My 2017 iMac is now fully logged out and locked out of iCloud. It is running Ventura 13.6.3 booting from an external 2TB SSD. If I go to System Settings and click on Sign in with your Apple ID, I can enter my ID and password, the gear spins, and I’m back to where I started.
Here’s what happened. After I returned home from a vacation around October 11 and turned on the iMac (then running Monterey), the internal fusion disk failed. Not completely – it functioned but just beachballed for several seconds after every input. I was not totally surprised as I had seen some flaky behavior previously.
I purchased a Samsung 2TB T7, installed Monterey on it (via Apple, it wouldn’t let me install Ventura), then used Migration Assistant to restore from one of my backups.
I don’t have full notes of what happened initially, but my Apple ID was not accepted. “This Mac can’t connect to iCloud because of a problem with [my Apple ID]. Open Apple ID preferences to fix this problem.” In Apple ID Preferences, I saw the uninformative message “Some account services require you to sign in again.” I must have tried signing in but was unsuccessful, but the problem resolved itself in a few days.
I then updated to 12.7.1 and the problem recurred. As I recall, I was not prompted for my Apple ID after the update. By now it was the end of October and after waiting a few days, I opened a case with Apple support.
I should mention here that I was in that Twilight Zone of being partially logged in to iCloud. Messages on the iMac seemed to work completely. The Photos app was up to date until the problem occurred; since then, nothing had been added via iCloud. Notes, Reminders, and Contacts were the same way; my data was there but essentially had been frozen. Calendar only uses subscriptions, so that wasn’t affected.
I wasted my time with several chats to different support representatives, you know, boot, safe boot, clean up some stuff, rinse and repeat. I was finally told to update to Ventura and update my mobile devices to iOS/iPadOS 17 (they were still on 16 at the time).
It took me a couple of weeks until I completed all the upgrades. Now on Ventura, in the brand-new System Settings, I had nowhere to enter my Apple ID! There was no “Sign in with your Apple ID” anywhere. There was a “Sign out” however.
Eventually I got “promoted” to second-level support, or whatever it’s called, where I retained the same representative and we had email communication. He had me try some things, similar to what I did before. Clean up any unused login items, had me clean out cruft in my LaunchAgents folders, had me delete my VPN app (!), etc. Somewhere along the line, I discovered that a clean account on my iMac could log in without any problem. So, something on my iMac triggered this – not a surprise. But what, since it started with a clean OS install plus a restore from a backup of a previously working installation.
By this time, 13.6.3 had come out and I updated at Apple’s request. This restored the “Sign in with your Apple ID” button, but it still wouldn’t log me on. Eventually the rep asked me to sign completely out of Apple ID. I had declined to do this previously, since I at least had data up to mid-October on the Mac. (My iPhone and iPad had no problems and were syncing with iCloud fine.) However, I was trapped. I couldn’t prove that it wouldn’t work, though I very strongly suspected that.
I signed out. My data disappeared completely from Messages, Notes, Reminders, and Contacts. My Photos are still there, though still not updated. I still cannot log in, same behavior. So I’m worse off than before.
There are some other quirks. MacOS is forcing me to have a login password; it ignores my setting to not have one. I cannot log in to Microsoft OneDrive from OneNote, either. Box, which I have but no longer use, seems to be working okay. Sync, which I do use, works fine.
Some time prior to this I tried logging into iCloud.com on Safari. At the time I was in the Twilight Zone, so my Apple ID was filled in. I entered my password. The message “Sign Up Not Completed” flashed briefly, then I was back on the sign in page with no Apple ID filled in. I filled in my Apple ID and password, and then I was logged in successfully. I repeated this process several times with the same result.
In late December, the support rep had me run a program that gathered data from my system, which I then uploaded to Apple. We had one brief conversation on January 4, during which he said “the case is with Engineering, and we’ll get in touch when we have some information.” No surprise, I have not heard from Apple since then.
It’s sad how much Apple software has declined in quantity. Yesterday something strange started happening on my iPhone (13Pro, 17.2.1) – it just popped up, it’s nothing that I could have done in error nor does it have any effect on the operation of the phone, it’s just a sign of incredibly poor software.