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Apple, Security, Troubleshooting
Nothing confuses me more than issues surrounding the Apple ID (well, maybe except for iTunes). Like countless others before me, my Apple ID, used for iTunes and App Store purchases for many years, is about to become an invalid email (it is a third-party, ISP supplied, email). I see at appleid.apple.com that I can change the Apple ID and I have another (third-party ISP supplied email) that I assume I can use but it is my understanding that all of the purchased items will remain tied to this old Apple ID. I have added the new email so it least it shows as "reachable at" but I can't delete the old email (as it is the Apple ID). I should note that I long ago set up two Apple IDs; one with the third-party email for purchases, and a "me.com" ID that I use for email, calendars, etc. It seemed like a good idea at the time to keep these separate.

There is this support document that suggests diving right in (after signing out of every other device that is logged in with this ID but it looks like that can be done from the appleid.apple.com webpage).
Any advice on how to proceed while avoiding have to contact Apple Support?
 


my Apple ID, used for iTunes and App Store purchases for many years, is about to become an invalid email (it is a third-party, ISP supplied, email). I see at appleid.apple.com that I can change the Apple ID and I have another (third-party ISP supplied email) that I assume I can use but it is my understanding that all of the purchased items will remain tied to this old Apple ID.
Your purchases remain tied to that Apple ID account, not to the specific e-mail that the account used at the time of purchase.

I changed mine several years ago. In my case, I changed the primary e-mail address and did not change the ID itself (so I'd log in to a different address than the one they sent e-mail notifications to). At some point, Apple made me change it so that I log in with the primary address. I'm not sure why they did this, but the only ill effect was that I needed to re-log-in to all my devices.

My purchase history remained intact. I can re-download anything. My older purchases have the old e-mail address if I do a "get info", but when they ask me to re-authorize (which happens occasionally), I just provide my current credentials and it works fine, despite the mismatch. If I delete and re-download, the new copy has the new e-mail address, but I only did this once (to see what would happen); it shouldn't be necessary.
 


At some point, Apple made me change it so that I log in with the primary address.
I didn't know Apple would do that.

I'm constantly explaining to clients that your Apple ID username is a simple string of text, and has nothing to do with your actual email (this causes so much confusion among clients, who keep trying to input their email password instead of their Apple ID password when asked for their Apple ID password using that username, which of course leads to their Apple ID password breaking and subsequent requirement to make a new one and all the ensuing havoc...)

It's always seemed to me that having your Apple ID username be a defunct email address would be an added level of security. It's like using a long-dead pet's name for a password—harder to guess.
 



At some point, Apple made me change [my Apple ID] so that I log in with the primary address.
I didn't know Apple would do that.
I think this changed late last year:
Apple said:
Change your Apple ID - Apple Support
You can change your Apple ID to any other email address* you control, as long as it's not already in use as an Apple ID. If your email address ends with @icloud.com, @me.com, or @mac.com, you can't change your Apple ID to a third-party email address.
This still seems weirdly complicated.
 
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I run into this confusion daily with our AUG members. My solution is to change the AppleID ‘user name’ to an iCloud account. Then the password is the same as the iCloud email address.

I explain that the AppleID is an account with Apple - and every account you have has two parts - ‘user name’ and ‘password’ - your accounts with banks, Amazon, etc.

Remember that Apple sends an email to the ‘user name’ for verification of any transaction. Therefore the requirement that the ‘user name’ must be a valid and accessible email address.

In order to change the ‘user name’ to an iCloud email, you will need an additional email address that you can access. This is used for account recovery, should it be necessary. This (other) email address should NOT be associated with your ISP, allowing you to change ISPs without having to mess with your AppleID.

Note - Apple for a long time did not allow the use of an iCloud email address for your AppleID - there were workarounds for this, but now with 2FA, it’s pretty easy to change. If you get an error message when attempting the change, wait a day or so and try again.
 


Remember that Apple sends an email to the ‘user name’ for verification of any transaction. Therefore the requirement that the ‘user name’ must be a valid and accessible email address.
Every Apple ID has one or more e-mail addresses associated with it. One is primary and the others are backup. Apple sends its correspondence (e.g. purchase receipts) to the primary address.

The primary address is typically the ID itself, but they don't have to be. You can promote any of your account's addresses to be primary and (most of the time) they won't make you change the ID at the same time (although they ask you to, in order to avoid confusion).

What they no longer support is the use of a string that is not an e-mail address as ID. I think there are still some accounts like this (grandfathered from an older system) but you can't create an account like this anymore.
 


Every Apple ID has one or more e-mail addresses associated with it. One is primary and the others are backup. Apple sends its correspondence (e.g. purchase receipts) to the primary address.

The primary address is typically the ID itself, but they don't have to be. You can promote any of your account's addresses to be primary and (most of the time) they won't make you change the ID at the same time (although they ask you to, in order to avoid confusion).

What they no longer support is the use of a string that is not an e-mail address as ID. I think there are still some accounts like this (grandfathered from an older system) but you can't create an account like this anymore.
I have one of those "grandfathered" Apple IDs. Unfortunately, some of my downloads are under the old ID and some are under the "more correct" ID. Of course, Apple provides no way to combine the two IDs and their purchase history. So it is always interesting when I am looking for the history of something to figure out which ID was used for that particular download. I do make it a point to login with the Apple preferred ID when getting something new, like later versions of the OS. But it doesn't notify me if one of the apps downloaded under the older ID is due for an update if I have last used the approved ID.

C'mon Apple, spend some of those billions and solve the problem of combining IDs.
 


Different experience: for me, at least under OS 10.11.x, the Mac App Store continues to notify me of all updates of purchased apps from several different App Store accounts. When I choose to "Update All", I'm asked to sign in to the account belonging to that particular purchase, and then the updating process continues. I do have to be aware of, and make sure that, after the updates have finished, I remember to sign in (if necessary) to the account from which I wish to continue to make future purchases.
 


Of course, Apple provides no way to combine the two IDs and their purchase history. So it is always interesting when I am looking for the history of something to figure out which ID was used for that particular download.
Have you considered connecting your Apple IDs and their purchases using Family Sharing? It works fine for my family when using all services Family Sharing provides.
 


Have you considered connecting your Apple IDs and their purchases using Family Sharing? It works fine for my family when using all services Family Sharing provides.
I think this is Apple’s solution for combining AppleID’s, and I have been considering doing just that for quite a while, I just haven’t pulled the trigger. I have one AppleID, shared between my wife and I, that is used for all purchases, and we each have a personal AppleID for syncing. I can make the shared AppleID the family master, and add each personal AppleID under that family. In the end, I won’t have any devices signed in using the family master AppleID. Is there any issue with doing so?
 


In the end, I won’t have any devices signed in using the family master AppleID. Is there any issue with doing so?
It may be helpful to have an account on a Mac set your family master ID initially to setup the sharing. The account would only need access when making a change to your payment method. Also, with iOS 11 & Mac OS 10.13, iCloud drive space can be shared with all family accounts individually. There can be a bit of a savings depending on your usage.

As far as sharing purchases, there are no issues I'm aware of. You may have to add an extra click or two to find already purchased items on other accounts.
 


I have one of those "grandfathered" Apple IDs. Unfortunately, some of my downloads are under the old ID and some are under the "more correct" ID. Of course, Apple provides no way to combine the two IDs and their purchase history.
This sounds more like two separate accounts. I had one of the grandfathered IDs, as well as mac.com/me.com/iCloud.com versions of my Apple email address. I can log on interchangeably with all of these. (Well, I haven't tried that grandfathered ID for a long time.)
 


It may be helpful to have an account on a Mac set your family master ID initially to setup the sharing.
Thanks for the feedback. I could easily add an account on a Mac that's only used to administer the Family Master account.
Also, with iOS 11 & Mac OS 10.13, iCloud drive space can be shared with all family accounts individually.
Shared iCloud Drive storage is definitely a driver here. I could stop paying for extra storage on one of our two accounts.
 


Your purchases remain tied to that Apple ID account, not to the specific e-mail that the account used at the time of purchase...
I changed mine several years ago. In my case, I changed the primary e-mail address and did not change the ID itself (so I'd log in to a different address than the one they sent e-mail notifications to). At some point, Apple made me change it so that I log in with the primary address. I'm not sure why they did this, but the only ill effect was that I needed to re-log-in to all my devices.
I was in the same situation, but unlike you, I changed my Email-1 AppleID account to Email-2. However, every so often iTunes asks me to login using Email-1 to download updates. Apple has never been able to figure this out for me.
 


This sounds more like two separate accounts. I had one of the grandfathered IDs, as well as mac.com/me.com/iCloud.com versions of my Apple email address. I can log on interchangeably with all of these. (Well, I haven't tried that grandfathered ID for a long time.)
I always thought that mac.com/me.com/icloud.com are equivalent. I initially had mac.com but I can log into icloud with either of the three addresses.
 


I always thought that mac.com/me.com/icloud.com are equivalent. I initially had mac.com but I can log into icloud with either of the three addresses.
They are all equal within Apple realms - iTunes, App Stores, Mail, and iCloud.com. However, they are not equal at the bank, Amazon, or other services where you have set up a specific address.

With Apple Mail (app or iCloud.com), all three domains can be used (if you got in when they were active) for outgoing mail individually, and messages to all come into one account for all three addresses (or aliases as Apple shows it).

I'm unclear about "grandfathered IDs." I have had my Apple ID when it was just a user name not an email address. At some point quite some time ago, I was forced (not physically) to add @mac.com to my user name. I also remember using birthdays without years... but, someone is counting now. ?
 
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I finally found time (and the nerve) to change my Apple ID from one third-party email to another. I saw no way to "promote" another email address, and I could not delete or change the email address that was also serving as the ID. It seems to me that Apple does expect the ID to be a valid email.

I tried to add a me.com (and the iCloud.com alias) address to the "reachable at" section, but they were both rejected (I was told “email is not available”), presumably because they are in use for my other Apple ID.

Similarly, I could not add my iPhone number ( “already in use”) again, presumably because it is listed in the "reachable at" section of the other ID. I did not log out of all the devices using that Apple ID beforehand, with the exception of Find My Mac on one device.

Everything seems (knocking here...) to be working after I logged out and in of various Apple services on a couple of devices.

Still a bit of a mystery to me, but it appears I am good for the near future.
 


I'm running the almost latest version of iOS (11.4.1) on an SE. This morning I was greeted by requests to update my AppleID. Why? I was able to do this for one email account from my iMac but unable to do it for my other email account. Not sure why. I managed to log in to the iTunes store with the new password as well. Anyone know why now and if there's a way to simplify this? It's a major PITA. Is this some kind of new security plan that will go into effect with iOS 12?
 


I'm running the almost latest version of iOS (11.4.1) on an SE. This morning I was greeted by requests to update my AppleID. Why? [...] It's a major PITA. Is this some kind of new security plan that will go into effect with iOS 12?
A few weeks ago I also started getting nags (more emphatic than requests) from Apple that I must reset my Apple ID password. I could not log into the Apple Store, mail or any iCloud services.

Muttering expletives, I went about the truly PITA reset process. Had to do it on all devices for all services.

At the time, I had not updated the iPhone 5s to iOS 11.4.1 from iOS 10.6. Following the password resets, I decided to bite that bullet and do the update, using iTunes and USB connection. It would not let me do it, saying that that the Backup step could not be done because of "an error." Tried doing just "Backup Now" but same result. Gave up.

A few days later I fired up the Apple TV (Gen 3), which I had not done in some time, and got the message that I had to log in. Navigated to that menu and logged in successfully with the newly reset password (which I had to verify after getting the 2FA code on the iPhone).

Following that added login process on the Apple TV, I later tried, and was able, to back up the iPhone to the Mac. Don't understand how or why that was the case, but all functions now seem OK, at least until another dire Reset Password flag.

I'm going to try iOS 11.4 -> iOS 12 on the phone pretty soon, fingers crossed (went well with the iPad Air 2).
 


A few weeks ago I also started getting nags (more emphatic than requests) from Apple that I must reset my Apple ID password. I could not log into the Apple Store, mail or any iCloud services. Muttering expletives, I went about the truly PITA reset process. Had to do it on all devices for all services.
Did it make you choose a different email address? I read, a couple of days ago, on one of the Apple discussion forums that after one year, you have to change your Apple ID and cannot reuse the same email address. Now, that, to my mind makes absolutely no sense....
 


Apple badly needs to create an application that manages Apple IDs. This application should indicate the Apple ID and what it is for, on which machines.

It should allow you to combine Apple IDs and change what its reach is. It should also manage two-factor passwords and be able to use fingerprints and Face ID as part of the security regime.

As it stands now, it is confusing, complex, hard to understand the ramifications of decisions, and is unworthy of the basic easy-to-use premise that Apple continually expounds.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Apple badly needs to create an application that manages Apple IDs.
Note that it would have to work cross-platform, as Apple IDs are used for all Apple's content control across not only its own many platforms (Mac, iOS, Apple TV, CarPlay, HomePod, Apple Watch) but also its customers' other platforms (Windows, Android, etc.).
 


Apple badly needs to create an application that manages Apple IDs.
Note that it would have to work cross-platform, as Apple IDs are used for all Apple's content control across not only its own many platforms (Mac, iOS, Apple TV, CarPlay, HomePod, Apple Watch) but also its customers' other platforms (Windows, Android, etc.).
The primary interface for something like this probably should be web-based - maybe an app hosted on icloud.com. Apple can then make helper apps for accessing it through macOS, iOS and Windows as a convenience to users.

At least that's my opinion.
 


Did it make you choose a different email address? I read, a couple of days ago, on one of the Apple discussion forums that after one year, you have to change your Apple ID and cannot reuse the same email address. Now, that, to my mind makes absolutely no sense....
There has to be more to it than that. I've had my account for a very long time. I was asked to change my address once - I added a secondary address to my account, then later changed it to my primary address but kept the old address for the purpose of logging on. At some point (due to a system glitch, I'm certain), I was told that I need to sync the two, so my Apple ID was changed to the primary address.

But I've never heard of any rule requiring you to change it on an annual basis, or after any other period of time. Assuming this wasn't a random system glitch, then there's something else going on that we don't yet know about.

FWIW, I recently encountered a glitch with my Apple ID. I think it was two weeks ago. My Mac was displaying all kinds of iCloud errors. It asked me for my password, and then displayed random internal error messages when I provided it. Logging on to iCloud.com worked fine. So did access from my mobile devices. I noticed that this Mac had an uptime of about 70 day,s so I decided to reboot, just in case. The problem did not recur after the reboot so I assume it was a bug in the (El Capitan) client software, although it could also have been a temporary problem in one of Apple's servers.
 


Did it make you choose a different email address? I read, a couple of days ago, on one of the Apple discussion forums that after one year, you have to change your Apple ID and cannot reuse the same email address. Now, that, to my mind makes absolutely no sense....
Fortunately, I only had to do a password reset, but twice within a couple of weeks. Have never heard of having to change email, I've using the same @mac.com one since the iTools days.
 


Joining the chorus of grousing about Apple ID. It's truly annoying.

A few weeks ago I took my wife's iPhone to the Apple Store for a new battery. They couldn't do it without her Apple ID, the one I had didn't work for whatever reason, and of course she was unreachable since I had her phone.

I had to make a new appointment.

Meanwhile, I have no idea what my Apple ID is vs. iCloud vs. Apple Store.

Worse, I made the mistake years ago of setting up a new computer with a different email address - i.e. creating a separate Apple ID - then buying music from iTunes under that one.

It's just way out of hand. Ridiculous.
 


There has to be more to it than that. ...
But I've never heard of any rule requiring you to change it on an annual basis, or after any other period of time. Assuming this wasn't a random system glitch, then there's something else going on that we don't yet know about.
I'm not sure. Previously, my Apple ID was tied to an email address at my old ISP (but I still have accounts and addresses there); current ISP is TWC. I'm not sure why my phone asked me to sign into my Apple ID account, but when I entered the known good email address and password, I was told there was a problem. I can't recall the message. I dismissed the message because I needed to use the phone.

From my desktop (running Sierra), at some point I got another AppleID message; entered the old (or existing) email address and got an error message, which I can't recall ("There was an error . . . ."). I used my current TWC email address then and my existing password, which was rejected, and I was asked if I wanted to set a new password. I said yes and created a new password for that TWC account and was able to log on.

Now, I have no idea why I got the prompt in the first place and don't recall changing that old email address to the TWC account at any time. It's tough to document every individual step when confronted with so many ambiguous messages. I had that old AppleID for at least two years, so I'm not sure what the problem was or why the sudden query.
 


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