Here are steps on how to set up an iPhone Recovery Key so thieves don’t lock you out of your account permanently if your phone gets stolen. Before I get into it, you may have been following the Wall Street Journal’s articles on iPhone safety but to get you up to speed, you can read first part here and then here.

Given that most don’t know the Recovery Key exists, it might best to set it up now and not regret it later. It was introduced by Apple in 2020 to protect customers from online hackers and users need to turn the setting on to get a 28-digit code if they want to reset their Apple ID, according to the WSJ.

If you don’t have this code, you may lose everything on iCloud and your account, should you find yourself locked out of your account.

STEP 1: Go to Settings > [Your Name/iCloud account]

STEP 2: Tap “Password and Security”

STEP 3: Scroll down to “Account Recovery” and turn it on. It asks if you are sure you want to create a recovery key. Do it.

STEP 4: A 16-digit code will be automatically generated. Screenshot it and save it somewhere safe – not iCloud but if you have other cloud services and don’t name it “Recovery Key” so what when those keywords are searched on your device, it won’t come up.

PS while you are there, you may want to add a ‘Recovery Contact’ if you haven’t already done so.

That’s it. If you ever lose access to your data on iCloud and need to get it again, this is the code that will get you in. And as you can see from the screenshot, don’t lose it.

You can read more on the Apple Support page.