enter your Apple ID, then select Next.
  • After you enter your Apple ID, there are three ways you can change your password. You can answer your security questions you entered when you set up the account, you can get Apple to email you a link to reset your password, or you can use two-step verification if you set it up (you just need your recovery key and a trusted device).

Using the security question is probably the easiest method, but only if you can remember the spelling of your mother’s maiden name of the first school you went to.

Email is also an easy option as you’ll get a password reset link sent directly to you. If you can’t find the email they send, search you inbox for it and also check it hasn’t gone into a junk mail folder.

The most safe option but the one that carries the most risk as if you lose your recovery key or trusted device you can’t get back in to your account. Great to set up once you’re back in if you want that extra level of security, but if you’re forgetting your password, you want to make sure you never forget the recovery key.

When it comes to Google, they’ve created a step by step troubleshooting tool that will help you find your username and password. Simply go to https://www.google.com/accounts/recovery/, answer the questions and follow the steps.

Best of luck!

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