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.
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…
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
Technically you can only sign in to iCloud with one account. So make sure this is the most important one, and the Apple ID that you want to use moving forward.
- Tap Settings > iCloud.
- Check that the email under you name is the Apple ID you want to use.
- If not, tap Sign Out > Sign Out then enter the Apple ID and Password that you do want to use.
iCloud is a central hub for most of your Apple ID activity on the iPhone. But it isn't everything, you enter your Apple ID in different areas in iOS including Mail and both App Store and iTunes Store.
We've rounded up links to all our iPhone tips and tutorials here: iPhone tips and tutorials, everything you need to know
Set up Mail, Contacts and Calendars with more than one Apple ID
Mail and Notes (which is part of Mail under the hood) is the easiest part of iOS to use more than one account. You can use more than one email account, and more than one Apple email account (these are the ones ending in icloud.com, me.com or mac.com).
Make sure you are signed in to iCloud using your primary Apple ID (as shown above). This ensures that you are signed in to Mail, Contacts and Calendars with that Apple ID. Now sign in to your other account:
- Tap Settings.
- Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
- Tap Add Account.
- Tap iCloud.
- Enter the Apple ID and Password and tap Next.
- Choose the options you want for this second account. We advise you to set anything you don't really want to use to Off so you don't use it accidentally. If you have Contacts and Calendars on the old account then switch them on, but turn off Reminders and Notes.
- Tap Save.
Scroll down Mail and tap Default Account. Ensure that it says iCloud and not the email address you have just added. Do the same for Default Calendar and Default Contacts. This will ensure that you only create new Mail messages, contacts and calendar entries using your main iCloud account.
Use more than one Apple ID with App Store
Using both Apple IDs with the App Store to download previous purchases is easy, but fiddly.
- Open Settings and tap App Store.
- Tap your Apple ID and choose Sign Out.
- Enter the Apple ID and Password for the second account and tap Sign In.
- Press Home and open the App Store app.
- Tap Updates > Purchased.
- Download any apps that you want to have from the old account on your iPhone.
- Tap Home > Settings > iTunes & App Store.
- 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.)