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Use multiple Apple IDs on one phone

Use multiple Apple IDs on one phone

Use multiple Apple IDs on one phone
June 18
08:18 2015


Use multiple Apple IDs on one phone

How can I use more than one Apple ID on my iPhone? I multiple Apple accounts with different apps and music, how can I use more than one iTunes Store account on a single device? Is there any way to merge the two Apple accounts and keep all my purchases?

Your Apple ID is the email and password you use with Apple devices including Macs, iPhones and iPads. The Apple ID enables you to sign in to iCloud, use services like Find My iPhone, send email and – most importantly – make purchases from the Apple Store.

Each time you set up an Apple device you are asked to enter your Apple ID, or create a new Apple ID. An with many people owning multiple Apple devices, many Apple users find themselves the proud owners of more than one Apple ID. This is tricky because any purchases you make are linked to that particular Apple ID, and only appear on devices that use that Apple ID.

Read next: How to get someone else’s Apple ID off your iPhone

Can I merge multiple Apple ID accounts into a single account?

No. Apple doesn’t have any means for people to consolidate the purchases from multiple Apple ID accounts into each other. You also can’t pass any purchases from one Apple ID account to another. So if you have used more than one Apple ID, and made purchases from multiple Apple ID accounts, then you have two options:

  • Use more than one Apple ID account on one device.
  • Ditch one of the accounts and use only the other one from now on. Re-purchase any apps, music or other content using the new account (or wave it goodbye).

Neither option is particularly attractive and we’ve tried both. It is posssible to use more than one Apple ID on an iPhone, but it quickly becomes annoying having to sign in and out to multiple accounts.

Waving goodbye to any purchases you’ve made on an account is also galling. It’s worth noting that you don’t actually lose them, but you do lose access to them if you don’t want to use both accounts. On reflection we’d probably advise option 2, take a look at the unwanted account and decide what apps and media you purchased on it (sign in with iTunes and choose Account > Purchased). Make a list of any Music, Films, TV Programmes and Apps you really want and decide if you are prepared to purchase them again. No? Right ho, onwards…

Read next: Complete guide: How to update iOS on iPhone or iPad

Use Family Sharing to link up two Apple IDs that you own

One option is to use Apple’s new Family Sharing feature. This service enables you to place the Apple IDs of your family under one parental account. This one account is used to pay for all purchases. While it’s aimed at family members, you can use up to five Apple ID accounts and they can be your old accounts.

Members of a Family Sharing group can download apps, music and games that each other has bought. So once you’ve set up Family Sharing you can download all of your old apps using your new account. Any purchases you make on either account will be paid for by your main account.

Read more: How to set up Family Sharing on your iPhone

How do I use more than one Apple ID on my iPhone

Use more than one Apple ID on iPhoneSign in with more than one Apple IDSign in with more than one Apple ID

Using both Apple IDs with the App Store to download previous purchases is easy, but fiddly.

  1. Open Settings and tap App Store.
  2. Tap your Apple ID and choose Sign Out.
  3. Enter the Apple ID and Password for the second account and tap Sign In.
  4. Press Home and open the App Store app.
  5. Tap Updates > Purchased.
  6. Download any apps that you want to have from the old account on your iPhone.
  7. Tap Home > Settings > iTunes & App Store.
  8. Tap Apple ID and Sign Out. Now sign in with your main account.

You can now use these apps, and even install updates using your main Apple ID (unless the two IDs belong to different territories). It is important to sign out of the old account and back in to the main one so you do not keep making purchases on the old account (and compound the problem.)

Read next: How to unlock a disabled Apple ID that’s been locked “for security reasons”

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