Viktor Petersson

@vpetersson

iCloud account locking hell

I’ve been a happy iCloud user since the early days. With few exceptions, it has worked well. This all changed last month.

Apple new greeting screen.

It all started in late November (around the time I installed macOS Sierra and iOS 10.2). Then it got worse. During December alone, my iCloud account got locked 10 times. And yes, I’m using two-factor authentication.

Screenshot from 1Password.

Once you’ve unlocked the iCloud account, you need to update the password on every iOS and Mac that is using said account. If you think it’s only one place you need to update the password, you’d be wrong.

  • On each iOS device there are three separate places you need to update the password (App Store, iCloud and iMessage).
  • On macOS, you need to update the password on two different places (iCloud in system prefs and in iMessages). I’m not even including iTunes because it’s not 2006 anymore.
One of the many fun messages I’ve received.

This means it takes at least 20–30 minutes to fix this across all devices. Because of this, I didn’t even bother unlocking the account and left it locked for days. This of course meant that all of my iMessaging got screwed up and that I was barely able to send and receive iMessages over the holidays. Thanks, Apple.

Wait, there’s more! If you don’t unlock your iCloud account update your password on your iOS device(s), you’re prompted with the following error every five minutes or so.

This is not annoying at all when you say are reading an article or book!

Kudos to Apple for pro-active reaching out to me after my tweet. However, they’ve failed so far to make any progress on the issue (case number 100088133735 if anyone from Apple is reading this).

I also know that this is not an isolated issue, as it has happened to other friends of mine too. It’s time to get your shit together, Apple! I’m going mental.

As a side-note, this still made me realize the danger of putting all my eggs in one basket. I, like many/most iOS users use Apple for contact, messaging and photo storage (along with a number of other services). It is not until this breaks, you realize how dependent you are on them. This is not a good thing, and I will likely start moving data away from it.

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