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Question: How to stop Apple from assuming an Apple ID is an active email address?

Apple's "Apple ID" was chosen as the PRIMARY key to a User's identification. While the superficial support pages imply that changing your Apple ID is just two clicks away, however, the original Apple ID NEVER goes away. Once I looked further into this issue, I discovered the ONLY way to completely remove an Apple ID would be to wipe the hard drive create a new Apple ID which assumes you are a NEW USER.

The downside of even this drastic step, has dire consequences. First, there is NO METHOD of MERGING the information from the original Apple ID and transfer it to the New Apple ID. Second, every purchase, which includes all paid Apps, iTunes Music, any historic information is simply GONE. However, your original Apple ID NEVER goes away. The User can log back into their original Apple ID and everything will be where they left off.

Rather than state the obvious regarding the complete lack of foresight when forcing a User to create their Apple ID with an Email Address. User's change primary email addresses as often as they change clothes. Most new users are completely unaware that whatever email address they choose, is a permanent choice.

In addition, all that the exercise in changing a user's Apple ID results in is creating an "alias" which will serve as your Apple ID, however, the original ID remains the PRIMARY Key.

Once a user realizes this by logging in to their account page is they just created an additional email Apple ID that also cannot be deleted. The community posts must have a thousand comments and questions that appear to remain unanswered. In addition, Apple "DOES NOT" allow a User to designate their "primary email address" when communicating with the User. They use the email in that is the primary Apple ID. Because this hard coded issue was part of the Original code, every upgrade regardless of how massive the changes are will NEVER change this problem. To literally change an Apple ID, every purchase made from the time it was created are GONE! iCloud is new and has no record of past usage. Does anyone know if any secret method of getting around this issue. I am getting ready to end my email account which was ONLY kept open because of this issue.

Any assistance would be appreciated!

Thank you

MacBook Pro with Retina display, macOS Sierra (10.12.2), Core Processor I7, 3.0, 16GB Memory

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Nov 18, 2017 12:41 PM in response to rossguy In response to rossguy

I don't think you will find me disagreeing with anything in your post. Apple does not seem to make this easily "digestible" for most of us.


A few comments on what I have gathered on this topic:

  1. There are basically two types of Apple ID "usernames:"
    • Those that are based on an Apple email address, i.e., @icloud.com, @me.com, or @mac.com
    • All other valid non-Apple email addresses.
  2. Apple recently provided a means for users with non-Apple email addresses to change to an Apple email address for their Apple ID accounts. Ref: Apple Now Letting Apple IDs With Third-Party Email Addresses Be Updated to Apple Email Addresses - MacRumors
  3. Apple does NOT provide a means to change Apple email addresses for Apple IDs.
  4. All purchases made at the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBooks Store are associated with a single Apple ID. They are not transferable to another ID. They would have to be repurchased.
  5. Apple does provide a number of support articles related to the above comments. There are also a number of non-Apple articles floating around the Internet, as well. Some examples:
  6. Finally, I believe the only method to resolve Apple ID issues, including email address associations, combining or deleting IDs, will require a second or higher tier Apple Support technician.

Nov 18, 2017 12:41 PM

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Nov 18, 2017 12:52 PM in response to rossguy In response to rossguy

The only way I can think of to resolve this is to contact iTunes Support to see if they have the capability and are willing to transfer your purchases to a new ID. You may need to politely ask to speak to a level 2 support person.


Scroll to the bottom of the page in the 2nd link.


iTunes Support



iTunes Support – world wide

Nov 18, 2017 12:52 PM

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Question: How to stop Apple from assuming an Apple ID is an active email address?