How to create an iCloud email address?

This seems like it would be simple…

I have an elderly relative. Her first computer was a Bondi Blue iMac, using AOL for email. Later we moved her email to Comcast. When it became time to create an Apple ID, we used the Comcast email address, because that was her only email.

Now we moved her to a new home, and in the process made a major error: we canceled her Comcast account, she has a new home phone, and canceled her cell phone. So, she has none of the devices or addresses that would be her 2FA on the Apple ID.

To make it worse, a week ago Comcast did a force password reset for all users who are still using Comcast email but without a Comcast account!

After a lot of struggle today, we’ve regained her Comcast email. But, I’m thinking we should create a secondary email account, which may someday be the primary.

The logical choice is an iCloud email. But here’s the problem: the Mac (using Ventura) says she has an iCloud account, and its id is the Comcast email address. There’s nothing anywhere about another email address. If I try to enable the iCloud account in Mail, it just immediately disables again.

So how do you actually create an iCloud.com email address?

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I have a few iCloud accounts and I think I created them on the web at iCloud.com

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I just did this for someone recently. I believe you can do this by logging into the Apple ID account at appleid.apple.com. You can also make the new iCloud email address the official Apple ID, but I believe they require you to wait 7 or 30 day to do that.

This was easier than I thought.

The trusted phone problem was solved by just adding a new trusted phone on the computer (which is a trusted device) and removing the obsolete numbers. I guess I thought it would be harder because my Apple ID gets security locked every couple of days.

Creating an iCloud email address was also simple, once you know it has to be done from the website. (Thanks for the hints.) The iCloud web site knows that you don’t have an iCloud email, so it has a big banner to “Create Your Own iCloud Email Address”, which directs to iCloud Mail - Apple iCloud and walks you through it.

And that automatically adds the new iCloud address as an Apple ID alias.

Michael, where do you receive/read and iCloud email? I can’t use Apple’s mail (email won’t send from it) and use Comcast.net. Would an iCloud email address go to Comcast or only to Mail?

iCloud e-mail is a generic e-mail service like any other.

If you don’t want to use the web-mail interface and you don’t want to use Apple Mail, you can configure any IMAP-compatible mail app to access it.

See also: iCloud Mail server settings for other email client apps - Apple Support

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@Shamino It’s not that I don’t WANT to use Apple Mail— It’s that I can’t. Mail will not send/reply to emails.

Unfortunately, I have Comcast/Xfinity and that’s what I use. Thanks for the link!

There’s two ways to do it.

For my relative, once I created the iCloud email address, I turned on the account in Mail:

  1. Mail > Settings > Accounts
  2. Select the iCloud account in the list
  3. Select the “Enable this account” checkbox

If you don’t have an iCloud account in the list then click the + at the bottom, choose iCloud, Continue.


For myself, I want all mail sent to iCloud to be directed to my primary email. So I set up iCloud to forward email. In your case you could forward it to Comcast.

This easy for receiving mail. And if you want to reply to such email from your Comcast address, that’s also easy.

But it is harder if you want to reply to iCloud mail using your iCloud address.

The problem here is that your email provider may not allow you to send through their SMTP server using a different “From:” address. I can do it because mine (Fastmail) has a way to set that up.

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This I don’t get. Who says you need to use their SMTP server for email from other services? What about using iCloud’s SMTP directly for iCloud mail? I’m sure my ISP has some email setup like Comcast does for you, but I still never use it. In my case, work mail uses my work’s SMTP, iCloud uses Apple’s own iCloud SMTP, and my personal email uses my personal SMTP. I never touch the ISP’s SMTP (or IMAP for that matter).

Mail > Settings… > Accounts > … > Server Settings > Outgoing Mail Account/Server

The Outgoing Mail Server section has an Account dropdown menu and from there you can select Edit SMTP Server List… which exposes all the details and allows adding new SMTP servers. The only thing you usually need for that is the actual host name that you get from your email provider (eg. smtp.gmail.com) and user/pass.

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I was talking about the second way to have two email accounts in Mail. The first was to have complete separate accounts, as you describe.

But what I do is have all of my email all forward into one mailbox. So all my Fastmail, iCloud, Gmail, and ISP mail is in the same Inbox (and not just collected as a “smart” All Inboxes pseudo folder.) And I only have one Sent mail folder; all the sent mail is at Fastmail.

Sometimes I want to reply as Fastmail, sometimes as iCloud. That’s where it gets tricker due to the SMTP edits.

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@janesprando However much problems you have had with other providers I think you will find that Apple Mail would “just work” if you got an iCloud email.

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Strange. I also use Comcast/Xfinity. And although I have an e-mail address from them, I almost never use it.

I have three primary e-mail accounts (Google GMail, Mail.com and Yahoo mail). I have configured Mozilla Thunderbird for all three of them - each one syncing local folders via IMAP and sending outbound mail through each service’s SNMP server. None of them use any of Comcast’s servers.

Although I haven’t tried iCloud mail with it, I see no reason why I couldn’t just add its IMAP/SNMP credentials to a fourth account in it. Nor do I see any particular reason why I couldn’t configure Apple’s Mail app for all four, should I want to.

Comcast may restrict the use if its SNMP server for your Comcast e-mail address, but as far as I can tell, they make no attempt to block access to other service providers’ SNMP servers. So you simply have to configure each account to send using that account’s preferred server and it should just work.

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@janesprando The configuration of iCloud mail in Apple Mail is very easy. No fiddelig with servers and ports. You just enable it: Apple menu > System Settings, click [your name] at the top of the sidebar, click iCloud, click iCloud Mail, then click Turn On.

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