Generally speaking, there’s usually no reason to change your passcode. However, there are plenty of good reasons to change it:
- If someone you don’t trust such as a bad roommate or an ex were to steal your device they could wreak havoc: they could change your Apple ID, they could look up your passwords, they could lock you out of your accounts. Even if you don’t feel like you have anything to hide it’s not about what they could find; it’s about what damage they could do.
- If you have children they could override their own ScreenTime settings or even change your passcode thinking it’s a funny practical joke. It’s not funny at all. You wouldn’t believe how often I’ve seen this happen.
- If you have a simple 4-digit passcode you should consider changing to a six-digit passcode or better yet an alphanumeric code (even if it’s just a short 4 or 6-letter alphanumeric code). If a thief sees you type your code through “shoulder surfing”, grabs your phone and runs, now they have access to your passwords and can even lock you out of your Apple account. An alphanumeric code helps protect you against that because it’s so much more difficult to see someone type those little keys from a distance rather than the big number pad. This is why you should also have Face ID or Touch ID enabled and only cautiously enter your code in public.
But of course, the hardest time to remember your iPhone or iPad passcode is right after you’ve changed it. For whatever reason, if you don’t know your new passcode, a new iOS 17 feature called Passcode Reset lets you use your old one for 72 hours. Once you’ve tried the wrong passcode five times, tap Forgot Passcode ➊, enter your old passcode ➋, and create a new one ➌.
If you’re certain you know the new one and you need it to be fully changed right away, you can expire the old one sooner in Settings > Face ID/Touch ID & Passcode.
(Featured image by iStock.com/NazariyKarkhut)
If you are an existing customer who needs help with this or if you have other questions, or if you are in San Francisco and interested in becoming a client I invite you to book an appointment with me. Otherwise, you may wish to contact Apple Support or find a local Apple consultant.
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