Your Apple ID is the email address you use to log into the App Store and other Apple services. If everything works the way it should, you enter your Apple ID early on (most likely during initial setup) and iOS then remembers it when you come to download an app or similar - although you'll usually still need to re-enter the password for security reasons.
If iOS is getting confused and asking for the password for a different Apple ID, something has gone wrong - or perhaps you inherited an iPhone with somebody else's account on it if you bought it second-hand. Either way, you'll want to remove that unwanted Apple ID, get the iPhone to forget about it permanently, and use your own instead. In this tutorial we show how to achieve this.
Wrong Apple ID popping up in the App Store
The simplest instance of this problem is when somebody else borrows your iPhone or iPad and enters their own Apple ID to install an app. Next time you go into the App Store, it will understandably expect that same account to be used again.
Removing the borrower's Apple ID from the App Store and returning to your own instead is easy:
- Open the App Store app.
- Tap the circular avatar at the top right - this is likely to be the Apple ID owner's face.
- Tap Sign Out at the bottom.
- Now enter your Apple ID and Password and tap Done.
You should now have your Apple ID in the App Store. When you download or update apps it will ask you for your password.
Note that the app installed by the other person remains on your device. This can cause complications, because iOS will remember that it is a purchase made under another account; if an update becomes available for that app, you will be asked to enter your friend's password in order to download it.
You can choose to manage without the update (some updates are superficial - you can check the App Store entry to see if anything significant has changed), ask your friend to enter their password, or simply delete the app.
Remove Apple ID from iCloud or Find My Friends
Removing the rogue Apple ID from iCloud or Find My Friends is trickier. In these instances, Apple requests the password from you before removing the account. This is a security measure to prevent stolen phones from being sold on.
If you know the person, then you'll need to get their password from them (or get them to enter it for you).
Once you have the password, follow these steps to remove the Apple ID account from iCloud and Find My Friends:
- Open the Settings app. Tap the top entry, where it shows your name and picture. (In older versions of iOS you should tap iCloud.)
- Scroll down and tap Sign Out. If prompted, tap Delete from My iPhone.
- Enter the password of the person's Apple ID.
- Select whether you want to keep copies of your iCloud data for Calendars, Contacts, Reminders and Safari.
- Tap Sign Out or Turn Off, as applicable.
When signed out you can tap Sign In and enter your Apple ID and password to start using the device.
What if I don't know the password?
There is a way to remove an Apple ID from an Apple device if you don't know the password, but it's a bit tricky and risky so we'd only use it as a last resort.
You'll need to turn off the iPad or iPhone, then plug it in to a Mac or PC with iTunes installed on it (and open) while holding down the Home button.
Keep holding down that Home button until you see the iTunes logo and cable graphic on the iPad or iPhone. Then you should be able to use iTunes the Mac or PC to restore the device.
We suggest this as a last resort because there is room for error. There's a small chance that it could cause the phone to get stuck in recovery mode, so make sure there is no other option before you try it.