How to Fix “maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPhone” Error

Apr 26, 2021 - 25 Comments

How to Fix "maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPhone" Error

Are you unable to create a new Apple ID or iCloud account on your iPhone? More specifically, are you getting an error stating “maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPhone”? If so, you’re probably wondering what to do about it.

Apple limits iPhones and iPads to a maximum of three free iCloud accounts or Apple IDs per device. This is a hardware limitation and there’s nothing you can do about it. Typically, iOS and iPadOS users sign in with just one Apple account and use it across all their devices, so there’s no way you’re reaching the limit. However, if you bought a used iPhone that was previously used to create multiple accounts by its original owner, you may come across this issue.

Although there’s no way to get rid of this hardware limitation, there’s a workaround that you can use to sign in to your iPhone with a new Apple account. So, read on to learn how you can avoid this error.

How to Fix “maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPhone” Error

This is the only workaround that you can use to avoid getting this error on your iPhone. You’ll need to create a new iCloud account on a different device. So, without further ado, let’s take a look.

  1. Launch the web browser on any other device and head over to Here, click on “Create Your Apple ID” located close to the top-right corner of the page.

    How to Fix "maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPhone" Error
  2. Now, fill in your personal details and make sure you’re using an email address that’s not associated with an Apple account. Finish creating your Apple ID.

    How to Fix "maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPhone" Error
  3. Now, go to settings from the home screen of your iPhone.

    iOS settings icon
  4. In the settings menu, tap on “Sign in to your iPhone” located right at the top.

    How to Fix "maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPhone" Error
  5. Enter the login details for the Apple account that you just created and tap on “Next” located at the top-right corner of your screen.

    How to Fix "maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPhone" Error

Now you should be able to sign in to the device without getting the same error.

The hardware limitation here is that you can simply cannot create more than three new iCloud or Apple accounts on a single device. However, by skipping that step and using a different device for creating a new account, you can avoid getting this error.

This issue is mostly faced by people who’ve purchased second-hand iPhones, and it’s not entirely clear why this feature exists. Maybe Apple added this limit to stop people from abusing the free 5 GB iCloud storage space that comes with every Apple account, or perhaps as a way to reduce device churn.

Although we were focusing specifically on iPhones in this article, this limitation is also applicable to other Apple devices like iPads, iPods, and even Macs. Therefore, the best way to make a new iCloud account without affecting the limit would be by using the web browser on any of your other devices rather than doing it via Settings.

We hope you were able to work your way around the “maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPhone” Error. How do you feel about this hardware limitation? Should Apple increase this limit or remove it all together? Do you have any additional insight as to why this feature exists, or another approach to get around it? Share your thoughts, experiences, and insight in the comments.


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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


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  1. María says:

    Yess it works, but if I try to use my iCloud y gives me same error. 🥺

  2. Adejoh Williams says:

    I’m having issues on how to log in to my iPhone the maximum number is exceeded what will i do

  3. Justice says:

    Please am still facing the same issue about my iCloud I did what you u said buh still

  4. Johnson says:

    It worked buh the iCloud space is off I can’t still use it

  5. Melody says:

    Guys it worked after I saw a comment… Go to App Store and try downloading something, it will ask you to enter ID and then it will work

  6. Kelvin says:

    I have try this procedure but still showing up maximum account

  7. Umar Ibrahim says:

    Well have tried this process but keeps giving me maximum account message what will I do

  8. lee says:

    nope didnt work email used by another apple id this email address is not available choose a different address. now what

  9. lucid says:

    login with safari .. it would automatically log you on the app

  10. Oladejo Adeyinka says:

    I’m also having the same problem here but I try going through the same procedure and you!! It accurately worked 💪

  11. Joshua says:

    I want to create an Apple ID but my maximum number of creating is up

  12. Leonardo says:


    • Fordley says:

      YO THIS ACTUALLY WORKED! i made an account to praise you and you have saved me hours of research. Thank you and I hope you are as successful as Leonardo DiCaprio

  13. Bratt Meddford says:

    I tried using this method but I keep getting same messages.. I have asset in my crypto wallet on this device worth over $450k pls some should help me or contact me on my email

  14. Shiv kumar says:

    The mixmum free account

  15. Shedrack says:

    Have try that process it keeps showing the same thing

  16. Mirabel says:

    Please maximum of Apple ID should be removed because right now i can’t use my iPhone now

  17. Patrick says:

    Well have tried this process also but keeps giving me “maximum account” message

  18. Chris says:

    Well it’s still enforced and I just wasted $300 on an iPhone X than I have no use for now! And I can’t comment this cuz it say I’ve already commented this comment for some reason.

  19. Abonile says:

    It no letting me to sign in it only repeating the Same thing what must I do

  20. Linda says:

    I am change to sign to my new account and it not letting me sign to it keep say the maximum number of free accounts have been actived on this I pod touch

  21. Sachinpatil says:

    Maximum number of free ac then what can I do in my I phone iTunes is not seen

  22. Bella Chan says:

    It’s an archaic limitation and should no longer be enforced.

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