Precious Memories Recovered!
The post prior to this one told about the potential loss of photos and videos on a broken ipad. But with a little detective work and lotsa of luck, I was able to recover his account and my friend was greatly relieved.
I was using a BellSouth email address for his Apple ID and wondered if a different email address be the Apple ID. I asked his granddaughter if she had any other login information and she found a sticky note with a Gmail email address/password/security question answers, but the password was invalid.
Lucky Guess #1
Hoping the Gmail address might be the real Apple ID, I checked it at Apple’s password recovery option. During recovery, Apple tells you if an email address is a valid Apple ID and the Gmail address was valid. But, I was still locked out of the Apple and Gmail accounts because of invalid passwords.
Lucky Guess #2
I began password recovery for the Gmail account, hoping it would send a link to that original BellSouth address I’d been using. It worked! I changed the password on the Gmail account and then tried Apple’s Password recovery using the Gmail email account. Success!
Why am I sharing this? 1) Maybe some of the steps I took will help someone else in a similar predicament. I focused on the original BellSouth address for over a week before thinking my friend may have used a different address at Apple. 2) More importantly, I want to encourage you to use a password manager program to store your passwords and login information. A password manager program would have eliminated the worries that my friend’s data was lost because we would have had access to usernames/passwords/security question answers.
Here is a PC Magazine link to reviews of password managers: https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-password-managers. That’s a lot to type, so you can go to pcmag.com and search for password managers instead. One final note: At this time, I would avoid the free LastPass password manager. It has been hacked twice in the past six months and I'm not sure the extent of the hack has been determined.