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

Aug 1, 2014 - 15 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

15 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.

  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.

  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.

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