How to Change Email Address Linked to Apple ID

Mar 12, 2017 - 27 Comments

Change email used with Apple ID

Your Apple ID is used for iCloud, iCloud backups, logging into the App Store, making purchases, buying things from the Apple Store, and so much more. It’s a critical component of being an Apple customer and being in the Apple ecosystem, so you’ll want to be sure you have the proper email address configured and linked to your Apple ID. Rarely, some users may need to change the email address associated with their Apple ID, and this guide will walk through how to change the email address linked to an Apple ID.


Note this is focusing on changing the email address associated with an existing Apple ID, it is not the same as changing the Apple ID on a device itself, which would mean using a completely different Apple ID. Instead, the same Apple ID is used but the email address is changed, for example if you change your email address permanently than this could be useful. If you aren’t sure what any of this means, don’t mess with any of the Apple ID settings. Similarly, if you have no reason to change the Apple ID email address, then don’t change it.

How to Change Email Address Associated with Apple ID

This will change the email address used to login and use an Apple ID, iCloud, and related features.

  1. Open a web browser on a Mac, iPad, iPhone, or Windows PC (use Safari if there any issues)
  2. Go to https://appleid.apple.com/, the official Apple ID management page and log in to your existing Apple ID*
  3. Choose the “Edit” option on the side of the Account area
  4. How to change email address linked to Apple ID

  5. Now choose “Change Email Address” under the existing email associated with the Apple ID
  6. How to change email address linked to Apple ID

  7. Enter the new email address you want to use and associate with the Apple ID in the email@address.com format, then click “Continue”
  8. How to change email address linked to Apple ID

  9. Wait a moment or two for a verification email to arrive to the new email address, then enter that verification code into the box and choose “Verify”
  10. Click “Done” to save the changes

* If you have it setup to use Apple ID 2-factor authentication you will need to verify a code before being able to login to the Apple ID website.

Again, you are not changing the Apple ID itself that is logged into a device, it is simply changing the email address that is used for a specific Apple ID account.

Once you make this change then all future instances of logging into an iOS device, iPhone, iPad, Mac, iCloud, iTunes, or elsewhere will use the new email address you changed to. The old email address associated with the Apple ID will no longer work and no longer login, you must use the new linked email address to login in the future.

Only make this change if you must do so, it is not to be changed casually. If you change the email address associated with an Apple ID it will make any other device logged in with the prior email address (though the same ID) no longer function. Similarly, if you make the change and then forget your email or password associated with the account, you would have to follow steps to recover a forgotten Apple ID which is a nuisance at best.

Know of another option to change an Apple ID email address? Have an alternative approach to achieve the same effect? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Tips & Tricks

27 Comments

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  1. Justme says:

    It won’t allow me to change my very long used for AppleID non Apple email (which I do not use any longer) associated with my account to my only used now email from iCloud. I get a message saying an iCloud email can’t be used.

    Apple doesn’t allow iCloud emails to be used for this?

  2. Julian Thomas says:

    It would be constructive and it makes a difference for some users to distinguish between the apple ID for iTunes and apple.com and the ID [that may be different] for iCloud. A clear exposition of this distinction would be most useful.

    thanks

  3. monica dooley says:

    I have two Apple accounts. Is there a way to combine them? My problem is having to duplicate sign-in, purchases, downloads, etc. I mix up which account has what in it! Monica

    • Gummy says:

      No, there is no way to merge two Apple ID accounts into one. Pick one account and use that exclusively if possible, it will make things easier. Changing an Apple ID can be vey frustrating as can changing the email address associated with one, it is not recommended if you can avoid it.

      • bob wishnefsky says:

        Couldn’t you set up “Family Sharing” and make the the more used one “head of household” and the lower one a “family member?”

  4. John Zebatto says:

    I wonder if you can link an old Apple ID and old email address to an existing Apple ID’s email address?

    • Gelphyn says:

      Not sure if this is exactly what John Z is requesting? I want to terminate 1 Apple ID rather than form a link.

      I ‘unfortunately’ have 2 Apple IDs. This came about when Apple Forced changes upon users, so I do not want to make more changes and gain another Apple ID.

      My early purchases are on the ID I started out with and my later purchases are on my new ID.
      Even if I could get a list of the Apps on each ID it seems ‘crude’ to have to resort to crib sheets?

      Will Apple allow the Original ID eMail Address to be changed to the Existing New eMail Address?

      Thanks for any help you may be able to offer. G

      • Maggi Fuller says:

        I have the exact same problem. I would love to be able to ‘merge’ the two and just have a single Apple ID! I did ask the question a year or two ago and was told that it wasn’t possible… Does anyone know better? Paul?

  5. Alyce LaGasse says:

    “change email address” is not available under EDIT…?

  6. Mike Sandman says:

    Thanks for this info. I want to strongly support your recommendation not to change your email address associated with your Apple account unless you really have to. I had to change my address, and it required a long call with Apple support in order to straighten out iTunes, iCloud and the three computers and two mobile devices associated with the account. Until Support pitched in, the hardware was not being recognized by Apple for updates, etc. and accessing iCloud was blocked on some of them.

  7. Zal Latz says:

    NO iCloud and any other clouds for me.
    Apple has become like Google – both have taken control over your email, applications…etc.

  8. Anne Bennett says:

    About 2 years ago, I changed the ID. I entered a period I called “Apple ID Hell.” I wasn’t the first. Googling the phrase found me a long tale of woe on some blog.

    The problem occurred because I have a desktop, iPad and iPhone.

    I thought the change would ripple through to the iPad and iPhone. At worst, I’d have to change all three.

    But it was worse than that. I finally called help. It seems that to change the ID on, say the iPad, you have to carry out a long list of directions. When I saw how simple it looked on the desktop, I had no idea it was different on these other devices.

    Also, if you tried to fiddle with it too many times, you were locked out for, I think, 24 hours.

    The help Center told me to change back to the old one. Then, go the other devices, being sure to follow the list of directions. Finally I got all three in synch, but it was a nightmare.

    Why doesn’t the “change your email” screen on the desktop warn you that if you have other devices, you must prepare them for the change to. A link to the list of instructions for the mobiles would have been a huge help.

    • Gummy says:

      One of many reasons I would not recommend changing an Apple ID or the email address associated with one. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. People can jump off a cliff, but should they?

      From the get go, use an email that you want to use permanently for an Apple ID, if you change it and have multiple devices there can be many problems!

  9. Anne Bennett says:

    Why is my comment gone? This is important. You haven’t made it sufficiently clear about how you need also need to do all your devices at the same time. Changing it on the mobiles was quite a bit more involved.

    I had a DREADFUL time with this.

    Also, the help Center (that I was forced to call) told me the email WAS the Apple ID. Maybe they were just to simplify things.

  10. Demian says:

    It’s noteworthy that you should log out of the Apple ID before changing the email address on all devices as otherwise you might end up in a limbo (can’t enter the password on the device because the email is incorrect, can’t sign out because the email is incorrect). So sign out first, then change the email, than sign back in…

    • Brad says:

      Thanks for mentioning this important point. I found out 6 months ago by trial and error that this was true. I had to log in with the old ID and then log out once and for all in order for the new ID to work consistently.

  11. J says:

    Mine can’t be edited. Any reason why?

    • Ulisses Campos says:

      Perhaps your using @me.com or @icloud.com domain. In these cases Apple don’t let you change your Apple ID email address.

  12. David says:

    Doesn’t Work. I tried it 5 times. The “Change Email Address” Screen shown above does NOT appear on my 2015 MBP running macOS Sierra…

  13. Dun says:

    I have 4 emails linked to my same Apple ID. 2 personal, 1 for work, and 1 for university. As a result they can all FaceTime me whichever email they know. I also have 2 phone numbers linked to the same Apple ID.

  14. alex says:

    WHEN I try to edit my email address it tells me there is an unknown error and I can’t i cant do it at this time. what do I do?

  15. Emy says:

    I really wish you would do a piece specific to Verizon’s exit from their email service effective May 2017. My Apple ID was a Verizon email. Now I’m scared to change it, but know that I have to do so.

    • Janice says:

      I have the same problem as Emy. I also had a Verizon email address which I thought was permanent; but since Frontier took over I no longer have that address and Verizon has exited the stage. I had to change my email to my Yahoo address to receive my emails. My Apple ID still has the Verizon login but it does not acknowledge the Verizon password any more. I can’t access iTunes; iCloud or any of the other services Apple offers. I need to update my Apple ID to Yahoo but am hesitant to proceed without expert assistance.

  16. Christina says:

    It doesn’t allow me to change my email address only allows me to add more/or another one. I really really want to change it I get to many suspicious emails that I’m constantly send/forwarding to abuse@icloud.com. It’s making me crazy. I love you Apple but these spam emails are killing it for me.

  17. Antoine B says:

    Not working for me!

  18. Antoine B says:

    When trying to change my e-mail address, the explicit answer is: “it is not possible to use an e-mail adresse with @me.com”

  19. Judy Jentz says:

    When K check my Apple ID in Settings it has the correct one. When I want to update Apps it asks me for the password for a passed account. I don’t have this information and it gives no options to create a new password.
    I went to https://appleid.apple.com/ on my laptop, signed in with me now Apple Id and it worked. This ID and PW are associated with my laptop and iPad.
    I tried to create a new ID and PW in iPhone Settings but it only tells me the email is already used for Apple account. How do I remove a very old Apple ID from my iPhone, even though it shows up nowhere except when I try to update my Apps.
    I sure would appreciate help with this…Judy

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