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Dealing with two Apple ID accounts  

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(@steve_hammond)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 27
May 5, 2020 8:46 EDT PM  

Hi there,

I have two Apple ID, one that I can consider my main one, where all purchases are done (App Store, hardware, etc.), and a second one that I created when Apple launched Dot Mac. That second account is mostly my iCloud account, where I manage all emails (gMail, Yahoo mail, etc are forwarded to my .Mac.com), contacts and such. And I pay for a little extra storage (50Gb) on the iCloud account, as the 5 Gb is not enough for me at the moment. 

My current way of managing this is to have iCloud as my main account on Mac and iOS (in the device account), and in the iTunes/AppStore I use my purchase account. I find this to be useable, but it is a bit messy to manage. See the paragraph below for an example of what it does to me!

I subscribed to the free tier of Apple Music (3 months free) with my purchase account. I canceled the subscription before the end of the trial, and last week I received a ~10$ monthly bill on my iCloud account, not even the account where I initially subscribe to. I had to call Apple to request a refund, which I still don't know if it was approved, because I never agreed to pay for it on my second account. That is not the first time this happen to me, so I'm trying to find out a way to get this mess out for good.

When I called Apple last weekend, I also asked if merging two accounts like this was now possible, but as you may already know, Apple did not evolved on this (answer was an obvious no). What they suggested to me, is to create a family sharing with these two accounts to kinda merge them together. They sent me a link on how to do family sharing, but that was not very helpful so far, as it is generic and do not relate specifically to having two accounts for the same person.

What I understood, is that I should use my buying account (where I purchase everything) and make it the parent/main account. From there I should probably add my iCloud account and make it a family member.

Instead of messing up my accounts, I called again, and was on a call with an Apple support female for 1h30, yea, that long... She proposed the same solution as what I describe in the previous paragraph and we went along and did the configuration. After the long discussion and multiple try and error, we both realized that it is not very efficient, especially if I want to add family members to my account again.

After 1h15 on the phone, she suggested I should probably start using my iCloud account from now on for future purchases on iOS, and disregard my older Purchased account for new purchases and eventually I will be able to have only one account like I wish I have. On my Mac I have a few software (like Final Cut Pro X) that is worth keeping on my older account, and it feels less messy on the Mac to have my older account in iTunes/App Store. 

I did that on my iOS devices, but for some reason, I am asked to enter my password of my older account from time to time. 

My question is simple, how do you manage two Apple ID, and being sure Apple won't bill on your second account for something you canceled on your first account?


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Dave Hamilton
(@davehamilton)
Admin
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 549
May 8, 2020 2:18 EDT AM  

Hi @steve_hammond — Yeah, this is a tricky scenario, but definitely a solvable one, and I think you're on the right track. My wife has a similar setup, and uses her iCloud account as her "main" account on our family share, and then she links her purchases to the old/secondary account. This has worked fine (great, in fact) for many years. On her devices, she simply goes to Settings > iTunes & App Stores, and sets her *secondary* ID there. 

It's basically transparent. I'm not understanding why Apple advised you to go the other direction with it. 


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Ben Rosenthal
(@earthsaver)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 143
May 8, 2020 11:32 EDT AM  

Reading through your account, Steve, I hear that Apple Music caused an issue that led you down this frustrating path. @davehamilton, I'm guessing your family has an Apple Music subscription, but maybe that's irrelevant to the conversation since Steve canceled his.

Steve, since you're back to not using Apple Music is your system of having two Apple IDs actually broken? Was there just a single screwup on Apple's part?

If you did want to take a new path, I think Apple's on the right track in suggesting you shift your behaviors to using one account instead of two.

Since you can't change the account associated with purchased items (apps, songs, etc.), I would use the purchasing account as the main Apple ID for everything. You can migrate data associated with your iCloud account to a different Apple ID because they're just files you can store on your Mac as you make this transition.

So, here's the path I would take:

  1. Make sure you have a copy of all of your iCloud data local to your Mac. If you're using iCloud Photos, that means you're storing originals on your Mac. For any other iCloud services you're using on any of your devices, make sure they are enabled in iCloud preferences on your Mac.
  2. Sign out of iCloud. Make sure to choose to 

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Ben Rosenthal
(@earthsaver)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 143
May 8, 2020 1:42 EDT PM  

Reading through your account, Steve, I hear that Apple Music caused an issue that led you down this frustrating path. @davehamilton, I'm guessing your family has an Apple Music subscription, but maybe that's irrelevant to the conversation since Steve canceled his.

Steve, since you're back to not using Apple Music is your system of having two Apple IDs actually broken? Was there just a single screwup on Apple's part?

If you did want to take a new path, I think Apple's on the right track in suggesting you shift your behaviors to using one account instead of two.

Since you can't change the account associated with purchased items (apps, songs, etc.), I would use the purchasing account as the main Apple ID for everything. You can migrate data associated with your iCloud account to a different Apple ID because they're just files you can store on your Mac as you make this transition.

So, here's the path I would take:

  1. Make sure you have a copy of all of your iCloud data local to your Mac. If you're using iCloud Photos, that means you're storing originals on your Mac. For any other iCloud services you're using on any of your devices, make sure they are enabled in iCloud preferences on your Mac.
  2. Hopefully you don't have more than 5GB of email. After this switch, you'll add your mac.com email account as a separate Internet Account on your devices instead of tying it to your new primary Apple ID account. (The only way to share iCloud storage between the two accounts is to tie them in a Family and subscribe to a 200GB storage plan.)
  3. Sign out of iCloud. It's probably a good idea to save a copy of data set to be deleted, if that dialog appears when signing out.
  4. Sign into iCloud using the other Apple ID and subscribe to an upgraded storage plan. Enable the desired iCloud services. Ensure iCloud Photos is using your existing Photos Library, if you use that service.
  5. Go to System Preferences > Internet Accounts. Add your mac.com account as a separate iCloud account and enable Contacts, Calendars, and Notes as you wish.
  6. When you're certain you've accounted for everything, use one of your other devices still signed into the other Apple ID to downgrade your storage plan.
  7. Sign out of Apple on this device (and any others) and sign into the new primary account. On Macs, add the mac.com iCloud account as you did in 5. On iDevices, add the mac.com iCloud account in Settings > Passwords & Accounts.

I think that covers the bases. Dave, what do you think? Any other insights?


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(@steve_hammond)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 27
May 8, 2020 3:13 EDT PM  

Based on my experience with Apple this week and your comments here you both (Dave and Ben), I went trying this:

  1. I created a Mac user account on my mini and attached it to the Older/legacy Apple ID
  2. On my iPad, I assured I was logged in with only my mac.com account in both iCloud and iTunes
  3. I created a family account from my iPad with my mac.com ID, and added my legacy account to the family
  4. That’s where the Mac account came to use, as I had to approve my family participation on my older account on my Mac mini
  5. On the Mac I also approve to share my purchase of my older account to the family
  6. From there, I can add other family members to the family and my master account is my mac.com (iCloud)

What I misunderstood that, after a few days came back to my brain, is that familly sharing can be used in both ways. My initial understanding was that the master account had to be the one that share it’s purchases. But after a few days, I realized that any purchases from any family member could be shared with anyone in the family. Or correct me if I’m wrong.

Ben, the way you just suggested is the way Apple also suggested it, and it is wrong. My older Apple ID is not even a mac.com, or and email address I use any longer. It is my previous ISP default email, that I’ve been using for more than 20 years, and the iCloud account attached to this Apple ID was not even activated before the manipulation I did this morning to activate the family sharing. Transferring everything there is not even close to be simple or practical, especially for emails.

The simpler way is to make the iCloud account main, and share the purchases of my older account. This way, future purchases will be done on the newer account, and when older software will be discontinued or too old to be installed on any device, the new account will have new purchases. For movies or stuff I previously bought they will still be available in the Family sharing via the older account.

I will probably call Apple once more to have them remove any possibility of buying anything from the older Apple ID. That is what I’ve done 10 years or so ago, asking them to block any paiement on my iCloud account to prevent buying stuff from it. I had to reenable it when I needed to buy more storage On my iCloud. One year after the fact, I realized that this issue of being billed on the wrong account is happening again. So that should be a nice solution to block billing on a sleeping account...

What do you think of that @davehamilton?

 

This post was modified 3 months ago by Steve Hammond

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(@steve_hammond)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 27
May 8, 2020 3:59 EDT PM  

Some more thought on this:

using the legacy Apple ID as the main account for the family is not good because to manage the family, this account has to be logged in. Since it is not my iCloud ID, I’m not logged into it all the time. The Mac user account with the legacy ID as its iCloud ID is a nice workaround, but not very practical. Logging out and in into a device like an iPhone or iPad is also a bad idea, as it is a too good way to the lost of data. 

 

What I did previously was to log in the device with my iCloud ID, and use my legacy account for iTunes. But it happened a few times that I subscribe to one account and then was billed to the other, and that is what I mostly want to put off. I’m tired of having to call Apple to redeem a credit for something I did not plan.

That said, I saw that I was credited for the 2 months of Apple Music I did not want. 


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Ben Rosenthal
(@earthsaver)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 143
May 8, 2020 4:13 EDT PM  

Right. Since you can share purchases, it doesn't matter which ID is the primary one. Once you're done sharing, you should be able to dismantle the family without losing access to anything.

Also, noting that you no longer use the email address associated with the older ID. Well, you can change the email address associated with an Apple ID. Maybe that satisfies this specific concern?

By the way, if you have a second user account on a Mac that's signed into a second Apple ID, that's perpetual enough, if you needed it.


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(@steve_hammond)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 27
May 8, 2020 4:49 EDT PM  
Posted by: @earthsaver

Also, noting that you no longer use the email address associated with the older ID. Well, you can change the email address associated with an Apple ID. Maybe that satisfies this specific concern?

I need to change the email address associated with that Apple ID, but I cannot use an email that is already associated with another Apple ID. At least I did not found anyway of doing this just for email correspondence. 


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Ben Rosenthal
(@earthsaver)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 143
May 8, 2020 5:52 EDT PM  

That's true, an Apple ID cannot use an email associated with another Apple ID. Do you have any other email addresses in your life? Or, can you remove one of your alternate addresses from your other ID so you can use it with this one?


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(@steve_hammond)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 27
May 8, 2020 6:47 EDT PM  

@earthsaver

I just changed it for my gmail account, anyway gmail is forwarded to my Mac.com, so that similar. I had to do something anyway about this email/account, as I will no longer receive emails from it pretty soon!

I also did a little house cleaning by removing any shipping adresses and my billing information as well. I also removed all devices that were attached to this account, anyway, it is becoming a dummy account at this point. 

Hopefully that will solve my issues...


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(@steve_hammond)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 27
May 10, 2020 1:18 EDT PM  

Since I did the last changes to the familly account, most everything is working fine. Except when I added my mother back in the familly account, she cannot see the purchases of my legacy account.

Do I need to do something on my side to have her see my purchases?

Or does she needs to do something on hers?

Thank you


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Ben Rosenthal
(@earthsaver)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 143
May 10, 2020 1:43 EDT PM  

I think purchase sharing is universal for the Family account, not an individual preference for each member. Maybe try rigging Purchase Sharing off and back on?


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thejtray
(@thejtray)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 25
May 22, 2020 12:36 EDT AM  

I ran into this situation many years back. For me I had an iCloud/MobileMe/DotMac account.  I had an Apple ID created using a Gmail Account.  I used the Gmail Apple ID for purchases and iCloud/MobileMe/DotMac for everything else.  I wanted desperately not to have the iCloud/MobileMe/DotMac account and to use the Gmail Account for everything.  I had made purchases on accident on the iCloud/MobileMe/DotMac Apple ID. 

Long story shorter the only thing I could do was to just delete the iCloud/MobileMe/DotMac account or create a family share as Dave suggested.  This allows purchases on each account to be used on either account.  I created the family account and the iCloud Account resides in the Family.  It works fine, but to make things easier in a restore situation I use the Gmail Account as my iCloud ID.  I never attach the iCloud/MobileMe/DotMac to anything.  All it ever is used to access is old purchases that were made on that account that I am too cheap to repurchase.  

To me having just one Apple ID not related to iCloud/MobileMe/DotMac was the best decision I could have made.  With that said the Gmail Email Account used to create that ID can be changed at any time and I have since changed the email associated with the account.  I wished I could have completed this for iCloud/MobileMe/DotMac, but is was not possible.  

As to your Apple Music purchase, I had the same issue.  IMO it saw an account and attached to it.  Unless you were paying close attention this will happen all the time.  

Also with my non iCloud/MobileMe/DotMac account I have two-factor set up on both the Apple ID and the email.  Of course not completely secure, but I trust that set up over most anything.  

 


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vincentyyl
(@vincentyyl)
New Member
Joined: 2 weeks ago
Posts: 0
July 28, 2020 5:39 EDT AM  

The AM subscription is frustrating me. I can't sync songs through ICloud and it requires me to subscribe another plan which will charge me twice. I hate sophisticated stuff so I just deleted the app and before that I get all my songs from AM with Tunelf Audio Converter. Farewell Apple Music.


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