How to Fix “Account Limit Reached: Device No Longer Eligible for Creating Apple ID / iCloud” Error Messages

Mar 18, 2016 - 14 Comments

iCloud Most iPhone and iPad users will use the same Apple ID and iCloud account repeatedly on the same device and across other devices, as they should, since that is how they are designed to work. Nonetheless sometimes you may buy an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch on the used market and discover that someone has made and used so many different Apple ID or iCloud accounts on the device that an error message shows up when going through the device setup, saying that the device is “no longer eligible” to make an account. The exact error messages are “Account Limit Reached: This device is no longer eligible for creating a free iCloud account” and “This device is no longer eligible for creating an Apple ID”.

If you see an “Account Limit Reached” or “no longer eligible” message when trying to setup an iOS device, or when trying to create an account on a specific iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, then here is what you can do to fix it.

Before anything else you should make sure the iOS device is no longer associated with the prior owners account. The easiest way to do that is have the original owner disable Find My iPhone on the device (in Settings > iCloud) and then log out of iCloud on the device. If the person is not around to do that, they can remove iCloud and the Activation Lock remotely by using the iCloud.com website. After you have done that, delete the iCloud account from iOS so that you can proceed with creating and using a new one. Assuming there is no associated ID with the device anymore, you can proceed.

How to Get Around “Account Limit Reached: This device is no longer eligible for creating an Apple ID” Error and Make a New ID Anyway

This process can be started on any device or computer, with any web browser. You’ll need the original iOS device as well.

  1. Open a web browser on another device (or Safari on the device in question) and go to this webpage to create a new Apple ID at apple.com
  2. Go through the process of creating a new Apple ID and iCloud account as usual, you’ll need to use an email account that is not otherwise associated with an Apple account (if you forgot your Apple ID or password, reset it with these instructions instead)
  3. Make a new Apple ID to fix device not eligible error

  4. Back on the iOS device, go to Settings > iCloud > and enter the newly created Apple ID to login to the device
  5. Log in to iCloud

That’s it, you’ve created a new Apple ID and can log into iCloud on the device that moments ago was saying it was no longer eligible to do so.

This is a pretty rare situation to encounter, but it seems to pop up most common with older iPhone models that have been resold or handed down many times, particularly in families or on the used device market. So, rather than freak out and think the device is useless, just remember if you see the ‘not eligible’ error, just make a new Apple ID from a different device or different computer using the Apple website, and log in as usual afterwards. Easy!

Have another solution for dealing with this error message? Let us know in the comments.

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

14 Comments

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  1. Good technique. Thank You for the solution to my problem, it fixed. I am having this problem before, but not now.

    Thank you

    Jignesh

  2. Frederick Silliman says:

    What do you in the case that you bought a second hand iPhone and it is still associated with an account and the previous owner is totally unknown and can not be found .. ??

    • Tamara L says:

      I would be after the person that sold it to me, since that’s the likely reason they sold it to you, because they knew they couldn’t use it. It’s essentially an expensive brick if you can’t reach the person that originally owned it. Activation lock is there and iCloud will keep it locked down.

  3. Alex says:

    I’ve had that problem with an iPhone 4S but the way I fixed it was by calling Apple – the iPhone was unlocked from Apple itself three days after.

  4. Wharf Xanadu says:

    Works as advertised

  5. Dweep says:

    I have same prblm, can I creat Apple ID on an android device nd use it on my iPhone nd is iCloud nd iTunes & App Store should have only one account plz help

  6. Gabriel says:

    Hello, I have done everything you guys said, but it just doesn’t work with me. The last owner deleted the iPhone from his account on iCloud.com. But when I try to log in I get “The maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPhone”

    What can I do? Please!!!

  7. patrick says:

    i am working for apple, this information is incorrect, you need support / an other device

  8. Brian MC says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I have created an Apple ID on web by Gmail account and now I signed in from that account to my new iPhone. Then whether I have used 1 out of 3 free iCloud accounts or I have 3 free iCloud accounts remaining?
    Thanks
    Have a nice day!!

  9. Ndayglamor says:

    Still says maximum account has been activated for this iPad help

  10. Anushka says:

    I’ve a problem with my iphone….
    When I try to sign in to my apple id I can’t sign in because the maximum accounts attached to the iphone… Please tell me how to fix it…..

  11. Lou Cole says:

    Phone apple as to speak to senior adviceor then ask for an extend apple id signin

  12. Nik zeezo says:

    I bought the a used phone signed in my Apple ID but ccouldn’t log in my cloud account due to the reached maximum accounts.what should I do ?

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