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Using your Apple ID for Apple services

Learn more about Apple IDs and using your Apple ID with Apple services, such as iCloud and the iTunes Store.

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An Apple ID is the email address you use as a login for just about everything you do with Apple, including using iCloud to store your content, buying songs from the iTunes Store, and downloading apps from the App Store.

When you set up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can use the same Apple ID for iCloud services and purchases on the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBooks Store. You can also use one Apple ID for iCloud services and another Apple ID for store purchases (including iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match). You will get all the benefits of iCloud whether you use the same Apple ID for iCloud and store purchases, or different IDs for each. 

The following section explains these two approaches.

Using the same Apple ID for Store purchases and iCloud (recommended)

Using the same Apple ID for Store purchases and iCloud is recommended for most users. To use the same Apple ID, follow these steps:

iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: 

  1. When you first set up your device running iOS 5 or later, enter the Apple ID you use for iTunes in the setup screens. It will be used for Store purchases and iCloud.
  2. If you skipped the setup process, enter your Apple ID in Settings > iCloud and Settings > iTunes and App Stores.

Mac: Enter the same Apple ID in Apple () menu > System Preferences > iCloud and in iTunes in Store > Sign In. In iTunes 11, you can also click iTunes Store > Quick Links: Account.

PC (Windows 8): Enter the same Apple ID in the iCloud Control Panel and in iTunes. To access the iCloud Control Panel, move the pointer to the upper-right corner of the screen to show the Charms bar, click the Search charm, and then click the iCloud Control Panel on the left. In iTunes 10, select Store > Sign In. In iTunes 11, click iTunes Store > Quick Links: Account.

PC (Windows 7 and Vista): Enter the same Apple ID in Control Panel > Network and Internet > iCloud and in iTunes 10 in Store > Sign In. In iTunes 11, enter this same Apple ID in iTunes Store > Quick Links: Account.

Using one Apple ID for iCloud and a different Apple ID for Store Purchases

You can use different Apple IDs for iCloud and Store purchases and still get all of the benefits of iCloud. Just follow these steps:

iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:


  1. When you first set up your device with iOS 5 or later, enter the Apple ID you want to use with iCloud. If you skipped the setup assistant, sign in to Settings > iCloud and enter the Apple ID you’d like to use with iCloud.
  2. In Settings > iTunes and App Stores, sign in with the Apple ID you want to use for Store purchases (including iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match). You may need to sign out first to change the Apple ID.

Mac:

  1. Enter the Apple ID you want to use for iCloud in Apple () menu > System Preferences > iCloud
  2. Enter the Apple ID you want to use for Store purchases (including iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match) in Store > Sign In. In iTunes 11, you can also click iTunes Store > Quick Links: Account.

PC (Windows 8):

  1. Enter the Apple ID you want to use for iCloud in the Control Panel. To access the iCloud Control Panel, move the pointer to the upper-right corner of the screen to show the Charms bar, click the Search charm, and then click the iCloud Control Panel on the left.
  2. Enter the Apple ID you want to use for Store purchases (including iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match) in iTunes. In iTunes 10, select Store > Sign In. In iTunes 11, click iTunes Store > Quick Links: Account.

PC (Windows 7 and Vista): 

  1. Enter the Apple ID you want to use for iCloud in Control Panel > Network and Internet > iCloud
  2. Enter the Apple ID you want to use for Store purchases (including iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match) in iTunes 10 in Store > Sign In. In iTunes 11, click iTunes Store > Quick Links: Account.

Note: Once a device or computer is associated with your Apple ID for your iTunes Store account, you cannot associate that device or computer with another Apple ID for 90 days. Learn more about associating a device or computer to your Apple ID

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I merge multiple Apple IDs into one?

You cannot merge two or more Apple IDs into a single one. You can, however, use one Apple ID for iCloud services and another Apple ID for Store purchases (including iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match). See “Using one Apple ID for iCloud and a different Apple ID for Store Purchases” above for details. 

Can I change the name of my Apple ID?

Yes. For example, if you get a new email address, you can change your Apple ID from your old address to your new address. For more information, follow the steps in this article. 


Note: @mac.com and @me.com Apple IDs cannot be renamed.

I have purchased music, apps, or books with multiple Apple IDs. How can I get all of this content onto my iOS device?

First, you need to copy all of your purchased content so it is on the same Mac or PC with iTunes. This computer should be the one you sync your device with. For more information on how to move your content, see these articles:

Next, authorize your computer to play content with each Apple ID in iTunes. Once your computer is authorized for all your content, it can be synced to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.   

How do I restore an iOS device from an iCloud Backup if I use different Apple IDs for iCloud and store purchases?

When you are first prompted for your Apple ID during the restore process, enter the Apple ID you use for iCloud. After your device restarts, you will be presented with another Apple ID prompt before items from the App Store and iBooks Store begin restoring. This time, sign in with the Apple ID you use for Store purchases.

I have an expired @me.com email address as an Apple ID. Can I use it with iCloud and receive email at that address?
Yes, if it is an @me.com address. To use your expired MobileMe account for iCloud, follow the iCloud setup instructions and enter your expired @me.com email address as your Apple ID. Your @me.com address it will be reactivated for email when you sign up for iCloud.

Important: You will need an active email address associated with your Apple ID to set up iCloud. To add an active email address, go to My Apple ID (appleid.apple.com), sign in with your expired @me.com email address, and add an active email address to your account. 

Additional Information

For more information on Apple IDs, see Frequently Asked Questions About Apple ID.  

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Aug 14, 2013
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