In a little-noticed change that arrived with iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple re-enabled the option to have a recovery key associated with an Apple ID. The Apple ecosystem-spanning account system offers two-factor authentication, which requires both a password and a device or phone number associated with the account to login. The recovery key layers on top of that.
A warning, first! Apple has updated necessary pieces of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS to let you set a recovery key. But weeks after iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 were released, the Apple ID support sites, Apple Support app, and Find My app remain out of date with the use of this newly revived recovery key, even though various support documents have been updated to explain correctly some of the details of how it’s intended to work.
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