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article imageSome iOS beta users are getting locked out of their phones

By James Walker     Jul 11, 2016 in Technology
Some users of Apple's recently-launched iOS 10 public beta are reportedly getting locked out of their Apple ID after enabling two-factor authentication, preventing them from resetting their passwords. The cause is believed to be a server bug.
The issue was first noted on Reddit last week. A user of several Apple devices reported being prompted to re-enter their password to verify their identity. Entering the password in Settings presented an ominous pop-up, warning the account had been locked for security reasons.
The user headed to Apple's online password reset service, iForgot. Upon entering their email address to reset their Apple ID password, another message was displayed. This time, the cause was a "server error" explaining "your request could not be completed at this time."
After contacting Apple Support, the user's case was forwarded directly to iTunes engineers. The support staff explained they could not enable troubleshooting mode for the account because two-factor authentication was enabled. Apple has yet to restore access to the account.
The original poster was contacted by other users who also received the same security popup. One was able to successfully reset their password, seemingly because two-factor authentication was left disabled. Users with active two-factor authentication received errors from iForgot.
Apple hasn't publicly commented on the reports. Two separate issues have been identified that can combine to lock some users out of their accounts. Firstly, a bug in app-specific passwords causes the prompt to re-enter your password before locking the account.
Usually, this could be mitigated by resetting the password online. For users who are running beta software, iForgot appears to be broken though. The service seems to be unable to reset the passwords of those running beta software and using two-factor authentication, leaving you completely locked out of your account when the bug in app-specific sign-ins requires you to verify your identity.
Apple has been notified of the problem by several users. The iTunes team appears to be receiving the reports and a fix should be developed. This will allow locked-out users to reclaim their accounts. Apple Support has also advised the issue could resolve itself for some people. It appears to lie in a programming mistake or server configuration error on the iForgot website.
If you're using an iOS 10 beta and two-factor authentication, you may want to disable this combination until Apple confirms everything is fixed. The app-specific sign-in bug that starts the whole chain can occur on any iOS version, including the latest stable release, but passwords can be successfully reset. When the bug occurs on iOS 10 with 2FA turned on, you could lose access to your Apple ID. The risk serves to highlight the dangers of using pre-release software.
More about Apple, Ios, ios 10, ios 10 beta, Beta