Prevent your Apple ID from constantly getting locked

25 March 2020

If you are like me, and have all of your Apple devices constantly prompt you for your Apple ID password only to inform you that your Apple ID is locked, here is something that you could do to prevent it.

It became really frustrating when all of my Apple devices started prompting me to enter my password, then would tell me that my Apple ID was locked and had to go through a flow to unlock it. This became so frequent, that sometimes it would happen multiple times per week. Here is most likely what was happening:

My Gmail address is also used as my Apple ID, which we can safely assume is now public due to the numerous data leaks that have happened over the years from various companies. “Hackers” were most likely hammering Apple servers trying to brute-force the password and in turn, Apple would lock the Apple ID. The quickest fix would be to change the email used for logging into my Apple ID to something that is not publically available or visible anywhere. Enter the extremely useful and valid + character in email addresses. Different providers may treat it differently, but by sending an email to [email protected], Gmail will deliver the email to [email protected] and label that email with tag.

I went ahead and changed my Apple ID login to something like [email protected] and voila, it has been over a month without the annoying password prompts and Apple ID locked messages. If you are using another email provider, verify that the + character can safely be used as described above while still having emails delivered to it.

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