In 2014 Apple introduced recovery keys, which are an additional way of regaining access to the Apple ID in the event of a lost password. But with iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur, Apple fundamentally changed the way recovery keys work.
Key away = account blocked
Now create one Recovery key, Apple is turning off the ability to use the normal password recovery route. It is usually possible to reset the password through a known email address or to start an account recovery process with Apple. However, if you have received a recovery key, these options are blocked as soon as the key is lost.
Better not activate it
The additional protection is of course to be welcomed – but printed documents tend to be lost when moving, for example. Since all purchased apps, the iCloud email address and all photos in the iCloud photo library are linked to the Apple ID, great financial and personal damage can result if access is blocked.
Therefore, it is better to postpone the activation of the recovery process until Apple has added further options to this process. If you currently still have access to the account, but would like to deactivate the recovery key, you can find the steps for Switch off whose.