iCloud Password Issue

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Jun 23, 2018
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#1
I will try to keep this short. Not easy. I’ll try. The main issue has to deal with an Apple ID (iCloud actually) password. Bottom line: My girlfriend has an iPhone and when she purchased it her previous boyfriend who passed away (the key to this entire issue), set up everything for her including Apple ID and password. He also unfortunately picked and answered the security questions as himself. He passed 4 yrs ago. My gf used the correct password from day one with no issues. Then one day the account was locked. (Phone is not locked just the iCloud, which now controls everything). I spent six agonizing months trying to resolve this issue. I have all documentation when needed. The problem was/is my gf cannot and will not ever be able to answer any of the security questions. She actually figured out the recovery email, but it was an SBCglobal account that no longer exists. Now the phone is under her name. We provided proof of purchase and even death certificate of deceased bf. I have gone as far as emailing Tim Cook CEO, no response, and next in command Tara Bunch. She immediately had her number one person contact me. After many emails and conversations it was determine that THE ENGINEERS decided it was impossible to fix this solution. So of course my gf (Lisa Gracie btw) has not been able to perform any updates or perform anything cloud related since this Account Lockout occurred. Her phone CONSTANTLY is asking her to login - it sometimes takes 13 cancels for it to stop. She knows she can start her own iCloud account, but refuses to lose all her years of texts and contacts... from current account. The TEXTS are the key. So bottom line we feel that she should not be punished because her bf was nice enough to set up account for her. He passed tragically and unexpectedly. All we ask is a simple reset. My obsession trying to solve this almost cost our current relationship. I have put it aside for 6 months or so until I discovered this site. Told you I could not keep it brief. Sorry.

What's your desired resolution? Based on above it is pretty simple. We want Lisa to be able to access HER iCloud account without losing ANYTHING currently on her iPhone. We realize all the security issues involved, but we have more than proved everything is legitimate. We have tried the leaving Apple approach. Ha was basically the response.

What's the value of your claim (in US $)? 0

Date of transaction/travel date: 2016-03-04

I have all copies of all email sent and received during my lengthy attempt to resolve this issue.

Thanks in advance for any/all help anyone can provide.
 
Feb 21, 2018
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Good luck. My daughter is the original and only owner of a MacBookPro that she's had for a few years. For some reason, the password used to protect the data on the hard drive wasn't working, and she tried desperately to figure out how to unlock it. She took it to the Genius Bar, and the only option they gave her was to wipe it clean. They insisted there was no way to re-set the password.
 
Jun 23, 2018
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I refuse to take “can’t be done” line for fact. I’m thinking one simple key stroke and it’s all set. The engineers saying it’s impossible is total BS.
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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I'm sorry about Lisa's loss, Mark. Your story is the reason many of us refuse to purchase Apple products of any kind. The arrogance is beyond comprehension. They couldn't care less about an individual customer's needs. It's a corporate culture set up by you-know-who .. he was definitely into self-absorption. Now, having said that, the blame is definitely on her for allowing someone else to pretend to be her when he set the thing up. It was beyond foolish for him to answer the security questions as himself. Such a shame. Since she can't access anything on the phone, she'll need to move on and get the thing working again. No sense worrying about all the information in her account if she can't get to it. I wish I had better assistance to offer.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Apple is notorious for being privacy oriented. This is actually a good thing. So I do not think it one push of a button to reset.

You have to admit that it is pretty strange that she had nothing to do with setting up the original icloud account and now she is not taking care of this on her own. You say it is HER account yet she did not set it up, chose or answer the security questions, or even have the account go to HER email. This is problematic. By all accounts this does not sound like HER apple id, because she had nothing to do with setting it up.

When I set things up for my dad I set everything up with an email account for him that both of us had the password for just in case something happened to me or him.

Will apple allow the icloud account to be permanently closed and a new one added to the phone so as to be able to do backups? Or was there material what was previously backed up that is no longer on the telephone?

Have you looked into third party software that can back up the phone or transfer information without using icloud?
 
Feb 21, 2018
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I refuse to take “can’t be done” line for fact. I’m thinking one simple key stroke and it’s all set. The engineers saying it’s impossible is total BS.
Well, considering she said she was willing to allow the time and pay the cost to get it unlocked and they still said it couldn't be done makes me think...it couldn't be done. I found it incredible to believe myself, but then I'm strictly a Windows/Android gal so I know nothing of the mysterious culture of the Apple World.
 
Jun 23, 2018
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Why? Because

“You can set up multiple iCloud accounts, however, quoting iOS: Only your main account can use Photo Stream, Documents & Data, and Backup. If you want to use mail and calendar only, there is no problem. You can even use all of the other services like contacts, reminders or notes.”

So the phone would still be stuck on IOS9 forever, this would not allow her carry on with her current texts... What would be the point of adding a new iCloud account if I’m trying to resolve the stated issues?
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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@Mark T I did this for my wife a year ago (we had an issue where it made better sense for her to be on her own icloud account). You can change the main iCloud account an a phone without a wipe.

Short answer is that apple is setup to not let you do what you want to do for privacy reasons (otherwise guess how a "bad actor" gain entry to a locked device or its backups)... She can go make nice with the old boy friend to get access to the security questions or change her iCloud account. Really the only two choices she has.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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@Mark T I did this for my wife a year ago (we had an issue where it made better sense for her to be on her own icloud account). You can change the main iCloud account an a phone without a wipe.

Short answer is that apple is setup to not let you do what you want to do for privacy reasons (otherwise guess how a "bad actor" gain entry to a locked device or its backups)... She can go make nice with the old boy friend to get access to the security questions or change her iCloud account. Really the only two choices she has.
The former boyfriend passed away.
 
Jan 25, 2016
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Apple is notorious for being privacy oriented. This is actually a good thing. So I do not think it one push of a button to reset.

You have to admit that it is pretty strange that she had nothing to do with setting up the original icloud account and now she is not taking care of this on her own. You say it is HER account yet she did not set it up, chose or answer the security questions, or even have the account go to HER email. This is problematic. By all accounts this does not sound like HER apple id, because she had nothing to do with setting it up.

When I set things up for my dad I set everything up with an email account for him that both of us had the password for just in case something happened to me or him.

Will apple allow the icloud account to be permanently closed and a new one added to the phone so as to be able to do backups? Or was there material what was previously backed up that is no longer on the telephone?

Have you looked into third party software that can back up the phone or transfer information without using icloud?

This is 100% true ... this has nothing to do with arrogance, not being compassionate or any of the other unnecessary slams in other replies here. I am an independent Apple tech and sometimes, due to security, losing certain passwords means losing your data. Don't the Apple bashers here remember the big case where the Feds were trying to get Apple to unlock an iPhone and it is virtually impossible?

As far as your computer passwords: If you lose your login password, any Apple tech worth anything can reset your login password easily. You will lose your keychain saved passwords, but will retain access to all your data. If you turn on FileVault (which most should not do and should NEVER do if using a traditional hard drive) and forget the password, there is no recovery and you must wipe the drive. If you set a firmware password and forget it, you may be completely lost.

As far as iOS/iCloud passwords: If you lose your login password, haven't ensured that you have an accurate recovery email attached to the account and don't know / remember your security questions, you are going to lose access to the iCloud account and will have to create a new, primary iCloud account. This does mean that you will lose any purchased apps as they are permanently bound to the purchasing account. Any other data on the phone (pictures, etc.) can be backed up to a computer (using iTunes or a third party utility like iMazing) and restored to the iPhone if necessary, which is only the case with iCloud photos as, once you sign out of the "bad" iCloud account and sign in to the new iCloud account, you will lose access to any iCloud data.

Above all this heightened security is for the protection of your data! Is it an inconvenience? Yes! But, then again, so is having to lock one's house / car! Does anyone remember how angry all the "fappening" celebrities were when their iCloud accounts were hacked? We can't have it both ways: we can't complain when our data is stored insecurely and then turn around and complain then the security measures are too stringent. Grow the heck up!

I assist many of my clients in setting up iCloud accounts. If they cannot be here with me, I verify birthdate and other pertinent information required for the account setup. When answering the security questions, I ALWAYS use nonsensical answers and then print out the screen shot of the security questions, with the answers, for the client to retain. If everyone used just a modicum of common sense, this would not be an issue.
 
Jun 23, 2018
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#12
Thank you Bill for your response. As you can imagine, I am disappointed with the outcome.
Do you have any thoughts on how to save texts and then restore them back to the phone. They are not even in the cloud. In fact I’ll bet NOTHING is in the cloud as backup was not turned on nor ever manually done. Any 3rd party apps or somehow iTunes. Apple did allow gf to setup and keep her own iTunes account without losing any data. I understand all that has been said about security, but if they allowed this on iTunes, why not iCloud?
Anyway we know we can do a full backup to her iTunes acct, but if a restore is done from said backup it will still be associated with the old iCloud account.
Can you think of a work around for that. I mean they deemed her credible to backup all data to her iTunes account. Any chance a restore can done using iTunes backup without being tied to old cloud account?
Also do you know of any 3rd party apps that will allow transfer of texts to pc AND allow transfer back to iPhone?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Thank you bill_the_cat.

Serious Encryption exists to prevent anyone without passwords from accessing an account. This is why there are recovery methods. It is not just one button to reset, otherwise it would not be secure data.

I would not like someone to be able to access my account if my phone was lost/stolen or if I had a vengeful person in my life. The celebs were targeted by phishing and fell for it, so that was not an iCloud security issue.

I have both Apple and Android OS phones so I am not an Apple apologist but I do not think Apple should be at fault here.

Bill has set out the options for the OP.
 
Jan 25, 2016
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#14
Thank you Bill for your response. As you can imagine, I am disappointed with the outcome.
Do you have any thoughts on how to save texts and then restore them back to the phone. They are not even in the cloud. In fact I’ll bet NOTHING is in the cloud as backup was not turned on nor ever manually done. Any 3rd party apps or somehow iTunes. Apple did allow gf to setup and keep her own iTunes account without losing any data. I understand all that has been said about security, but if they allowed this on iTunes, why not iCloud?
Anyway we know we can do a full backup to her iTunes acct, but if a restore is done from said backup it will still be associated with the old iCloud account.
Can you think of a work around for that. I mean they deemed her credible to backup all data to her iTunes account. Any chance a restore can done using iTunes backup without being tied to old cloud account?
Also do you know of any 3rd party apps that will allow transfer of texts to pc AND allow transfer back to iPhone?

Mark,

By default, all Messages are synced and attached to the iCloud account ... even if they are also attached to the cell number. Most data on the iPhone is stored in iCloud, regardless of whether iCloud backup was working or not. Was there ever a backup done through iTunes to the PC? If so, data could be restored from there. Technically, an iTunes account is the same as an app store account is the same as an iCloud account ... unless she set up an iTunes account separate and distinct from her iCloud account, which is very possible (just not advisable). This might explain how that happened. Additionally, she probably had recovery information for the iTunes which was not applicable to the iCloud ... but that's just a guess as, for the most part, the iTunes / app store / iCloud accounts are one and the same.

When you say you know you "can do a full backup to her iTunes acct," I'm not sure what you mean. The iTunes account, which shares its credentials with an app store / iCloud account does not have backup abilities. If you mean she can back up through iTunes to the computer, that is different. That backup is not "tied" to the "locked" iCloud account, but to the phone itself. The problem would arise in that restoring the phone from any backup would then require logging out of the "locked" iCloud account and login into the "new" iCloud account, thereby losing all data (including messages) tied to the old iCloud ID.

I use a product called iMazing. I'd rather not post a direct link (because I could be a "bad guy") so just perform a Google search iMazing and you'll find the software. It is available for Macintosh and Windows and they have a downloadable demo (which may allow you to back up what you want). This might be the only way to preserve Messages and other data that are tied to the "locked" Apple ID. I presume that she wants these Messages conversations for the sake of posterity, not to continue the streams?

BTW: Please do not interpret my "tough love" as callousness for the situation in which your girlfriend finds herself. Usually, the naive user goes happily about their business and is never aware of any potential issues until something gets bunged up and they realize they don't have the proper tools / data (or access to the person who does have them) to recover their digital lives. I am truly sorry for her current struggles and wish there was a magical electronic wand ... but I hope that what I've said helps.
 
Jun 23, 2018
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Bill

Your “tough love” has been very constructive. I appreciate all your knowledge and guidance. I’m not sure how to word it, but the engineers were willing and able to reset the iTunes acct that was linked to the iCloud account. She did not lose any apps at all. So I just can’t totally comprehend why they were able to do that with tunes, but not the cloud. Thanks again
 
Likes: bill_the_cat
Jan 25, 2016
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#16
Nor am I ... that doesn't make much sense since the accounts are (in theory) all linked. Give the iMazing product a try ... if it allows your girlfriend to backup her important data attached to the "locked" iCloud account, that may be the best choice and then just abandon that iCloud account and create another. I'm happy to share my Apple knowledge just as I have benefitted from the travel knowledge shared by all the travel professionals that contribute to this site ... I hope that you are able to derive some assistance for your girlfriend's situation from my ramblings!
 
Jun 23, 2018
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Nor am I ... that doesn't make much sense since the accounts are (in theory) all linked. Give the iMazing product a try ... if it allows your girlfriend to backup her important data attached to the "locked" iCloud account, that may be the best choice and then just abandon that iCloud account and create another. I'm happy to share my Apple knowledge just as I have benefitted from the travel knowledge shared by all the travel professionals that contribute to this site ... I hope that you are able to derive some assistance for your girlfriend's situation from my ramblings!
Hey Bill. No ramblings. If anything I am the rambler-lol.
Just an FYI-I have reached out to iMazing support asking for their expertise and looking for my best options.
 
Jun 27, 2017
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This is a good lesson for ALL of us about setting up accounts with passwords and security questions, etc. Thank bill_the_cat for the info about iMazing. It seems to be an amazing bit of software at a very reasonable price.

Are you a Berkley Breathed fan, by chance?
 
Jun 27, 2017
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Heck yeah! I actually had engraved Opus and Bill on my wife's and my wedding bands.

Glad my knowledge and experience was of help ...
Loved Bloom County. Quirky Berkeley once lived in Albuquerque, the city where I was born and raised. In early 1986, he crashed an ultralight a little north of the city and broke his back. If I remember correctly, his girlfriend/wife Jody Boyman was in the residency program at UNM Hospital. They lived in Sandia Heights, a fairly exclusive community set in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. I don't think the place was a good fit for Mr. Breathed. Anyway, he created quite a commotion when he plunked down a couple of flaming pink flamingo statues in his front yard - the kind you may see in sunny Florida. As you can imagine, the birds looked out of place in the desert Southwest landscaping and were against covenant restrictions. His neighbors were not amused. I think he eventually removed them. We all had a good laugh at his antics. But I think his neighbors were relieved when he and Jody moved.
 
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