With most large online platforms, one login credential controls pretty much everything you do. For Apple, access to your account is linked to your Apple ID. This individual login is how you use the App Store, FaceTime, iCloud and more. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about an Apple ID.
- What Is an Apple ID?
- How to Create an Apple ID
- How to Find Your Apple ID
- How to Change Your Apple ID
- How to Use iCloud Email
- How to Swap Between Apple IDs
- How to Add a Second Apple ID
- How to Change/Reset Apple ID Password
- How to Manage Your Apple ID
- How to Fix "error connecting to Apple ID Server"
- What to Do When Your Apple ID Is Disabled
- How to Add 2FA to Apple ID
- How to Fix the "This Apple ID has not yet been used with the App Store" Error
- How to Factory Reset Apple Devices without Apple ID
- How to Contact Apple ID Support
- How to Delete Your Apple ID
What Is an Apple ID?
An Apple ID is the account you use to access all of Apple’s services. Like any account, it includes an email address and password that you will use not only to sign in but also to be contacted, make payments and secure your accounts. You’ll use it for the App Store, Apple Pay, iCloud, iMessage, Apple TV, etc.
How to Create an Apple ID
While you can easily set up an Apple ID upon logging in to an iPhone, iPad or Mac for the first time, you can also go to appleid.apple.com.
When signing up, you will include all of the relevant info Apple needs to create an online ID, including basic info like your name, date of birth, etc. As you create your Apple ID, it’s best to choose an email address you are already using. Next, create a strong password.
Anyone living in either China or India is also able to use a telephone number as their Apple ID. In China mainland, use your +86 phone number, and in India, use your +91 phone number. Signing in with your Apple ID works the same as it does with an email: enter your phone number, including the country code, and your password.
How to Find Your Apple ID
Once you are logged in to an Apple account on any Apple device or machine, finding your Apple ID is incredibly easy.
- On iOS and iPadOS, go into your Settings app either on your iPhone or iPad, then tap on your name/profile at the top of the screen. Your Apple ID is listed below your profile picture.
- On macOS, go to “System Preferences -> iCloud,” and your Apple ID is listed below your profile picture on the left.
- On PC, open iCloud for Windows and look under your name for your Apple ID.
If you do not have access to any of your Apple devices, head to the Apple ID page and click on “Forget Apple ID or password.” The next screen will ask you to either enter your Apple ID or “look it up.” You can also check previous emails/receipts from Apple.
How to Change Your Apple ID
If you don’t like your previously chosen Apple ID or don’t use the email address associated with the Apple ID anymore, you can easily change to a different email. Go to appleid.apple.com, sign in, choose “Edit -> Change Apple ID” and enter your new email address. Upon verification, log in to your iCloud, FaceTime and other Apple services with the new ID.
Note that there is no way to update or change any Apple ID created within the last 30 days. If you ever see that an email address is already in use, check with a family member to see if it’s already associated with a different Apple ID. Resolve the situation between the two of you to decide who gets to use the email as their Apple ID.
To change from an email address to a phone number, head to https://appleid.apple.com/ after you sign out of every Apple service and device you own. Under the Account section, click on “Edit,” then “Change Apple ID.” Once the phone number is entered, you will receive a verification code that needs to be entered in the text field provided. Sign back in to your Apple services with the new Apple ID phone number.
How to Use iCloud Email
As soon as you sign in to iCloud, all Apple device users are assigned an “firstname.lastname@example.org” (previously .me) email account. If you’d prefer to use this email rather than a currently associated Gmail, Yahoo, etc. as your Apple ID, just follow the instructions above to change it. If your Apple ID is currently your iCloud email, as in my case, you don’t need to do anything different. However, you can also change your iCloud email and thereby your Apple ID using the same process as above and simply choosing a new @iCloud.com email that is not currently in use.
How to Swap Between Apple IDs
For one reason or another, you may need or want to swap Apple IDs on a device. In my case, I usually sign in and out of my Apple ID on my kids’ iPads so that they can download and use games I have already purchased. What was once more complicated is now incredibly easy:
- Using iOS/iPadOS, head to “Settings -> tap on [Your Name]” and scroll until you find the “Sign Out” button. You will be asked to enter your password and tap “Turn Off.”
- On the Mac, go to “System Preferences -> Apple ID -> Overview (right beneath your name) -> Sign Out.”
- To sign in with another Apple ID, go back to Settings on the iPhone or iPad and tap on “Sign In” where your name should be. Enter the email (or phone number in China or India) and password for the new Apple ID.
- Follow the same steps on the Mac by going to “System Preferences -> Apple ID” and signing back in with a new Apple ID and password.
- One caveat here is that you can only change the Apple ID that you use with Family Sharing once every 90 days, so be mindful of that.
How to Add a Second Apple ID
If you are someone who has a need for two Apple IDs, say one for personal and one for work, you can use both on your devices for things like contacts, email, notes, etc.
Head to Settings and select one of the following apps: Mail, Contacts, Notes, Reminders or Calendar. Inside each app is an “Accounts” option you can tap on followed by “Add Account,” then “iCloud.” Enter the second Apple ID and password, verify your information to use dual Apple IDs.
How to Change/Reset Apple ID Password
Whether you want to change or reset your Apple ID password, doing so is incredibly easy. No matter which device you’re using when you make the change, the new password should be at least eight characters long, have a combination of upper and lower characters and include at least one number.
- On iOS, go to “Settings -> [Your Name] -> Password & Security” and tap on “Change Password.” Enter the new password, confirm it a second time, then tap on “Change Password” again.
- On macOS, go to “System Preferences -> Apple ID -> Password & Security.” Click on “Change Password,” which will prompt you to verify the existing password before updating.
- On the Apple ID page, begin by signing in and locating the Security section, then click on “Change Password.” Enter your current password to verify account security, then enter your new password. Click on “Change Password” again. Note that PC users will want to use this step, as resetting via the iCloud for Window app is not possible.
How to Manage Your Apple ID
The best way to manage your Apple ID and keep everything up to date is through the dedicated Apple ID page. It’s on this page that you can update your account information like your date of birth, contact info, update password, turn on two-factor authentication and remove old devices. You can also use this page to edit Family Sharing and payment methods for Apple Pay.
- On iOS, managing your Apple ID is done through “Settings -> [Your Name].” You will see a bevy of options. For iPhone and iPad, you can update your password, edit payment options, update Family Sharing and remove any unused devices. For the latter, tap on any device you no longer own or use and tap on “Remove from Account.”
- With macOS, head to “System Preferences -> Your Name” and similar to iOS, you have all of the same options as iOS including removing any unused device. Updating your name, phone or email, password, payment options and more can be done through macOS.
How to Fix “error connecting to Apple ID Server”
Few Apple things are more frustrating than when you are trying to make a change to your account and receive an error. In the case of the “error connecting to Apple ID server” message, the cause is often unknown, but there are a few steps to try and troubleshoot.
- Begin by looking at Apple’s “System Status” page and identify whether anything related to your Apple ID is listed as unavailable.
- Check your Wi-Fi connection and make sure you are online. If that does not work, see if a cellular connection fixes the connection error.
- Verify you are typing in the correct Apple ID and password.
- Restart or force restart your Apple device (iPhone, iPad or Mac).
- Disable any VPN that is currently in use.
- Disable any content or adblockers.
- Sign out of your Apple ID and back in again.
- Reset your network settings (“Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings”).
Any one of these steps might be exactly what you need to resolve the connection error. Starting with Apple’s “System Status” page and or restarting your device are the two best places to start.
What to Do When Your Apple ID Is Disabled
Should there ever come a time when your Apple ID has been disabled for security reasons, you are likely going to receive one of the following errors.
- “The Apple ID has been disabled for security reasons.”
- “You can’t sign in because your account was disabled for security reasons.”
- “This Apple ID has been locked for security reasons.”
If and when this does happen, resetting your password is how you should proceed with accessing your Apple ID again. Follow the steps above for resetting or changing your password, and you should be in good shape.
How to Add 2FA to Apple ID
Apple allows you to enable 2FA (two-factor authentication) for your Apple ID to properly secure your account against online threats. You can easily do so on iOS as well as on Mac.
- On both the iPhone and iPad, go to “Settings -> [Your Name] -> Password & Security.” Two-factor authentication will be in the middle of the screen. Tap on “Turn On Two-Factor Authentication,” then “Continue.” You can choose to receive the codes through text or via phone.
- On the Mac, go to “System Preferences -> Apple ID.” Click on “Password & Security” underneath your name, then “Turn on” for Two-Factor Authentication.
- On the Web, go back to the Apple ID website, log in and click on “Upgrade Account Security.” Add the phone number you want to receive verification codes or choose to receive the code via text message or automated phone call. Click on “Continue” once you have made your selection and enter your first verification code to properly enable 2FA.
How to Fix the “This Apple ID has not yet been used with the App Store” Error
This error has been around for some time and, even with plenty of time to resolve, it’s still around for Apple to fix. In the interim, if you receive the “This Apple ID has not yet been used in the App Store” error, try the following fixes:
- Try to download any free app and see if the error persists. If it does, use a different Apple device and try again.
- Sign out of your Apple ID and back in. As you sign in, Apple checks your account details against its server, so it may help prevent this error from appearing again.
- Check your Internet connection along with any adblockers or VPN software. In some cases, these can cause an issue connecting to Apple ID info. Disable one at a time and see if that helps resolve the issue.
- Update the information in your Apple ID account to make sure all necessary information is included.
How to Factory Reset Apple Devices without Apple ID
Resetting your iOS device without your Apple ID or password should be done via recovery mode. For macOS, it’s a little more straightforward.
- iPhone 8, iPhone X or later: Press and quickly release the volume up button followed by the volume down button. Now press and hold the side/power button until you see the recovery mode screen.
- iPhone 7 and 7 Plus should press and hold the top or side button along with the volume down button at the same time until the recovery mode screen appears.
- iPhone 6s or earlier, iPad’s with Home buttons and iPod touch should press and hold both the Home and top/side button at the same time until the recovery mode screen appears.
- Newer iPad models without the Home button should quickly press and release volume up followed by volume down and then the top button until the device restarts. Keep holding the top button until recovery mode appears.
- macOS users need only to follow the typical factory reset option of going through the default recovery process. We’ve outlined how to do that here.
Plug your iPhone or iPad into the computer, and using Finder (or iTunes), “Restore” the iPhone to factory settings. Next, set up your device again with a new Apple ID login or password.
How to Contact Apple ID Support
Whereas Apple doesn’t have a dedicated support group for Apple ID, it does offer multiple contact methods should you need help. However, you can go to this Apple Support page and choose from one of eight various Apple ID questions for more direct support. On top of that, there are numbers for a few dozen countries around the world for direct contact with Apple customer service representatives.
How to Delete Your Apple ID
Should the time ever come where you want to delete your Apple ID permanently, doing so is relatively easy.
1. Start by going to the Apple Privacy website and signing in to your Apple ID account.
2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and locate the option for “Request to delete your account.” It’s here that you can also choose to deactivate your account rather than deleting. This would give you the option of reactivating at any point without losing any purchases or account history.
3. Before permanently deleting, Apple will remind you to make sure any subscriptions you have associated with this Apple ID are canceled and that all of your data is reliably backed up via a different method.
4. Assuming you want to continue deleting, Apple will ask you for a reason you wish to delete your Apple ID. Choose whichever fits the best.
5. Continue with the rest of the prompts until your Apple ID is permanently deleted.
This detailed Apple ID guide provides you with everything you need to know. Remember to bookmark this article so that you can come back to it whenever you have Apple ID questions. One more thing: learn the important iOS security settings your should know.