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iCloud: Features that work with one account at a time on iOS 5 and OS X Lion or later

Symptoms

You can use iCloud Mail, Notes, Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders with multiple iCloud accounts on iOS 5 or later and OS X Lion or later.  

iCloud Bookmarks, Photo Stream, Documents in the Cloud, Backup (iOS), Back to My Mac (OS X), and Find My iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac can only be used with one iCloud account at a time (the "primary" account). 

Resolution

Note: When you set up your device or computer for iCloud, you use the same Apple ID (by default) for iCloud services and purchases on the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBooks Store. You can, however, use one Apple ID for iCloud services and another Apple ID for store purchases (including iTunes in the Cloud).

For more information on using multiple Apple IDs with iCloud, see this article.  

About Secondary iCloud Accounts

Secondary accounts should only be set up if you already have mail, notes, contacts, calendar, or reminders data in another account that is separate from your primary account. The steps in this article should not be used to move data from one iCloud account to another.

  • Your primary iCloud account is the first iCloud account you sign in to on your computer or device. This account that will appear in Settings > iCloud on your iOS device, or Apple () menu > System Preferences > iCloud on your Mac.  
  • Your secondary iCloud accounts can be set up and viewed in Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars on your iOS device, or Apple () menu > System Preferences > Mail, Contacts, Calendars on OS X Lion or later.  

Note: While you can configure multiple iCloud Mail accounts in iOS, push mail will only work for the primary iCloud account in iOS. Secondary account(s) will check for mail based on the settings in Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data. 

To change a secondary account to a primary account

iOS 5 or later:

  1. Tap Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  2. Delete the secondary account.
  3. Tap the Back button.
  4. Tap iCloud.
  5. Delete the primary account.
  6. Add the secondary account that you want to be your primary account.

OS X Lion or later:

  1. Choose Apple () menu > System Preferences > Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  2. Delete the secondary account.
  3. In System Preferences > iCloud, sign out of your primary account.
  4. Log in with the secondary account that you want to be your primary account.

Note: These steps will not change any of the data stored in your iCloud account.

Additional Information

Because many iCloud services only work on the primary account, it is recommended that you use the same primary account on all devices you use with iCloud. If you have different accounts logged in as the primary account on different devices, those services will not push data between your devices.

Last Modified: Aug 14, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Aug 14, 2013
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