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Apple ID
Type of site
Single sign-on
Available inEnglish
OwnerApple Inc.
Founder(s)Steve Jobs
Written inEnglish

Apple ID is an authentication method used by Apple for iPhone, iPad, Mac and other Apple devices. Apple IDs contain the user's personal data and settings. With one account, users can access all Apple products, such as the App Store and iCloud. When an Apple ID is used to log in to an Apple device, the device will automatically use the data and settings associated with the Apple ID.[1]


Creation of account

An Apple ID account can be created free of charge from the My Apple ID web page.[2] An Apple ID is a valid email address, protected by a password set by the user of at least eight characters.[3] Apple will send a verification email to the email address the user provided and the user is required to follow the URL included in the verification email to activate the account. It is possible to create an Apple ID without specifying a credit card.[4]

In March 2013, Apple ID launched an optional two-step verification security feature for authentication. When enabled, a second verification step is required when using the Apple ID under certain conditions, such as web login, or making a Store purchase from a new device. The feature uses the Find My service to send a four-digit pin code to a trusted device associated with the Apple ID when the second verification step is required for authentication.[5]


Users can change their passwords or personal information on the My Apple ID page by selecting the "Manage your account" link. Changes that a user makes to an Apple ID account, whilst they are using one Apple product,[6] are also recognized by other applications where the user uses the same Apple ID account (for example, the online Apple Store, iCloud, or iPhoto).[7] Apple will send a verification email to the email address provided and the user is required to follow the URL included in the verification email to confirm the changes. After confirming the changes, users may still be asked to verify their information the next time they use their Apple ID to purchase online, such as using the iTunes Store.

Apple also allows users to change the name of an Apple ID but users must contact Apple customer service to make such a change.[citation needed]


An Apple ID may be disabled for security reasons if the password is entered incorrectly multiple times. The user will be warned with a message when the account has been disabled.[8] Apple IDs and passwords can be retrieved by answering account security questions on iForgot or by resetting from a trusted device with iCloud enabled and an unlock passcode set.[8][9] For security reasons, if Recovery Key or Two-Step Verification (not Two-Factor Authentication) is turned on, Apple will not reset the password for an Apple ID account.[10] To reset the password when these security features are enabled, both the Recovery Key and at least one trusted device is required.[11]

Disabled accounts

Another error is "Your Apple ID has been disabled" without specific disclosure of a reason. The cause of this suspension is most likely due to a violation of the Apple Media Services Terms and Conditions (i.e., due to scams and other fraudulent activities) and resetting one's password does not clear it.[12] It has been reported as occurring on iOS devices as well as on Macs and PCs. One can request a review of an Apple ID by contacting iTunes Store support at As of August 2021, due to the accuracy of the system, the decisions to disable Apple IDs are rarely overturned, as the likelihood that the system would incorrectly disable any given Apple ID is less than one in one trillion per year (most likely due to CSAM detection, a safety feature that Apple had proposed but was later shelved).[13]

In both of the above cases, the user's profile will not be visible to anyone on iMessage or FaceTime, and they will not be able to sign in. The issue needs to be resolved within a set period (approximately 14-30 days in most cases). If too much time has passed since the Apple ID has been disabled, it will be permanently disabled and the user can no longer unlock it nor create any new Apple IDs.

Multiple Apple IDs

Users can use different Apple IDs for their store purchases and their iCloud storage and other uses. This includes many MobileMe users who have always had difficulties as they were forced to use more than one Apple ID, because on signing up to the MobileMe service a new Apple ID was automatically created using the email address being created at the time, meaning users could not change their previous Apple ID email address to be their email address and has always remained so. Apple does not permit different accounts to be merged.[14] However, if one account is disabled (in most cases, due to fraudulent transactions or other abusive activity or for security reasons), any other accounts associated with the primary account will also be disabled, and the user cannot create any new accounts until the affected account has been unlocked.[15]

Apple Online Discussions

Apple Discussions is a user-to-user support forum where Apple experts and users get together to discuss Apple products.[16] Any user can browse and read the discussion forum without the need of an Apple ID. However, an Apple ID gives the user the ability to participate in Apple Discussion websites such as allowing the user to ask questions about any Apple hardware or software products, and to receive help, tips, and solutions from other Apple users.

iWork publishing

iWork Publishing allowed an Apple ID user to upload and share iWork projects such as Pages, Numbers, and Keynotes. The published contents could be viewed publicly or by whoever the user invited via The user did not need to know whether his or her colleagues use a Mac or a PC.[17] Since iWork was a web-based service, anyone with a web browser and internet connection can use it.

iPod Touch 4G, the first iPod supporting FaceTime feature
iPod Touch 4G, the first iPod supporting FaceTime feature

On July 31, 2012, was shut down in favor of iCloud, Apple's cloud service.[18]

FaceTime and iMessage

Main articles: FaceTime and iMessage

FaceTime is a video calling application for iOS 4 or later and OS X Snow Leopard or later. An Apple ID is not required to use FaceTime if one owns an iPhone (One can make calls with their iPhone number on their Mac, iPod, or iPad).

iMessage is an instant messaging application for iOS 5 or later, watchOS, and OS X Mountain Lion or later. An Apple ID is not required to use iMessage if one owns an iPhone.

Apple Online Store

Main article: Apple Store

An Apple ID is not required to place an order on the Apple Online Store. Apple lets buyers place orders on its online store without an Apple ID by using the Guest Checkout Feature. An Apple ID and the Guest Checkout Feature both allow the customer to access order info such as invoices, check the order status, and track the shipping package. However, Apple IDs allow users to customize their Apple Online Store experiences. Users can save items they are interested in purchasing; save a cart if they are almost ready to place an order; save shipping and billing addresses and payment information to speed up the checkout process; use 1-Click ordering on Apple's website and check Apple Gift Card balances.[19]

Apple digital stores

Main articles: iTunes Store, iBooks Store, App Store (iOS), and Mac App Store

Apple ID gives users access to buying (or downloading for free) and later free re-download of many Apple-based resources, including:

iTunes Store, App Store (for iOS apps), Mac App Store, iBooks Store, and Newsstand all make use of Apple ID. To purchase digital media such as movies and music on the iTunes Store or the App Store, an Apple ID is required. A user can use an Apple ID and password to sign into the iTunes Store or App Store to buy content or authorize items the user has purchased. The ID is the proof of ownership for the content the user has previously downloaded from Apple digital stores.

The Apple ID allows the user to re-download their purchased content for any of their devices. For iTunes on computers, an Apple ID is authorized to copy purchased content on up to five computers at a time. Apple has not confirmed exactly how many iOS devices can use the purchased content of one ID.

According to Apple support "Your Apple ID can have up to 10 devices and computers (combined) associated with it."[20]


Main article: iCloud

iCloud allows users to store data such as music and iOS applications on remote computer servers[21] for download to multiple devices such as iOS-based devices running iOS 5 or later,[22] and personal computers running OS X 10.7.2 Lion or later, or Microsoft Windows (Windows Vista service pack 2 or later). iCloud replaced Apple's MobileMe service,[23] acting as a data syncing center for email, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, notes, reminders (to-do lists), iWork documents, photos and other data. The service also allows users to wirelessly back up their iOS devices to iCloud instead of manually doing so using iTunes.

Every Apple ID comes with 5 GB of free storage. One may purchase additional storage if they wish to.

Sign in with Apple

Main article: Sign in with Apple

On June 9, 2019, Apple unveiled a single sign-on provider built around Apple ID known as "Sign In with Apple". Based on OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect, it is designed as a privacy-focused alternative to other social login services, minimizing the amount of personal information sent to a service, and allowing the use of disposable email addresses forwarding to the user's Apple ID email.[24][25]

See also


  1. ^ "Apple ID - Official Apple Support". Retrieved 2022-12-31.
  2. ^ "My Apple ID". Apple. Archived from the original on 19 May 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Security and your Apple ID". Apple. May 19, 2018. Archived from the original on August 24, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  4. ^ "Create or use an Apple ID without a payment method". Apple. Archived from the original on 2014-10-10. Retrieved 2013-09-14.
  5. ^ "Apple Strengthens iCloud Security With 2-Step Authentication". The New York Times. 21 March 2013. Archived from the original on 24 March 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Apple plans to launch 'entirely new phone'". Archived from the original on 2015-06-15. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  7. ^ "Change your Apple ID password". Apple. Archived from the original on 2014-02-28. Retrieved 2013-09-14.
  8. ^ a b "If your Apple ID is locked or disabled". Apple. Archived from the original on 2014-10-18. Retrieved 2013-09-14.
  9. ^ "If you forgot your Apple ID password". Archived from the original on 2022-02-16. Retrieved 2022-02-17.
  10. ^ "Two-step verification for Apple ID". Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved 2021-12-04.
  11. ^ "How to generate a recovery key". Archived from the original on 2020-12-15. Retrieved 2020-12-10.
  12. ^ "Apple permanently disabled my account for App Store and iTunes..." Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 2021-12-04. Retrieved 2021-12-03.
  13. ^ "Expanded Protections for Children: Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). Apple Inc. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-08-19. Retrieved 2021-08-21.
  14. ^ "Apple to let multiple Apple IDs merge, report says". CNET. CBS Interactive. 16 September 2011. Archived from the original on 9 November 2011. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  15. ^ "App Store stopped nearly $1.5 billion in fraudulent transactions in 2021". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 2022-06-01. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  16. ^ "Apple Support Communities". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 2014-05-27. Retrieved 2013-09-14.
  17. ^ " beta". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-09-14.
  18. ^ "Apple tells beta users service will be shut down on July 31st, recommends iCloud". Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  19. ^ "Benefits of an Apple ID". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 2015-07-06. Retrieved 2013-09-14.
  20. ^ "iTunes Store: Associating a device or computer to your Apple ID". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 2014-10-26. Retrieved 2013-06-10.
  21. ^ "Where can I use my Apple ID?". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 2017-06-10. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  22. ^ "System Requirements for ICloud". Archived from the original on May 30, 2014. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  23. ^ "4th Time a Charm for Apple? From iDisk to.Mac to MobileMe to iCloud". Wired. May 31, 2011. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved June 13, 2011.
  24. ^ "App Makers Are Mixed on 'Sign In With Apple'". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Archived from the original on 2020-03-04. Retrieved 2020-05-05.
  25. ^ Perez, Sarah. "Answers to your burning questions about how 'Sign In with Apple' works". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on November 27, 2019. Retrieved June 13, 2019.