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Matthew Palm Level 1 (40 points)

Hi all:



I have just downloaded OS X 10.7.2, and am currently downloading iOS 5 (or at least trying to).


I have not yet set up iCloud since I'm not totally sure how best to do it.


Here is my situation:


I currently have an Apple ID which is a single word (created years ago when iTunes first came out). Let's call that "matthew."


The email associated with that Apple ID we'll call ""


My "matthew" Apple ID is what I use for iTunes, the App Store, Game Center, this discussion forum, etc.


What I want to do is create a new ID, which I'll call "," and then use that as my new primary email address. Also, I would like to use this with iCloud.


I know that Apple does not allow IDs to merge, meaning I can't have my old "matthew" Apple ID become a part of my new "" ID.


So, I believe my only option is to have two Apple IDs: my existing "matthew" Apple ID and my new "" ID. Right?


However, I am not sure how best to do this.


If I set up a new "" ID in iCloud, how will iCloud know all my previously downloaded apps and music that were downloaded using my "matthew" Apple ID?


Will I be forced to continually sign in and out within apps such as the iTunes Store?


And what if I simply wanted to try iCloud right now using my existing Apple ID? I know that first I would have to change that ID ("matthew") to an email address, right? And then I would sign into iCloud.


But what if I later decided no, I want iCloud to be administered through a new ID? Can I sign out of iCloud, set up "," then sign back into iCloud and start using it with the new ID?


My main concern is that I do not want to close any doors on myself by setting things up in the wrong order.


Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated!



iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • Julian Wright Level 7 (34,860 points)

    These support articles should help you decide the best course of action: and

  • Matthew Palm Level 1 (40 points)

    Thanks, Julian. I saw thopse support pages, and they were helpful.


    But I still have questions.


    Of course, I could just sign into iCloud with my existing Apple ID, but I am in a minority situation I think -- I want to use iCloud AND I want to set up a NEW primary email account, using


    I just want to be sure I understand what exactly I will sacrifice by basically dividing up my Apple IDs into my existing Apple ID (with 5+ years of info attached to it, including iTunes purchases and Apple Discussion forums postings) and a new ID using the domain.


    Any thoughts?

  • RJG1999 Level 1 (20 points)

    Hi - I could be wrong, but if all you want is a new primary email address, you can use your existing Apple ID.  You should be prompted for an email address when you activate mail in iCloud.  For example, I have an Apple ID and a new email address that I just created.


    Also found this:

    Can I use an Apple ID that isn't an email address to sign up for an iCloud account?

    No. Your Apple ID must be a full email address (e.g. in order to sign up for an iCloud account. You can change your existing Apple ID to be in the format of an email address if it is not already


    Hope that helps.

  • supermurph Level 2 (155 points)

    I'm in the exact situation that Matthew poses, if I understand correctly.  I changed my one word Apple ID to a gmail account address.  I then used that to activate iCloud so everything is together.  While on my Mac, iCloud automatcially activated calendars, bookmarks, contacts syncing, but left Mail unchecked.  When I checked Mail in the iCloud settings, it prompted me to setup a address. 


    I've now done that thinking that I could then circle back and change my Apple ID to this email address and then have it perfect.  However, when trying to do that, it said that I can't use a MobileMe address for this.  Since it would be obvious for somebody to want to make their address the primary address for this, it seems like a strange error.  On top of this, I am not able to get into the Mail application on the iCloud website without error, and any emails I send to my new address get returned.


    So, I think that my procedure may be exactly correct, but there are currently issues on iCloud preventing it from working at this time.  I'm not sure of this, but it doesn't seem right.  So, I'm going to call Apple tonight or tomorrow to check it out and will post back if an answer isn't found before I get it.


    I hope that helps.

  • Matthew Palm Level 1 (40 points)

    Hi supermurph:


    What you described is exactly what I want to do, too.


    But from what I understand -- and from what Apple has said repeatedly -- you cannot change an Apple ID to an email address. Apple just doesn't allow it.


    But maybe that will change. Obviously, there is the demand for it.


    Meanwhile, I am torn about whether I should just jump in and start using iCloud with my existing Apple ID, and then set up an email address later. I worry that that will close a door for me if/when I do set up my email address and then assign THAT new ID to be my iCloud ID.


    Very confusing.

  • supermurph Level 2 (155 points)

    I've had a MobileMe account for a few years, but was not using the email.  So, it was an easy decision to use my iTunes "purchases" account because I did not want to lose my purchase history.  I might have it wrong, but am assuming that you want to maintain that history for iTunes in the Cloud, so if you choose to migrate MobileMe, you are choosing to retain two seperate accounts. 


    Therefore, I think where I've ended up is that I can have a new address and start to use it on the same account where I have purchases and all of my sync items.  Seems like a win over the dual account way except for not having the address be a sign in.  Not perfect, but still better than two accounts.

  • Matthew Palm Level 1 (40 points)

    Thanks, murph.


    Let me see if I follow you.


    I do indeed have an existing Apple ID that I have used for years with iTunes, and there are a lot of purchases (music and apps) tied to that account. So yes, I would very much like to keep using this ID (or at least all the metadata associated with that ID).


    The ID I have is a single word, let's call it "Matthew." I know that if I want to use this existing Apple ID with iCloud, I have to change it to an email address, which I understand is pretty easy to do on Apple's website. So, let's say I go ahead and do that -- I would then have a newly named Apple ID that was ""


    This is where I get lost. If I did then want to go set up an email, how would I be able to tie that to my existing Apple ID? It seems everything Apple says is that that's not possible.

  • faxao Level 1 (0 points)

    Now this is getting really tricky and I am getting kind of lost.


    I too have a "one word" Apple ID since many years and when I try to set up iCloud on my Mac I am prompted with the usual warning for using an e-mail address instead of the single word. Apple suggests me to use my verified address.


    Now if I do use my gmail account, that means that all my one word Apple ID account track record will be lost ?


    Really confusing....

  • Matthew Palm Level 1 (40 points)

    Hi faxao:


    No - changing your Apple ID to your email will not affect your account information.


    Here is what I did:


    First, I went to the Apple ID management page ( and I changed my existing one-word ID to the primary email address associated with that ID.


    From that point on, my Apple ID now became my email address. My password remained the same, and my 8+ years of history with iTunes/Apple remained the same. All this did was change the name of my Apple ID -- my Apple ID account is still the same.


    Then, I opened up iCloud in System Preferences and I signed in using my new email address ID (which was really my existing Apple account, just with a different name).


    From that point on, after signing in on other devices, I could sync anything and everything I wanted between my iPhone, iPad, and iMac, and all my years of purchase history (not to mention Discussion forums, App Store, Game Center, etc.) remained intact and accessible by iCloud.


    In my cae, however, I also wanted to create a new email address. I did so in System Preferences > iCloud, then checking Mail & Notes. At that point I was prompted to choose an email address. (Do so carefully as you cannot change it once you select one.)


    So far so good. But my ultimate goal was to then make my NEW email address the primary email address associated with my Apple ID. And of course, this is not possible.


    Interestingly enough, this all happened while an Apple rep was on the phone. He walked me through all of the above (his good advice was to sign into iCloud with whatever existing Apple ID you have, to insure all history gets ported over). Then he said, "OK, now let's go back to the Apple ID management page and change your email to the new email."


    I told him, "Um, I don't think that will work."


    And sure enough, when I tried to change my Apple ID email to my new email, I got a warning saying that wasn't possible.


    The good news is that my iCloud ID and Apple ID are now one and the same for me, and all seems to be syncing without any problems. The bad news is that if I want to change my email to, I will be stuck with an old email address as my Apple ID.


    The guy on the phone said Apple is working on this, so maybe they'll make Apple ID merging possible soon.


    One can dream...


    I hope this helps.

  • mercsd Level 1 (20 points)

    Hey Matthew,


    It's all actually very simple, though the documentation makes it sound like a mess.  To do this correctly:


    1. Use your existing Anonymous Apple ID when asked during the initial setup if iOS 5. (Anonymous Apple ID is any non-Apple email based account.)
    2. Go through the setup for using a SINGLE Apple ID.
    3. When you are ready to setup iCloud, make sure that you are using this Anonymous Apple ID and it will create an iCloud account for it after asking you the primary email address that you want to use.  It must be a new address that has never been used before, not evan as an alias.
    4. You can now sign in to as either your Anonymous Apple ID, or as the primary email address, using the password from the Anonymous Apple ID account.


    Unfortunately, I learned this too late and ended up with 2 iCloud accounts.  If you are in the same situation as myself, you may need to:


    1. Delete the iCloud account fromt he device.
    2. Delete all of the iCloud email accounts from the device.
    3. Remove all the logins from all of your Settings (i.e. iTunes, App Store, etc.).
    4. Go back into iCloud settings and setup iCloud for your Anonymous Apple ID (the reason for this is that it is tied to all of your existing purchases and you will have problems in the future if you don't).
    5. Setup the logins for all of the Settings that you removed, using your Anonymous Apple ID.
    6. Add any additional iCloud accounts that you have as additional email accounts.


    I hope this helps.

  • MrBaconpants Level 1 (0 points)

    Is there a timeline or a way to get notified when this fix goes live?

  • Audrey Lepere Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Matthew,


    Yesterday I was having all the same concerns as you, except that my Apple ID has always been a full email address.


    I set up iCloud using my existing Apple ID rather than creating a new one, and chose to create a new email address.


    This email address now shows as an alternative email address when I check the information on the My Apple ID webpage, but as you say, cannot be used as the primary address.


    I have iCloud working perfectly with this set up, and have configured my Mail application on my Macbook to use the address. This is fantastic, since the main attraction for me in upgrading to Lion OS' and in setting up iCloud, was to have a new apple address which I could configure in Mail. Yahoo never successfully configured in Mail.


    I hoped that I would be able to discontinue all other email providers now that Apple were giving us free addresses and webmail functionality. I think it's fantastic - I'm just frustrated that I have to retain my Yahoo account, only because it is my primary Apple ID address.


    Something I tried as an after thought was to delete the new address that was associated with my Apple ID on the My Apple ID webpage, and then create a new Apple ID with the address that I had chosen. When I tried to choose the email address that I wanted it was taken, even though I had removed it from my existing Apple ID.


    Since that idea hadn't worked, I have stuck with what I had - my existing Apple ID (a Yahoo address) and a new email address associated with it.


    I only hope that in the future, Apple can remove the need to retain non Apple email accounts as primary email accounts for Apple IDs. Then I can finally close Yahoo!!

  • Matthew Palm Level 1 (40 points)

    Hi Audrey:


    Yup. We are in exactly the same place.


    I, too, have a new email address, but I am still forced to keep the old Apple ID email address alive. (Mine is also a Yahoo account.)


    I do believe Apple will eventually allow IDs to merge. (I think Tim Cook recently sent out an email to someone in the Netherlands hinting as much.)


    As far as your problem with deleting your email address, and then trying to add it back -- the reason Apple did not allow you to do that is because it *is* already in you.


    Rest assured, that ID still belongs to you. Unfortunately, we have to wait for Apple to fix this problem before you can add it back into your current/main ID.


    It is frustrating...but at least you're not alone!

  • Moris Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Matthew and Audrey (and all...)


    I'm in the same situation, with the slight difference that my goal is to keep my existing Apple ID for purchases on iTunes and Apple Store only (for the whole family), and the freshly created (by iCloud setup)

    "" as new Apple ID for iCloud, iMessages, etc.


    I also tried to remove the mail address as alternate address from my current Apple ID and use it as new Apple ID, but without success.


    Since after reading a ton of posts on this argument I'm a little confused (...), could you please confirm that till now:


    - you can't use the new email address as new Apple ID

    - you can't use the new email address as primary email address for an existing Apple ID

    - Apple is working to remove these restrictions



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