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

Aug 1, 2014 - 50 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

50 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.

  4. kamran says:

    i have iphone 5 s my friend purchases it from a friend now that man is no more and i get that iphone but it is asking apple id and pass there is already an id so how i can change its id i dont have his password so what to do please tell me

  5. guelorstar says:

    I have problem with my iphone 5 I bought it for friend and when he sold the iphone to me he didn’t give me apple I’d at all and after that I can’t call him because I was meet him in my town and he told me that the iphone its worked preparely he lied to me and since then I have problem with apple I’d I mean a lot people trying does game so many time apple. Company need to looking after people who been in the seem situation that isn’t fear and I will apreciate thanks

    • FFS says:

      This is about changing an Apple ID in iOS, you can change an Apple ID on the iPhone that way. You should read the article and follow the written instructions about how to change the iCloud and Apple ID.

      By the way, did you actually read your comment? It’s illegible, painfully difficult to read. Incomprehensible. Where on earth did you learn to write like that? Please stay in school, learn punctuation, grammar, etc. It would make it a lot easier to follow instructions on how to change an Apple ID too.

      • Judie says:

        I’m also finding it very difficult to change the Apple ID on my iPhone 4s. Unfortunately, the Apple ID pop up window shown and discussed in the above instructions does not appear on my iPhone, thus making it impossible to move the process forward.

        If you have any further ideas I would be very grateful.

        I loved your comments regarding literacy in reply you sent to another person with similar issues in Nov 14

  6. Crawl says:

    Excellent article!

  7. Vangelis says:

    I have in my iphone 4 my ID account, but when i have to update the applicacion, ask me for one account that is not mine, but from my bf, something that i dont want in my phone. I have made all the necessary things to change, log out, restart, refresh and remake the industrial settings, but absolutely nothing. What i made wrong??? Thanks.

  8. Mike says:

    I have just purchased a new iphone5c running version 8.1 from a “Friend”… I am now finding out that it was his girlfriends phone. With that being said, it has her iCloud, iTunes, settings, etc…..

    I have tried to factory reset it, but it is asking for her iTunes acct and password, which I do not have…

    So, how can I circumvent this and replace the info with my own and begin using this phone???
    PLEASE HELP

    • Steve says:

      You can’t assign a new AppleID account until you have your friend’s girlfriend unlock it with her appleid account and password first. It’s a security feature which renders iPhones/iPads useless in the event they are stolen or lost.

      You’ll have to get the girlfriend’s AppleID and password from your “friend” to unlock the phone or from the girlfriend if you can get a hold of her.

      Once it’s unlocked, then you can replace it with your own.

      • arrah says:

        is there any other option aside from asking the previous apple and icloud id and password from the previous user? I have same problem with my ipad. I don’t have contact now with my friend who knows the password.

        please help..

  9. Cynthia says:

    My new iPhone 6 decides when it wants to receive texts and when it does not want to receive texts. My husband and I are on a group text with my family; I can be sitting right next to him (he also has the iPhone 6) and he will receive the texts and I won’t. They NEVER come through on my phone. It is very frustrating, and I can only imagine what other texts I am unknowingly missing. How can I fix it?

  10. snowy says:

    I have an iPod touch 4th gen, which I want to restore to factory original in order to give it to one of my children. (I have a new one for myself so I no longer need this one and have already backed up everything that I wanted to keep onto my new one.) I have tried to restore it 3 times now and it keeps asking me for my passcode, which I assume is the same as my lock screen passcode. I have put it in over and over, CORRECTLY. And it keeps saying that it’s incorrect. WHAT. THE. HECK. Seriously. I am at wit’s end and I cannot “afford” a tech call to apple. The last time I called (for issues related to IOS 8) I was literally on the phone for 2 hours and 38 minutes. They were great but I do not have time to do that again nor do I feel I should have to pay them in order to do something that should be a no-brainer…Reset to factory original. My lock passcode has only changed twice since I got this a few years ago and I have tried both. Neither work.. although I would assume that it wants your current lock passcode. (And that works just fine to unlock my screen even now!) Help! This is supposed to be a gift for my kid’s birthday on Friday and I am running out of time to get this fixed if it’s even possible.

  11. Paige says:

    Hi there,

    I purchased an IPhone 5 yesterday from a friend. They sold it to me as their own (every app was still logged in etc)
    After a lot of hassle, I eventually managed to get their Apple ID details to sign them out in order to create my own ID.
    I tired several times and it said “this IPhone is no longer eligible to make free Icloud accounts” something like that, and so really if there’s no way of owning my own Apple ID, sure the phone is not much use to me…
    is there anything I can do?

    I have just completely restarted my phone by going to settings > general > reset > reset all settings…
    its came us as a menu asking for settings as if you’ve just bought the phone. And now I’m just waiting until I have a sim card to use as it is required. Will that now mean the Iphone is eligible to create this Apple ID?
    Thanks

    • itn says:

      Yes if you reset the iPhone as new it will be like a new phone with nothing on it, you can put your icloud account on it then.

  12. Leeanne says:

    I want to switch iPhone 5s’s with my husband, I did the upgrade to ios8 and don’t like it. Do we need to go to a store to do that?

  13. Byron says:

    After logging out of iTunes as described above, powering off then on, then logging in with the new AppleID, the iTunes app still asks for the password to the old AppleID. What am I missing?

  14. Eric says:

    Byron, I just realised Apple has actually made it easy to use two accounts on an iDevice and this is great, specially when you used to live in the us as I did and now in Europe, just sign out / sign in !

    Most of all, BEFORE, you could not update the apps of let’s say account 2 (you are logged out of), if you are logged in to your account 1.

    But now, when logged in to account 1 and some apps need updating from account 2, iOS simply will ask you the password of account 2 to update them !

    This is just great, and if this works as simply as it does seem to work, I can finally use my two accounts without having to worry about unusable apps and updates and payment means to renew and stuff like that.

    IF this is indeed how it all works, congratulations Apple for finally making the life of us travelers simpler …

  15. LA says:

    My niece is using her moms iPad. Mom passed away 6 months ago. I had the Apple ID and password for the iPad. So I went into the account on line and updated the email address to a new one knowing at some point the old email address would be deactivated by Yahoo for lack of use. I’ve had no problems with purchases etc. The problem is now I want to Erase and restore to factory settings because of an issue with Instagram and the old email address is showing up when I get to that portion of erasing and Even putting the PW associated with that ID/email address is not letting me erase/restore. Thoughts?

  16. KelleyK says:

    Our four family members are currently on one AppleID. I need to separate them because it’s messing up our iCloud. If I change the ID on my iPhone, will I still have all of my apps and contacts? I plan to set up family sharing after IDs are changed.

  17. aivaras says:

    I have bought an iPhone 5s from a person and I would like to change the account but I do not contact with that person I have bought from. Could you help me, please

  18. Dougleesha says:

    I have given my friend my old iPhone 4s and helped her set it up, however my current iPhones (5s) Apple ID login and password no longer works on my phone. Please help as I’m so stressed

  19. Jdeehoran says:

    Hello i just got an iPhone 4 and currently creating an Apple ID. I put an account/email that does not exist, as the primary email for Apple ID Although i already verified it through the backup account which i also put.. it still does not work. Is there any way to change it or could do with it? Need your help guys please it would mean a lot. XX

  20. kirsti says:

    Please can anyone help. I have taken over my daughters iPhone 4s. She has removed her apple id . When I try to make one for me it lets me choose language, create password etc but right at the end wwhen I think I have completed it ,it says can no longer crate a free apple id on this device? What does it mean and what do I do?

    • GL says:

      So enter your existing Apple ID on the iphone, if you need to make a new one make one on the web rather than making one on the iPhone. You’re saying what the message says and then asking what it means, well what does it say? That’s probably what it means. Reading comprehension.

      • mg says:

        Do not reply if you don’t know what your talking about. It has nothing to do with reading comprehension! The problem is you can only have 3 Apple IDs entered on one phone. So if you have a used phone you cant make a 4th ID and the phone is unable to create one or sign into one.

  21. DT says:

    Hi, I have keyed in the wrong email for my apple ID into my iPhone 4 and now I cannot log out to sign in correctly.

    My ID is roup@bigpond.com

    It’s stored in my phone as roup@bidpond.com

    When ever I try and log out, to delete the incorrect account it pops up saying “sign in to turn off where’s my phone” – but I cannot sign in because this address is not valid. There is no way for me to change it, I have restored the settings on my phone and again, it’s already here..

    Please help me, I want to sync to my iPad and computer.

  22. Jennyfer says:

    Hello,

    My boss has an old iphone 5 that does not currently have service and it does not have a sim card. How can he find out what the apple id associated with that phone is?

    Thanks in advance for any help given!

  23. Elina says:

    Hi i’m logged in in app store by my own apple ID but i’m facing some pronlems in changing the apple ID in itunes store becuase of that i can’t update any apps on my iphone
    I already sighned out once and start over but it didn’t work out
    Please help me i really don’t know what to do

  24. claire says:

    just asking. i buy 2nd hand iphone 4s but their is an existing apple id account. can i open the iphone 4s with my own apple id ? need help please po :(

  25. salora says:

    I bought a used ipod from a pawn shop and it is locked with a pervious password how do I reset it

  26. Michelle says:

    I currently have two phones associated with one Apple ID… Question is if I create a new Apple ID to separate the two phones, can I make sure to retain or recover the current apps on both phones without having to use an actual computer and plug phone in to access iTunes account? I hope this makes sense. It has become a mess to share the Apple ID and hoping this is something that can be fixed without too much issue.
    Thank you.

  27. David Guchuhi says:

    iPhone 5 is locked. please help?

  28. Aaron says:

    Nice article but when I go to iTunes under settings, the iPad will not let me select the Apple ID to change it. I’m extremely frustrated. How do I fix this problem?

  29. Arnel says:

    My,

    Client totally can’t remember all the passwords that was set on the ipad. May I know how totally to remove it and totally erase put a new user?

    Thanks,

    Arnel

  30. tim pollard says:

    I have an apple iPhone 5 that has reverted back to original settings for my apple id and password with all other information. Now I am trying to erase the phone back to default and unable to turn off locator because it required apple id from 2 yrs ago when I first set up my account, since than I have changed my password multiple time and no longer remember my password as It will not accept my current id and password. Please help me with where to begin this problem .

  31. Jigar says:

    Hiii i have iphone 4 i change my new apple id & when i put new id in it shows u already login with number of apple id so now you cant login with apple id so please help me how can i login with apple id.
    How to delit previous apple id??
    Please help me.

  32. Jigar says:

    Once i use my apple id in my friend new ipad & I downloaded some applications now he insert his apple id & password & when he insert his card in ipad air 2 64 gb my contects shown in his ipad so kindly request you please give me solution asap because i rest all content & setting but still its apear in his ipad.
    Help me
    Thank you..

  33. Zen says:

    I really want an Apple ID as I’ve got iphone 4. But it’s alway ascking for an card payment whatever as well. Is there anyway to stop this from happening because once kids know the pass and buy something I’m in for it! That’s why unlik samsung it doesn’t asck for payment options and Apple IDs do

  34. Katarina says:

    I have a problem… I Logged out of my old account into a new one and now every time i try to update my apps it askes me to log into the old account to connect with itunes and i don’t know my old password anymore .

    • Pablo says:

      That’s because your apps are registered to your old account. So reset the password to your old iTunes account, or delete those apps.

  35. Michelle says:

    Help!!

    Somehow my husbands e-mail has become my appleID. When I go to settings and try to change it…it has the correct ID. When I went to go do my App updates it asked me for the password to my husbands AppleID?
    First, how do I fix it?
    Second, how did it happen??
    Thanks!!

  36. James says:

    A friend gave me an iphone 5s but die that same day, he never had the chance to give me the his apple id and password, how do i go about changing the apple id to my own

  37. Cristina says:

    I recently sold my old iPhone four to a friend and he later came back to me saying that he needed my old Apple ID and password in order to access the phone. I don’t remember what it is since I have a new phone and Apple ID. Is there anyway to change the password on the old Apple ID?

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