11 Replies Latest reply: Nov 7, 2011 11:12 PM by DuviPete
hestiansun Level 1 (0 points)

I know this question seemingly has been asked and answered, but I've tried doing this multiple times and it is flat out not working.


I would like to use my primary email address (call it EMAILP) as my Apple ID for my new iPhone. However, that email address is currently being occupied as a secondary email address for a different Apple ID, which I do *NOT* want to use as the Apple ID for my new iPhone.


How can I remove my primary email address from its link to an existing Apple ID? I've tried to do the steps listed here and now it is no longer listed as an email address for that Apple ID, but I cannot create an Apple ID using that email address as the Apple ID.


This is extremely frustrating, and I do not want to be stuck using a secondary (spam-box) email address as the Apple ID for my phone.


Is there some 'secret' way to do this? The documentation everywhere seems to indicate that what would have been an ideal solution, changing the Apple ID to match the primary email address, exists, and in fact, the website support urges me to do that, but when I click 'save' it doesn't ACTUALLY do it.


Am I doing something wrong, or is the website broken today, or is just whole thing just fouled up?


Any advice appreciated.


  • Dah•veed Level 7 (33,410 points)

    You do not want to be making Apple IDs willy nilly. You should only have 1 Apple ID if you do not wish to run into issues of multiple IDs in the future. You should be using the same Apple ID you use for your account here in the Apple Support Communities for iTunes, the Mac App Store and any Apple iDevices that you have.

  • hestiansun Level 1 (0 points)

    That's my goal, however, I want it to be the CORRECT one. If I could modify the existing one to reflect my primary email address, I would do that. It would seem, from reading the support documentation, that it should be doable. But when I actually followed those instructions, it didn't actually do anything. That's what my concern is.

  • Dah•veed Level 7 (33,410 points)
    If I could modify the existing one to reflect my primary email address

    What do you mean by that? What are you trying to do that you cannot accomplish?

  • hestiansun Level 1 (0 points)

    I go to appleid.apple.com.

    I click "Manage your account"

    I login.

    I click on 'Edit' Next to "Apple ID and Primary Email Address".

    It creates an edit box in which I replace the existing AppleID email address (the secondary one), with the one I want to have as my AppleID. I click "Save changes".

    It tells me "This email address is already in use or you may already have an Apple ID associated with this email address. Please try again or sign in using your existing Apple ID."

    This is with it currently listed as an email address for this account.

    Previously, I had an option (which doesn't appear anymore) to use a dropdown to change my AppleID to my primary email address, which I selected, but it didn't do anything at all.


    All I want to do is have my AppleID be my real, primary email address, instead of my secondary, Internet posting only, email address. Real people know me by my real name/email address, which is what I want to use for my phone. That email address, however, is attached as a secondary email address to this AppleID.


    Does that make more sense? I'm sorry if I'm using ambigious language, I'm doing my best to try to explain what I am trying to accomplish. I appreciate the effort at helping.

  • Dah•veed Level 7 (33,410 points)

    Is this email address already listed in the account as a secondary email address? If so you should remove it first.


    Or, have you ever in the past created an Apple ID using this email address?

  • mignac Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the exact same problem as Hestiansun.


    I have an exsiting Apple ID merged with a primary email address. I want my secondary email address (both are verified) to be by my Apple ID/Primary. I tried editing the Apple ID/Primary field but it kept saying:


    "This email address is already in use or you may already have an Apple ID associated with this email address. Please try again or sign in using your existing Apple ID."


    I already deleted my secondary email address (the one I want to make into my Apple ID/Primary) but it still gives the same message.


    I hope someone can offer a solution. Thanks!

  • DuviPete Level 1 (10 points)

    HI all,


    same here. Dah-veed is trying but no help at all...SHOULD and all that is the past. of course by now we know that we SHOULD only have one blah blah...


    fact is, if you search google, it seems apple has a serious bug issue. over the years i have alas accumulated several apple IDs for various services (facetime, itunes, this support forum, etc) and all associated with some differnent but also same email addresses. currently i have at least 4 apple ID - of which 3 associate with my @mac.com email (two primary, one as alternate)

    i have tried multiple times to edit or delete these. no luck. also, some are unverified. clicking RESEND VERIFICATION sends: nothing. or, THIS EMAIL IS ALREADY ASSOCIATED WITH ANOTHER ACCOUNT.

    or, when clicking DELETE, i get the: DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DELETE, and then: nothing.


    confounded. in some forums i found via google some people have said that after 4-5 hrs the email suddenly actually was removed. in my case, i have done this last night and tonight again, so 24 hrs time span in between...nothing.


    i have contacted apple supprt via itunes (i find it really really difficult to contact any kind of apple supprt) this evening and received the: replies usually within 24 hrs email.


    lets see what happens. ideally, i would like to to "kill" 3 of 4 IDs and thereby free up all associated addresses. i have no problem setting up facetime etc again.

    also, in the end, you can add all the spread out addresses to your one apple ID and have them work with all services.

    this whole mess came to light as i was trying to set up iMessage on my iphone and ipad and couldnt use my .mac email as it was 'CURRENTLY ASSOCIATED WITH ANOTHER APPLE ID...



    DEAR APPLE> this is really crap what you are doing at the moment...


    not really any ideas how to help, hestiansun, just to say: you are not alone with this issue...

  • Dah•veed Level 7 (33,410 points)

    Blah, blah, blah....


    I have one Apple ID. It consists of an @mac.com address that I created when all of this was first introduced a number of years ago. The @mac.com address was created for a 90 day free trial of the mac.com service. I did not find anything useful in the service to make me want to pay US$100 a year to use, so I dropped the mac.com service when the tial ended, but I have easily maintained the @mac.com Apple ID, even though my current primary email address is a gmail account. The issue is not with Apple, the issue seems to be with folks who willy nilly create new Apple IDs and then later regret the consequences and want Apple to clean up the mess that they have made of their account. With as many folks who have made the mess of things as you report, it would seem that Apple would want to fix it as you state that Apple should, so it seems obvious to me that it is not as simple a fix for Apple as you imply that it is. And so Apple has stood its ground and does not appear to be able to easily fix the mess folks have made of things.

  • Atomic Al Level 2 (415 points)

    Hi Dah•veed!


    I have my original Apple ID from way back, too. I changed it from a user name to an email address as suggested when the iTunes store started in full swing, even upgraded to iCloud with it. I put in a secondary email (gmail) at some point as my original is tied to an ISP.


    I have an @me.com ID also, but I had already invested too much in my original ID to start using it for Apple Stores. When MobileMe was first used, they ask for an Alternate Email Address. (An alternate email address is used to help retrieve forgotten passwords and for other important account information.) I put in my email address that happens to be my original Apple ID. Which happens to be my main contact.


    At some point, I put my @me.com as secondary in my original ID, too. I wasn't using Gmail that much and I liked: (An alternate email address is used to help retrieve forgotten passwords and for other important account information.)


    So, after spending some time in these forums and seeing a few posts about people not getting the verification emails or Email address is already verified for another Apple ID, I decided to see if I could replicate this. On Apple ID, I removed the @me.com secondary email from my original account, saved and signed out. I removed the original email from my @me.com account, saved and then went to verify my @me.com address - Email address is already verified for another Apple ID.


    Now, when I remove the @me.com from my original account, that should have freed it up? Also, when you log in to MM, you can no longer change the alternate email. I chatted with MM support yesterday, transferred to a Senior Advisor and they "need more time to work on your issue".


    I think there's more to this than just willy-nilly creating IDs. My two cents.



  • Dah•veed Level 7 (33,410 points)

    Sorry, this is a bit convoluted and English is not my first language. I do not follow you. In the end it is no longer important to me and I shall no longer venture into topics with this issue.

  • DuviPete Level 1 (10 points)

    fact remains, david, that apple has created a conundrum here. where it used to be acceptable to have several appleID's (i know i know, we should only have one, and are all of us willy nillys for creating more) associated with one email address, this 'privilege' has been revoked by apple - and therefore your beloved apple has created this mess.

    btw, i have ca. 15 apple computers and 8 iToys between my home and my work.

    life is not always so simple for everyone to just have one appleID - but this is something some of us still need to learn.