The interesting case of the lost Apple ID Email

Now and then I encounter an interesting case that is worth blogging about. This time it is my own story. How I lost my Apple ID email. … not the Apple ID but the email that it was connected to.

I used to work at Apple. During that time I was allowed to get some expensive software for free. Mostly so I could learn how to use it. This included Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, Logic Pro and a few other bits of software. But just like everyone else I had to attach the software to an Apple ID. At the time we had a domain name and of corse email address that was connected to that website. It seemed to make sense to attach my Apple ID to that account as I would never loose it even when I change countries….. Best laid plans are of Mice and Men.

Loosing the Email address

So when we moved to Australia, We started over. We closed all our bank accounts in the states and decided a total redo was needed. That was fine. But the problem was that the website domain name was being renewed. .. but was attached to the old credit card that was now canceled because we moved to a new country.

Thought the chaos we did not get the notice and we lost the domain name. The person who purchased the domain was not willing to give it up nor were they willing to help us out with the email address (I was more interested in the access to the Apple ID) Thought this did not prevent me from using the Apple ID as long as I did not forget the password….. be laid plans are of Mice and Men

I Lost My Apple ID Password

Six Years later I forgot My Apple ID Password for that account. This became a problem when I needed to download that software onto a new Mac. So I called Apple and used my knowledge of Rules and Procedures to get in contact with someone who might be able to help. … but they could not

It is important to understand that and Apple ID is a very important password and account to protect. With an Apple ID a hacker can do a lot of damage. And Apple does everything in its power to prevent this from happening. This means without the ability to check the email account of the old email address there was nothing that I could do. There was no way that I could reset the password.

While this is frustrating I am fully aware of the damage that could have been caused if Apple did not spend the time to protect my information.

Two years later The domain is for Sale again

So little did I know the person who purchased the Domain let it expire like I did. However they did not try to get it back so I took the chance to jump on the Web address and purchased it.

From there I set up the old email address and went through the process of resetting the Apple ID password. Because I had not access the account for some time and that the few times I got the password wrong Apple put the account on Lockdown for 30 days.

Lost Apple ID : Think of the Apple ID as a lock.
Photo by Nicholas Githiri on

Once again this is a pain in the ass. However you have no idea of the amount of hell that could have been caused by not doing this. I basically had to wait until they sent me and email confirmation that would allow me to reset my Apple ID password.

While 30 Days seems like a long time for you understand for a hacker that is forever. Hackers do not have this kind of time to wait 30 days. So they move on. But someone who actually owns the account would be able to wait that time. Also if Apple noted any other sneaky activity I am sure they would lock down the account for another 30 days.

Why did I not just hack my own account? Because I can’t

Many of my customers think that I can just make changes to accounts where they have forgotten their passwords. but if that was the case then their accounts would not be very secure in the first place.

Many clients want me to fix their account issues for them. This is a bad idea all around.

  1. They will become dependant on me to make other changes in the future. It is better to make them learn how to do it themselves.
  2. I should not know some of the information that is involved in setting up their accounts.
  3. It is not my job to remember their passwords and customers somehow think I can remember their passwords. (I can’t remember my own )

How I prevented this from happening again

How I prevented this from happening again was that once I had access to the email address and reset the Apple ID. I made sure that that account was attached to my existing Apple ID via Family sharing. This means that All My Apple IDs have access to that account software.

The set up was simple and the Lost Apple ID is now connected to the other accounts I have access to.

More from MacMason