How to Change the Apple ID on iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad

Aug 1, 2014 - 4 Comments

Apple ID

An Apple ID is central to just about every Apple service you use on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. From sending and receiving iMessages and FaceTime calls, to shopping with the App Store and iTunes Store, and making backups to iCloud, this is all tied to an Apple ID. For the best experience with iOS devices, you’ll want to be sure each of your own hardware is using the same Apple ID. With that said, there are times when you may want to change an Apple ID associated with a specific iOS device.

For example, using an Apple ID without a credit card associated with it for a kids device, or if you ever switch hardware or give an iOS device to someone else, you’ll probably want to change the Apple ID on that device so that it is no longer related to yours too. And of course, many international users may want to switch between multiple Apple ID’s set to different countries so that they can access different features and App Store content. There are really plenty of scenarios where changing the Apple ID associated with an iPhone or iPad is necessary or otherwise makes sense, so let’s learn exactly how to do that.

Changing Apple ID & Apple Store Login in iOS

This can be done directly on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The first step is to log out:

  1. Open the Settings app in iOS and head to “iTunes & App Store”
  2. Tap on the “Apple ID: email@address.com” text at the very top of the Store screen
  3. At the Apple ID management pop-up window, tap on “Sign Out”

How to Change an Apple ID in iOS

This logs out of the existing Apple ID, leaving the Apple ID sign in screen blank. Now, you can choose either option:

  • Log in to another Apple account that already exists by entering the appropriate login details at that screen, OR
  • Create a new Apple ID by tapping on the “Create New Apple ID” button, which automatically logs in with the new Apple ID when finished

If you forgot an Apple ID password, there’s an option for that too under the Sign In button, otherwise you can manage it online at Apple’s site.

Keep in mind that changing an Apple ID on a device that is using it can possibly cause unexpected issues with iOS and conflicts with some apps. For example, if you own an app on one Apple ID but not the one being changed to, or if you’re logged into an Apple ID that has Game Center details associated with it and the new one doesn’t. Thus, you’ll generally only want to do this on a device that has been freshly reset to factory default settings or that is otherwise a clean slate without any critical App Store and related downloads tied to it.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

4 Comments

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  1. Ric Steinberger says:

    I have ended up with two Apple IDs: one for iTunes and App Store purchases, and one for iCloud use. Is there anyway at all to merge these so I only need one Apple ID?

    • Paul says:

      Unfortunately there is no way to merge multiple Apple IDs into a single Apple ID. You’d probably want to pick one and just stick to that exclusively from now on if you can.

  2. Great stuff. It’s a big pain in the arse to deal with changing your Apple I.D. password. It’s great that you’ve thought to post instructions for changing the Apple I.D. It’s insane that Apple has not came up with a better way of doing this. I recently changed my password, and I had to change the password on two Macs, two iPhones, and two iPads. Why can they not make it so that the change gets pushed out to the other devices automatically? It’s enough to make me never want to do this again. I’m an Apple certified tech, and it’s hard for me to do, think of some old lady having to do this who doesn’t know much about computers.

  3. Dave says:

    Howie- its about Security. One reason to change a password is to prevent unauthorized devices from continuing to use your account. Pushing a new password to everything that knew the old password would defeat the purpose of having a password at all.

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