Merging or reconciling Apple IDs - advice?

(John Gordon Faughnan) #1

[I think this is the right place to ask. I posed this on Apple Discussions then occurred to me it might get better answers here].

I have had an iCloud Apple ID and a Store Apple ID for almost a decade. Lots of reasons for that including side-effects of the .mac and migrations, old system constraints, etc.

In theory the iPhone still supports different Store ID and iCloud ID. In practice this is becoming untenable. I run into bugs with iBooks (purchase vs. sync) now and I suspect this will all get worse fast. (2FA, sharing iCloud data plan vs family sharing media, sending money via iMessage, etc).

For years I hoped Apple would provide a fix - a way to merge these Apple IDs. About 2-4 years ago Tim Cook was quoted as saying a fix was coming. I now think a fix is not coming.

I’m looking into reconciling these IDs. I will need to keep the ID associated with my thousands of dollars of Apple product purchases (too bad I can’t shift those virtual purchases – weirdly there used to be an unofficial way to move hardware purchases between Apple IDs). That means I will need to switch my iCloud Apple ID to my Store Apple ID. I’ve read some articles on doing this and I’m building up a list of expected issues. I’ll have to reconstitute our Family Sharing Group for example, repurchase our shared Apple Storage plan on the Store Apple ID, migrate data, delete backups, change Wallet settings, etc. I expect to encounter significant problems.

Anyone have any tips to pass one?

Update: This 2016 article is the best resource I found … mostly things I would have thought of though …

(jbayly) #2

@sub , didn’t you just have to do this recently?

(Seth Anderson) #3

I don’t have a solution, but I am very interested in what you find out as I am in the exact same situation (Store Apple ID is most of everything purchased –Apps, music, books, etc., but Mobile Me ID has a significant amount of my data).

I keep hoping there is a sudden announcement from Apple that they have created a merging tool, but at this point, you are probably right to act on your own.

(@lbutlr) #4

Add you “Cloud” AppleID to your “Store” family.

(Seth Anderson) #5

Hmm, not quite sure how to do that. Tried to add “Family Member”, and was told “cannot send invitation to your own account”. Maybe there’s a slight variation to this same angle though.

(Dave Scocca) #6

My impression is that the fundamental problem is legal, not technical, and that Apple is not particularly interested in getting it resolved. That is—the terms of sale for music and videos make them non-transferable, and merging Apple IDs would be a way to transfer your purchases to someone else.

For example, I believe you are not permitted to transfer your media purchases to someone else in your will. But if you could consolidate Apple IDs, then after death your heir could just consolidate your Apple ID into theirs and become the owner of the media you had purchased.

So unless/until Apple negotiates deals that allow the sale of transferable licenses, and that make existing purchases retroactively transferable, I don’t think you’re going to see any facility for merging Apple IDs.


(John Gordon Faughnan) #7

That sounds like a good tip – I’d heard it before but forgot about it. I haven’t done it because a family group limit used to be 5 (I think) and we have 5 family members. I think it just went to 6.

If I add my iCloud Apple ID as a child to my Store Apple ID I’ll have to dissolve and reconstitute our family group. I think I’ll have to add shared iCloud Storage on the Store Apple ID and remove it from the iCloud Apple ID. I’m not sure how subscriptions and in App Purchases will behave, they are not part of Family Sharing.

Conversely, I wonder what happens if I add my Store Apple ID as a child to be iCloud Apple ID?

(John Gordon Faughnan) #8

Excellent point Dave. They’d also have to deal with in-app purchases and subscriptions - currently not family shareable (and probably never, which incidentally makes in-app purchases even more expensive).

They could build tools to migrate content from my iCloud Apple ID to my store Apple ID. Photostreams are an interesting problem.

This is really quite ugly.

(Adam Engst) #9

Note that that article is really from 2013, so I’d be a little hesitant to assume it will still work in the same way. Make sure you have everything backed up six ways from Sunday before starting, to the extent possible.

I sort of did this a while back, but I didn’t have to deal with purchases. For me, it was mostly moving calendars and contacts from one Apple ID to another, since I’d kept all purchases using but had my iTools/MobileMe/iCloud data with due to Apple giving me a lot more storage there initially. And, honestly, I still haven’t completely cleaned all vestiges of the adamengst account out from every Mac.

(Lucas Weeks) #10

Not exactly, no. My Apple ID was associated with an old email address, and I wanted to update it to use my current email address. I couldn’t because I had already created an Apple ID with my current email address.

I hadn’t really used that new Apple ID for anything, so I simply deleted it. I still couldn’t use my current email address right away, but it eventually let me swap out the old email address for my current one after a few months.

(@lbutlr) #11

Many, (most?), email services allow plus addressing ( which allows you too create a “new” address any time you want.