Word of warning: throwing out older Macs from your iCloud (ADP) will break their apps

So because I needed to turn on ADP I had to remove older Macs that can not be updated from my iCloud. No big deal I thought since those Macs don’t need to do stuff like sync Notes or Safari bookmarks so no need for iCloud.

Bad idea.

One of those old Macs I kept around because it still played the 32-bit version of Civ IV I had purchased ages ago from the MAS for $60. That app of course won’t run anymore on an M1 Mac running Ventura. But turns out once that old Mac got removed from my iCloud account—for some inexplicable reason—it can no longer log on to my MAS account. And as a consequence all apps I had purchased on MAS to run on that Mac are no longer launching. I get an error message saying the app is broken and to download it again from MAS. But when I go to MAS I can no longer download it because I cannot log onto my MAS account.

This makes me so angry. The old Mac doesn’t need iCloud to run apps. The MAS purchase was entirely legit and there was no reason to stop the app from running. When signing up for ADP (which coerces you to remove old Macs from iCloud) there was ZERO warning whatsoever that iCloud and MAS were somehow intertwined and signing it off from iCloud would break MAS apps. Bait and switch. Ugh.

I’ll be requiring a full refund form Apple. If I can’t use the app you sold me, you will pay me my money back. Software as a service, my foot.


I think I’m going to be able to empathize with you in so many ways, with a lot of examples, but sorry, can you first remind me what ADP is?

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Advanced Data Protection

Well, of course, you can just turn ADP back off and then log those old machines back in. ADP remains optional and can be turned off.

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Yikes. Does it clobber the iTunes store and/or Apple Music subscription too? Books?

Can you explicitly authorize the mac in Music and does carry over to the app store?

Not going to experiment with my own stuff because I rely almost entirely on my old stuff…and if it clobbered the ancient Koi Pond on my original ipad, one of the cats would be bereft.

If Apple refuses a fix for this with the weaselly ‘you didn’t actually buy any apps’, contact your state attorney general. They keep track of such things, and if they get enough reports, they can wield a lot of power even against the fine print of contracts.

Music subscription- yes. iTunes Store: yes, you can’t log in.

Your music remains in iTunes/Music but I believe the computer is no longer activated to play any purchases with DRM. (I could be wrong about that - I didn’t do that much testing.)

I don’t use Apple Books, so I don’t know about that.

Apple makes it clear: in order to use your Apple ID with any Mac with ADP switched on, it must be running 13.1 or later. If you start iTunes on an older computer, it cannot log in to your Apple ID.

(This is the reason I used Open Core Patcher to install Ventura on a 2014 Mac mini.)

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So, let me make I understand this correctly:

ADP protects only iCloud data, not anything else associated with your AppleID. But if you turn ADP on, devices not running an ADP-compatible OS can’t connect to your AppleID for anything?

Do I have this right?

If this is intended behavior, Apple needs to provide a path for those using a mix of compatible and incompatible devices to transfer the older devices’ AppleID needs to a different AppleID. Because losing access to AppleID services on older devices is, for many of us, too high a price to pay for getting increased security on newer devices.

The way this is shaping up has killed any interest I might have had in using ADP.


They’re automated tools are already claiming I don’t have Civ IV so there’s nothing to claim a refund on. :roll_eyes: I’m feeling inclined to unleash an attorney on them. Why should I waste hours on the phone with some dolt just because they can’t get their act together?

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Ah, thanks. Another example of how frequently Apple blatantly disrespects anyone running anything but the latest hardware and software. Endlessly frustrating…


As far as I can tell right now that’s exactly what has happened.

Although I will say on this old Mac I don’t have an iTunes library so I can’t see if it also broke music I had purchased on iTunes.

But on this old device in question all its MAS apps are broken. Although it tells me I need to redownload them from the MAS, I cannot actually log onto the MAS to do exactly that. When I want to log on I get some bogus baloney about MAS requiring 13.1 or newer. Awesome. This is a 2010 Mac that only runs High Sierra. Up until a few weeks ago it ran MAS just fine on the very same HS it has now. Same OS, same everything. This has nothing to do with Ventura. It’s not iCloud either, just regular old MAS. Apple just chose to break my **** for no good reason. I have no idea why Apple thinks their iCloud shenanigans need to interfere with MAS. And even if so, there was NO indication that would be the case. They made no effort to warn people they were about to totally hose their old systems and break a bunch of apps they rightfully own and use with no recourse.

And now that I think about it, it’s not even clear to me how that old MBP even knew it had been thrown off my iCloud. Its wifi has been off since about 2019. It’s never been on Ethernet since <2017. No idea how they pulled this one off. By I know I’m getting my money back,. **** their tech bro bullshit. :angry:

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I wonder if Family Sharing might allow you to get around this problem. Make your regular Apple ID, the one with ADP enabled, the head of household and turn on purchase sharing. Then set up a second Apple ID as a family member that you can use to sign into your older systems.

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Especially because it will take minutes to turn off ADP and the problems go away.

I’ll bet this would work.

That sounded like a great idea.

Alas, somehow Family Sharing isn’t respected by the old HS MAS. Even though the new member is accepted in Family Sharing, the app on the old Mac will still not launch and redownloading (now logged into MAS as the new member) does not work.

Of course it was bought by a different user! That’s what Family Sharing is all about. :man_facepalming:


I think Apple either has begun requiring devices that have not been connected to the Internet for a long time to login or might be responding to sone sort of security breach. The other day I turned on a 1st generation iPad Mini that hadn’t been used for several weeks. The Mini booted to the Activation Lock screen and I had to enter my Apple ID info to get to the Home screen.

“Of course it was bought by a different user! That’s what Family Sharing is all about.”

Does Family Sharing retroactively apply to old apps? It was introduced in 2014, and afaik developers have to do something (toggle a switch?) to support/allow it. I wouldn’t expect it to be retroactive due to the older contract terms, but I’ve never used family sharing. Civ IV was c. 2005-2010 per wikipedia, so unless that version was still in the mac app store for new purchases after 2014, it seems unlikely.

Nah, Apple sold me Civ IV on Feb 18, 2018 for $60. Long after Family Sharing.

Either they restore my copy to the perfect working order it was in only weeks ago, or they will pay me money back.

Needless to say, I’m not spending another $ on “services” from “Apple”. Screw their **** attitude.

I feel your pain, and your frustration. Do not get me started on the number of wacko ways Apple’s various systems simply don’t work like they’re supposed to any longer.

As for the Family Sharing trick, just FYI, not all apps can be shared via Family Sharing. I obviously have no idea who decides (Apple or the developer), but I’ve seen plenty of apps that can’t be shared via Family Sharing.

@Simon, do keep us posted on how you get this resolved, will you?

:+1: Will do. I’m busy with other stuff right now, but I’ll be asking my attorney friend what the best way is to proceed here.

I’m in no way going to waste my time on the phone with some Apple call center person. But I definitely expect them to give me my money back if they insist on breaking something that worked perfectly fine just weeks ago.

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I can sadly believe this is true. :frowning:

It is actually likely to be worse, since once ADP is activated older Macs will not be able to login to the iCloud account they will also be prevented from using the same account for ‘Find my Mac’ and also sharing and syncing contacts and calendar via that iCloud account.

In my own case I happen to use a different MAS account for app purchases and iTunes purchases so that will not affect me but I do have older Apple devices which share the iCloud account for Find My and Contacts/Calendar access.

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Yeah, but that is to be expected because FmM and contacts/calendar syncing are iCloud services. Apple explains this when you sign up for ADP.

What they do not warn you about at all is that ADP will affect things far beyond iCloud. Nowhere do they indicate that perfectly functional apps will from one day to the next become completely useless. And doing that without warning people is just not OK.