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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Apple Watch 2: “Password Failed”

Apple Watch 2: “Password Failed”
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ghporter
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Jan 1, 2018, 07:03 PM
 
For several days now, my Watch has told me - pretty much daily - that I need to enter my iCoud password on my phone. I do, it takes it, and it seems like everything is good. Until the next day.

I can’t find anything definitive about what is causing this or what to do about it. Any clues would be greatly appreciated.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 2, 2018, 07:33 PM
 
It happened again today. I have tried rebooting the phone, and I’m going to reboot the watch. This is annoying...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 3, 2018, 08:53 PM
 
I rebooted the watch today, and it still happened.

It happens in the afternoon, usually, but not at the same time every afternoon. I KNOW it's not because the watch was out of range from the phone, because the watch is on my left wrist and the phone is in my left pocket.

This is aggravating.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Thorzdad
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Jan 4, 2018, 08:42 AM
 
Could it somehow be an issue with your iCloud account, and not the hardware?
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 4, 2018, 12:26 PM
 
I don't think the account is a problem. Everything else associated with the account (iPad, MBP, iMac) is running fine. I think it's more related to the watch than anything else.

It looks like the next step is to un-pair, wipe, then re-pair the watch. Which I don't want to do if I can avoid it, because I don't know what side effects I might have to deal with...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 4, 2018, 06:03 PM
 
In the last several days, the “password failed” message has come at between 2pm and 3:30pm. Today it didn’t happen until 5pm (just now). Since I’m home sick and out tomorrow as well, I think I’m going to go through with the un-pair, wipe, re-pair thing tomorrow.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego
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Jan 4, 2018, 07:45 PM
 
The only thing I can think of is what seems to cause this on a phone, which is some app trying to update and hanging over and over.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 4, 2018, 08:06 PM
 
Thanks, I'll look at that before I do anything extreme.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 6, 2018, 08:10 PM
 
No apps un-updated, nothing I can find that's hung up either.

Today it was all the way to almost 7pm before the "password failed" message showed up. I'm taking baby steps here; one Apple Support page said that it might help to sign out of iCloud and/or Messages, then sign back in. I have done that for Messages, and we'll see if that helps.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
reader50
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Jan 6, 2018, 08:48 PM
 
It sounds like it's happening a little later each day. Which suggests your login only works for 24 hours. If it's almost 7pm this time, did you manually log in at nearly 7 yesterday?

I don't have a theory on the cause, just trying to spot patterns.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 7, 2018, 01:24 PM
 
Yeah, I'm with you.

For the previous week it seemed to be pretty consistent at about 3pm. Then it started getting later and later, but not in a pattern that I could see. Of course I didn't think to record times when this happened - it was irritating and a bother, and I reacted to it instead of paying attention earlier.

This past several days I've been pretty attentive - because I have something that isn't flu but it's keeping me sedentary. That gives me plenty of time to pay attention to things like when my watch gives me the finger this error message.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 7, 2018, 09:49 PM
 
Today the password error message showed up just before 8pm, basically an hour later than yesterday.

I went through the watch and couldn't find anything not running. So I went through the phone as well. There was a notification dot in Settings -on my iCloud identity I think, and I put off entering the password until I could poke around. I still couldn't find anything that wasn't running, so I decided to enter my password.

I had two distinctly different iCloud/iTunes password dialog. The first was white on black, and I can't recall exactly what triggered it. Entering my password there didn't clear the notification dot. THEN, when I clicked on the iCloud identity and I got the more typical black on white password dialog. When I entered my password there, the notification dot went away.

I'm pretty sure this is a phone thing, not a watch thing. And it's not an iCloud thing because my iPad has never had a bobble about iCloud. It's super annoying - mostly because I don't know why it's happening.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 10, 2018, 08:31 PM
 
I’ve managed to move the time of the “password failed” message simply by ignoring it for a while and then entering the password later. I still don’t know what’s not working when this password fails...

I’m going to update to 11.2.2 soon, maybe tomorrow. I wonder if this will change the issue.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 12, 2018, 04:09 PM
 
I updated to 11.2.2 today, and at about 3pm local I still got the password failed message.

I'm going to just leave it and see what isn't working. I have no clue what it might be, and if I run into something that refuses to work because it's not logged into iCloud, that should tell me what is going on. I hope...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 14, 2018, 11:35 AM
 
Well crap. I decided to log out of iCloud then back in. It worked fine...until I got the message again.

I’m starting to feel like something happened when I updated the OS to 11.2.1, and that maybe I should roll back to 11.2.0 and then maybe directly to 11.2.2. Or not.

I still don’t know what needs me to log into iCloud daily, and I don’t know how to find that out.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jan 15, 2018, 05:21 AM
 
What apps are you syncing?
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 15, 2018, 09:40 PM
 
I’m not sure what all is using iCloud - or at least not what isn’t while it waits for me to enter my password again.

I haven’t sat down an poured over what is using iCloud storage or syncing - I was too worn out after work today. It’s gotta be something that is using iCloud but is having issues, since it would otherwise not need to log in over and over...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 16, 2018, 07:42 AM
 
It might not actually be something that's using iCloud, as opposed to a poorly-coded app seeking authentication for some in-app service.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 16, 2018, 04:42 PM
 
I still haven’t found an app that isn’t working, so I’m just going to keep smiling and telling the “re-enter password” dialogs to buzz off. Maybe I’ll find what isn’t working by having it finally tell me “I can’t do that without iCloud.” I can hope.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 21, 2018, 02:26 PM
 
I have spent the last several days with pretty much intermittent "password failed" messages - most of which go away (from my watch, anyway) before I can completely read them. Sometimes (like just now) the message shows up on the phone when I wake it, but there's nothing that says "X is not working." I'm stumped, but I'm going to leave it alone, at least until I get sick of the annoyance.

Later...I have an app called "System Status" that gives me lots of stats on the functions behind the scenes in iOS. Right now it says I have 22003453 page ins, 633851 page outs, 1689798xxx (and climbing) page faults with (stable) 493660 COW faults. I think something is having a horrible time with memory management, (which is probably contributing to recent poorer battery life) which is messing with iCloud somehow. Unfortunately this app doesn't tell me nearly as much as Activity Monitor does on OS X, so I can't say much more than that. I'm going to reboot the phone and see what memory stuff I see, and probably poke around in what's running for a while. This is not particularly fun, but maybe I'm getting somewhere.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 25, 2018, 06:12 PM
 
I may have figured something out. I noticed recently that there’s a corner of my phone’s front that is “loose” and which extends farther than the other corners. Here’s a picture:

You notice that the glass at the corner opposite the Sleep/Wake button is raised considerably above the frame compared to the Sleep/Wake button side.

I’m thinking that the problem is hardware related. In part, I think this because of the glass, but also because the “password failed” messages have been coming in clusters of 3 or 4, and disappearing almost instantly. Either the phone is retrying the password repeatedly (and sometimes being successful), or the indication is coming from an intermittent hardware problem.

I haven’t figured out a way to keep the glass down, and I’m about to go on vacation for a week, so I guess I’ll just see how it goes until I get home. Wish me luck!

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
reader50
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Jan 25, 2018, 06:43 PM
 
Things popping up on a phone are often caused by battery swelling. I'd take it to a Genius Bar. Maybe they'll give you the $29 battery change, or maybe they'll give you a new phone.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 25, 2018, 09:46 PM
 
That's part of the plan. Of course with me going on vacation (out of town, and out of the country), it'll have to wait until I get back.

From what I can tell, the battery is on the side that the screen is lifted on...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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Feb 4, 2018, 05:03 PM
 
Well, since this is an iPhone 5s, I didn't get the $29 deal. But while I had an opportunity (in Key West), I set up a Genius Bar appointment for today (having gotten home yesterday).

It's definitely the battery, and while the 5s isn't covered by the $29 deal, I am getting a new (probably refurb) phone for $79. When it comes in... Nobody has the 5s in stock anymore.

So in a few days, I'll have a phone that won't make me worry about my pocket bursting into flames, and hopefully not have the iCloud password issue either.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego
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Feb 4, 2018, 11:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
in Key West
Gawd, I love Key West.

Jealous!
     
ghporter  (op)
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Feb 5, 2018, 04:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Gawd, I love Key West.

Jealous!
Yeah, it was awesome, but muggy. We must have spent 3 hours wandering around, taking the tour at the Hemingway Home, and just enjoying Key West.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego
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Feb 6, 2018, 02:25 AM
 
I was going to ask if it was muggy muggy or San Antonio muggy, but then I remembered you were stationed in Panama, so I figure you know your muggy.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Feb 14, 2018, 03:35 PM
 
I finally got the replacement phone on Saturday, and spent much longer than I liked getting it set up. Mostly it was because I didn’t unpair my Apple Watch before I handed the phone over, but there were a few other issues as well. The (new) phone works fine and lasts noticeably longer on an overnight charge.

But I’m still getting the “Password Failed” notice. . I’m starting to (slowly) step through all the things on the phone that use iCloud OR my Apple ID. Once I have a good idea of what needs signing in, I’ll start turning them off one item at a time and see which one stops the error message. That’ll take some time, since the usual timing between signing in and the error message is about 24 hours. Ah well. First World problems, right?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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Feb 21, 2018, 07:51 PM
 
I have a minor update. Evven with the new phone, I get "Password Failed" messages, so it's not hardware related. But I have seen more details when an error occurs - merely by chance.

It seems that sometimes my phone can't reach the iCloud authentication server, which of course means the stored password can't be verified by the server, so it "fails." I have to believe all of the error messages that pop up but disappear immediately (without any intervention on my part) are the phone contacting the server on a second attempt. If some of them didn't toggle the "some services require you to log into iCloud" status, I would just completely ignore them.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
   
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