The ‘iCloud settings are out of date’ popup experienced by Windows Operating System subscribers is an indication that an app-specific password is required to access your iCloud account.
This should be used rather than the regular Apple ID password while using a third-party platform (services and apps not provided by apple e.g. Contact Manager App, Windows Mail or Calendar.
You will most likely encounter this error message if you have two-factor authentication enable on your iCloud account and you are trying to access the same account via an app not provided by Apple (a third-party app).
This issue may result in the failed synchronization of documents, contacts, and calendar. Users might be unable to get rid of this error popup while trying to use a third-party platform until an app-specific password is generated using their iCloud account via the Apple website.
The use of the app-specific password is for added protection against nefarious activities.
If you do not have 2FA enabled on your iCloud account then it is the first thing you must do because it is essential to generating app-specific passwords. Before we proceed, it is most appropriate that some terms are clearly defined.
- What is an app-specific password?
An app-specific password grants you the permission to sign into your iCloud account securely with your Apple ID when using third-party apps. This type of password is a single-use password that allows you to securely access your iCloud account and the data stored in it.
To generate app-specific passwords, your Apple ID must have 2FA (two-factor authentication) protection.
- What is two-factor authentication (2FA)?
Two-factor authentication, commonly abbreviated as 2FA, and otherwise known as Two-Step Verification is a security process which improves your basic sign-in procedure by adding extra steps.
Without the two-factor authentication on your iCloud account, you can easily sign-in by typing in your username and password (single-factor authentication). The Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) provides an extra layer of security by making it harder for third-party apps or attackers to gain easy access to your device or iCloud account(s) without your permission.
How to resolve ‘iCloud settings are out of date’ error popup in Windows
To fix the “iCloud settings are out of date” error popup, you need to generate an app-specific password. To generate app-specific passwords, it is essential that you enable the Two-Factor authentication (2FA) or Two-Step Verification first.
1. Enable Two-Factor Authentication or Two-Step Verification
- Visit the Apple ID page from your PC browser log-in with your personal Apple ID and Password.
- Provide appropriate answers to your security questions then click continue to verify your identity
- From the Security tab, click Get Started under Two-Step Verification to set-up an extra layer of security on your account.
- Click continue to proceed.
- Select your preferred region and type in a trusted phone number then choose continue to proceed.
- You will receive a four-digits Apple ID verification Code on your trusted phone number. Enter the code into the space provided, and click on continue to proceed.
In case you did not receive a code, hit ‘didn’t get a verification code’ or ‘send new code.’
- If you have devices linked to your Apple ID, verify them if not, click continue to proceed.
- In the next screen, print your alphanumeric recovery key or write it down and keep it in a safe place. You will need it to recover your account if you forget your password. Hit continue to proceed.
- Confirm your recovery key and click confirm to continue.
- Check the terms and conditions box and click Enable Two-Step Verification
- Click Done to proceed.
2. Generate an app-specific password
- Having enabled the Two-Step Verification, Generate Password should now appear in the security tab. Click on it.
- Type in a label for this password and ensure that the name relates to the application (an app not provided by Apple) which you are generating the app-specific password for (I used ‘Windows 10 mail’). Hit Create after entering the password label.
- An app-specific password will be generated in the format shown (case sensitive). Copy the specific password, and click Done.
- Now locate the app (Windows 10 mail) for which you need the app-specific password and launch it.
- Then paste the specific password you copied into the password field of the app requesting for your Apple iCloud password.
Having generated the app-specific password for the third-party app of interest, you must now use this specific password to grant the app unrestricted access to your Apple iCloud account.
At this point, the “iCloud settings are out of date” error popup should no longer be an issue.
If for any reason, the third-party application requires you to re-enter the password of your Apple iCloud account, just use the specific password you already generated and you are good to go.
Note: If for any reason, you change the primary password of your Apple ID account, all you generated app-specific passwords will be revoked and you will be required to create a new one for any non-Apple app you want to grant access to your account.
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