iMessage - Multiple Family Members Sharing Same Apple ID

Discussion in 'iOS 5 and earlier' started by boltjames, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Myself, the wife, and 3 kids all share the same Apple ID for downloading/sharing content in iTunes.

    When it comes to iMessage for the iPad, how can I configure so that my conversations with my friends don't become public for all my family members to see on their devices?


  2. macrumors 68000


    Everyone should have their own individual Apple ID. If you wish to share music or apps, etc. then you use Home Sharing.
    After that, you'll never have this problem again since you can iMessage the individual.
  3. macrumors 65816

    Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way in my family. We've each got hundreds of apps and media files all under one shared account.

    So for people in my situation who won't create individual Apple ID's now and be faced with re-purchasing hundreds of dollars of apps/media and/or have to reconfigure our sync's and devices, is there a workaround?

    If I create an individual iCloud ID (not Apple ID) for each of us and use that as the default iCloud email address in our iOS 5 devices will that solve the issue of each of us being able to see each others messages?

  4. macrumors G4


    Unfortunately, you can't, because an iCloud ID IS an Apple ID.
  5. macrumors regular

    Can I load stuff to my iPhone if the GF has bought it on her account and visa versa?

    Didn't know this!

    Are you sure it works for Apps? I must set this up!!
  6. macrumors regular

    You are able to create new email addresses to use for various things like iMessage, FaceTime, yada yada. Each person can have their own for their own device, while still keeping the same iTunes account for the whole family.
  7. macrumors 68000


    No, you are mistaken. Here's why.
    Lets say the main ID is yours. YOu have all the music and apps that everyone has downloaded under that ID. Great. So now let all your family create their own IDs.
    Now, on each and every iTunes you set up home sharing. You set it up using YOUR ID as the main one. Every one else now has 100% access to all those apps, music, etc. that they downloaded earlier.
    So now they have the same access as before, nothing different, but now also have their own ID.
    Now you can iMessage them to their new IDs they've created.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Its really easy
    Create each one a NEW apple id..lets say , etc where u can manage contacts facetime, imessage, calendar etc..

    Then EACH one should go to settings/store and sign in with your old apple id (

    Now u can download apps and still share 1 id for the store/music/books and each one has a separate id for icloud use.

    Hope i made this clear
  9. macrumors newbie

    I have seen this same answer a few times, create new AppleID's for everyone... But I know there is another way.

    I have one AppleID I share with two phones and both my kids iPod touch's, and a couple of iPad's (6 drives total, one ID)

    They all have iMessage and all share my single AppleID for purchases, iCloud and everything else. (This is perfect for Find my iPhone as well)

    All I did was authorize another email address for each, and then use that in iMessage. This lets me contact each separately and by their own email address, this also works for FaceTime.

    You can authorize the new email address inside the FaceTime/iMessage app on that device. The only issue is you have to have access to that email account to answer the authorization email, but that only took a couple of seconds.

    They don't need their own AppleID's

    This only took me a few minutes to setup.

    The cool part is now my 7 year old can text my wife and I on our phones from home, no extra cost at all.

  10. macrumors regular

    That's exactly right, that's how we set it up here. You can use a different Apple ID for your "store" and then create a different id for each of your family members to use just for iMessage, FaceTime, etc - they allow use of different log ins just for those apps. It's working perfectly here. All devices are sharing one apple ID for songs, movies, etc, and using a separate id for iMessage, etc.
  11. h00ligan, Oct 14, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011

    macrumors 68030

    That also means anyone who knows your password can then get your iMessages. Also if they restore the phone themselves, they will get it by default. I know you can remove it later, but it's not a good solution IMO.

    It's really simple..setup each phone with a new id.

    Create a new gmail address

    Goto and change email address to the new one

    Dissociate the other address from it

    Stup store with new credentials.

    The other issue is if everyone has the email address you used for your appleid, and you don't set that up as a valid secondary, nobody will find you unless they all add the new address you added. Gmail users may not have to setup will alias anything with a plus to your account...

    So you may be able to (depending on apple) change your I'd to - this is a useful gmail feature, it allows you to avoid getting on spam lists if you add it to each site you sign up for...

    Just some thoughts.

    Ps I confirmed this works. You can change the mail address to and therefore retain your main email account easily.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    how do you create multiple @me ids? i thought u could only have one
  13. macrumors 6502

    Cloud ID is separate from Apple ID.

    One Apple ID for iTunes purchases.

    Multiple Cloud ID for iMessage, etc.

    Choose separate Cloud ID when setting up email in iCloud on each separate device, when it asks for address, that is the new iCloud ID.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    How does she do this? Using what device at home?
  15. macrumors newbie

    My son has an iPod touch with IOS5 and iMessage setup as I detailed above.

    He can send messages to either of us.

  16. mantan, Oct 14, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011

    macrumors 65816

    I think Apple caused a lot of confusion by poor nomenclature. By using the generic term Apple ID, it's not intiuitve you can create different ID for FaceTime, iMessage, etc - while maintaining a shared ID for iTunes.

    IMHO, they should used iTunes ID for that ID and used Apple ID for subsequent ID's used for other apps. That would make it a lot easier for people to understand where to share (iTunes ID) and where to set up individual ID's (FaceTime, iMessage, etc.)
  17. macrumors 65816

    Thank you for the response, I still have a few challenges:

    1. My kids are 7, 10, and 13. The 13 year old has his own PC, but the others (and my wife) all share the same PC with the same instance of iTunes.

    2. Creating Apple ID's for the kids will allow them to download their own content which is something I want to manage and edit.

    3. I'd have to put a credit card against each new Apple ID which can lead to downloading that I'm not prepared to spend towards.



    Very clear! Thank you.

    So I can have 1 Apple ID for iTunes purchases and 5 Apple ID's for iMessage.


  18. macrumors 68040


    2. don't give them the password
    3. no you don't.
  19. macrumors 65816


    If a family shares a apple id and all use that to sign in to iCloud you will have a problem I have seen it. First iCloud will think u are one person and merge all contacts between whole family unless you turn off the contact feature. Second is you are limited how much backup space you get and the family will share the 5 gb. If enough share the id it will b easy to go over.
  20. macrumors 65816

    Password: I want to give my 7, 9, and 13 year old's their passwords for free apps they want to download.

    Credit Card: If there's no credit card on their iTunes Apple ID's, can they download free apps?

  21. macrumors 65816


    You put parental settings on their I device
  22. macrumors 68030

    Every device allows you to create when activating.
  23. macrumors 6502a

    I have 2 kids, each with their own iPhones. We have a family iTunes ID for the app/iTunes store. If they need to download an app, they have to ask me or hubby to do it for them.

    They do have their own MobileMe (now iCloud) account. On their iPhones, their app store ID and their iCloud ID are different. They use the iCloud ID, which has no credit card information tied to it, for iMessaging and Facetime.

    If they want to buy an app or music, they have to ask us and we use the family account to purchase it.
  24. macrumors 68030

    Again, the issue with keeping your main email as your app store account and sharing that is anyone can setup your iMessage or FaceTime. Is much better to change the email of the account to be shared, and keep your own **** to yourself.
  25. macrumors 68000

    Thanks for this... I had the exact same problem since my wife and son share my Apple ID for app purchases. I have now changed my wife's iPhone and my son's iPod Touch to their own NEW Apple ID for iMessage and Facetime, BUT...

    1. How can I change the iCloud Setting from my Apple ID email address to their new Apple ID email addresses? My email address is greyed out and it won't let me edit it. Any suggestions?

    2. Other than iMessage and Facetime, is there anything else I should change from my Apple ID to theirs?

    Thanks! :)

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