AppleIDS, MobileMe, iCloud and Sharing: A Guide

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by dhy8386, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. dhy8386, Oct 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012

    dhy8386 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008

    There is tremendous confusion around how to set up iCloud in family/multi person environments given everyones Apple legacy accounts so I thought I would post a guide. Hopefully this is helpful and accurate and clear!

    Before you read this post, below are some useful links to get you started with iOS5 and iCloud which I suggest you may want to read first as the below addresses the most common problems I have come across.

    Getting Started, AppleIDs and iCloud -
    Creating an iCloud account FAQ -
    Apple FAQ on AppleIDs -
    Changing your AppleID -
    Apple Community Support for iCloud -

    iLounge's Secret Tips & Tricks for Setting up iOS5 and iCloud (very good resource covering a lot of the below) -

    Some definitions:

    AppleIDs - AppleIDs can be any email address (or for very longtime users, just a simple one word name - NOTE APPLE IS GOING TO MAKE YOU CHANGE THIS TO AN EMAIL IF YOU GO ICLOUD). Many people used .Mac email addresses as their AppleID and then those converted to @me accounts. It doesn't matter. Apple allows you to have separate AppleIDs (not that you want it) for iTunes/App/Book Store ("iTAB") purchases, FaceTime, iMessage and even iCloud.

    NOTE: iTAB IDs or those used for making purchases in iTunes are the IDs that will be tied to iTunes Match when it is released. This means that if you upload all your music under one iTAB ID and want many people to have access to it, they will all need to share this ID for the Store login. See below.

    MobileMe IDs - Many people signed up for MM and by default, also made their AppleID for iTAB purchases their MM address. This creates some confusion i will address below. But MM accounts are the email addresses with the naming convention.

    iCloud Accounts/IDs - iCloud accounts are also defined by an AppleID but this AppleID can be many things. They can be 1) the same as the existing AppleID for the iTAB, 2) your current MM login (in which case if you use your MM account it will be converted to an iCloud account automatically upon first sign in), 3) a new @me account which you can sign up for when you first see the iCloud account setup on your phone, 4) a new email address of your choosing (lets say a Yahoo account).

    iMessage IDs - By default, iMessage will be set up with your iCloud AppleID when you first set up iCloud. But keep in mind, Apple allows you to change this under Settings>Messages. What you do here is simply a decision of whether you want the particular iDevice to show iMessages for a specific account. But iMessage can be set up to show many different AppleIDs so it is flexible in that regards.

    Scenario 1:
    You have an existing AppleID that is currently used by your family or just by you for iTunes/App/Book Store ("iTAB") purchases. You want to share this ID across the family so everyone has access to previously purchased content via the cloud.

    iCloud Option 1: Separate iCloud account for each family member. No photostream or doc sync sharing
    MAIN USER: You have two options. First, when you set up your iCloud for first time, use this same account as the login credentials. This is a "clean" option. This iCloud ID (which is your iTAB ID) will also be set up as your default iTAB ID on your iDevice under the Settings>Store so you don't have to go into the App store or iTunes store and set it up. [NOTE: Keep in mind this means that if you use the same AppleID for iCloud and iTAB, anyone else sharing your iTAB also has your iCloud password] Alternatively, you could create a new iCloud ID at setup, Since this is a new ID and not tied to your iTAB ID, once the phone is setup, go into Settings>Store and logout the current ID (remember, by default the iCloud ID you just signed up with) and enter the credentials for

    SECONDARY USERS/OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS: For other family members that want to set up iCloud, each should create (or use) their unique AppleID to sign into iCloud and these IDs are distinct from the shared iTAB ID of Lets call this However, this family member wants to be able to share the iTAB purchases under the main account. Easy. Once iDevice is setup, go into Settings>Store and logout the current ID (remember, by default the iCloud ID you just signed up with) and enter the credentials for The result is separate iCloud accounts to manage individual photostreams, find my phone, calendar, contacts, reminders, etc but still retaining access to previously purchased content of the iTAB account.

    iCloud Option 1 Note: MobileMe
    If any family member is currently using MM, they should convert this to an iCloud account upon iCloud setup. This will occur automatically. When asked to enter an iCloud ID for first time, enter your MM credentials and then your MM account will be converted to an iCloud account. Your MM login info becomes your iCloud login. The reason to do this is because Apple is going to auto move all MM to iCloud anyway so your better off doing it yourself to keep things more tidy. [NOTE: If you have or create an @me account, but decide to login to iCloud with a different AppleID, and then try and go and turn on Mail for that account, it will ask you to create an @me account. Why? Because to use Mail under iCloud you need an @me address yet you have signed into iCloud with some other handle (Yahoo, Gmail, hotmail, etc). This has consequences, in that Apple will then not let you use the @me account you previously created for use with Mail. You will need to add it as a separate, secondary iCloud account or create a brand new @me. ]

    iCloud Option 2: Separate iCloud account for each family member. But shared photostream and doc sync sharing
    NOTE: Sharing an iCloud account, and thus making it the master account on multiple devices, means you will only have 5GB of storage free for all devices.
    WHOLE FAMILY: There is another way to set this up, but this way is the cleanest. Create an AppleID to be used as the main iCloud account for every family member. In this case, it can be a new @me account you create, an existing shared one, or you can even use your iTAB AppleID in this case. Any person in the family can set this up. Lets just say Main user upgrade to iOS5, and upon initial iCloud setup, does this Whole Family option for their device. We will call this account,
    MAIN USER: Assuming this user set up the account and the iCloud on their device is set up as, the next step is to now create their own distinct iCloud ID. We do this because in order to share photostream, everyone in the family MUST BE LOGGED IN TO THE SAME ICLOUD AS THE MASTER ICLOUD ACCOUNT. Go into Settings>Mail, iCal, etc and create a new iCloud account. You have the option of entering your AppleID if you have a separate one (maybe your MM account) or you can create a new one, with the button at the bottom. Once you set that up, you will have your own Mail, Cal, Contacts, and Reminders.
    SECONDARY USERS/OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS: Each family member does the exact same setup as the Main user. When logging into iCloud for first time, each member enters as their iCloud account and then goes and sets up their own iCloud account.

    iCloud Option 2 Note (a): SHARING
    As for accessing each others information, again you have options. Either, you can use that main accounts calendar and contacts and reminders as shared for everyone. All stuff that should be shared gets placed on that accounts respective calendar, contact book, etc. But you may find this too tedious. Instead, each family member can add the other's iCloud account. Just go back to Settings and add another iCloud account of the family member. Then, you just turn on that family members respective calendar, contact, reminder. In this case, you would likely turn off the main accounts calendar, contacts, reminders since they are not being used.

    iCloud Option 2 Note (b): SIRI
    If you read the above Note (a) on SHARING, one of the unfortunate side affects of sharing contacts across people is that Siri does not distinguish between the contacts in the address book. As a result, Siri will get confused who the owner of the phone is (it uses the contact ID for this) and the relationships you define for Siri (i.e. Wide, Mom, Brother) will also be shared and your therefore cannot have competing relationships. For example, if your wife has defined you as husband in her address book, Siri will always refer to you as "Husband" not your name. Another example, if I define my mother as "Mom" so I could tell Siri, "Call Mom" or "Where is Mom" then when my wife, who has done the same thing for her mother on her phone, goes to say the same commands, Siri will be confused. I have not found a workaround for this yet.

    Scenario 1 Common Questions:
    Q: How do I setup multiple iCloud accounts/IDs?
    A: A few ways. The easiest way is that each person sets up their own iCloud account on their iDevice at the initial setup. Assuming you yourself want two IDs or want to set it up for someone else, there are two options. On the Device, go under Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendar>Add Account. There you will see either enter the iCloud credentials or at the bottom, get a free AppleID. Choose this option, walk through the steps of creating a new AppleID and then you have your new iCloud account. Other method is on the computer under Lion 10.7.2, there is now an iCloud System preference. You can set up iCloud accounts/IDs there.

    Q: I have an old .mac account that was upgrade to MobileMe, how does moving to iCloud affect me?
    A: There is no different if you have one of these legacy accounts. If you are still using your @mac email to log into your iTAB account, you can continue to do so. When asked to sign up for a new iCloud account on your device, you can just use your MM credentials before or after you have migrated MM to iCloud. You will either be prompted to do so if you have not migrated or it will simply set you up with iCloud. You don't even need to change the iTAB login as the @mac and @me accounts are interchangeable from a AppleID perspective.

    Q: Can i have multiple iCloud accounts on 1 phone?
    A: Yes. The initial iCloud account you sign up with is your "master" account. This is important because any iOS device can only have one master iCloud account. The master iCloud account is tied into photostream, your device backup and settings, Docs sharing, and Find my iDevice. So if is the master iCloud account, you can add as the second iCloud account. Why do this? To share calendars, reminders, and contacts. However, you will not be able to share's photo stream, doc sharing, or device settings obviously. Find my iPhone is a little tricky in that you could disable it on the master iCloud account and turn it on in the secondary iCloud account. You would do this to tie Find my iDevice to one account so you can see all devices under that one account (similar to how it has been in the past).

    Q: What about iMessage. If we share iCloud accounts won't we each see the others iMessages? Can we all have our own iMessage IDs?
    A: iMessage allows you to assign it yet another distinct ID. Its under Settings>Messages. But in practice the most likely use case is just to assign iMessage your unique iCloud AppleID. In the case of an iPad, you may choose to give it its own ID or more likely, you may assign it to one persons account or add everyones account so the iPad is truly a shared device. Of course every family members iMessages would be set to show up there but this may be ok for everyone.

    Q: What about iTunes in the Cloud? How does that work now?
    A: This is really two distinct items. Lets call this previous iTunes Purchases and iTunes Match (not yet available). Both of these are tied to the iTAB ID not the iCloud ID. For previous iTunes Purchases, and assuming everyone is sharing the iTAB account, you can go into the iTunes app and there is a section called Purchased. Under here, you will see every song/movie/show ever purchased and it is available for download. Each family member,regardless of their iCloud account can download this music to their device to be mixed in with the current Music library already synced from the computer. If family member A and family member B have different libraries or have synced different playlists, its doesn't matter. The music is just downloaded to the device as another song.

    iTunes Match is also tied to the iTAB ID. So for example, if you have uploaded your entire library via iTunes Match, which was inclusive of songs purchased through iTunes and songs ripped via other means, all your music is now stored in the cloud [dont think iCloud though]. If you want that available, you have to turn on iTunes Match on the iDevice. BUT THIS HAS CONSEQUENCES. Turning on Match will wipe clean your current Music library on your iDevice. Instead, your Music app (not the iTunes app) will show all the same songs you just wiped (assuming it matched 100%) except that they will all be available for download. Meaning, you will need to redownload all the songs you want in your library. Each family member can do this or not do this as again, Match is tied into the ITAB ID. Each family member can also choose to download whichever songs they want. They will not be synced across devices.

    Scenario 2: You have multiple AppleIDs in the family that have purchased their own iTAB content but with iCloud now, you want to unify them. How do you do that and still setup separate iCloud accounts.

    iCloud Option 3:
    In order to unify content from multiple AppleIDs, you need to copy all purchases from the other IDs onto the computer you sync with your iDevice. You then need to authorize that computer to all the different AppleIDs. Once that is done, all your iTAB content can by synced to your iDevice. If your family all uses separate computers to manage their iDevice, but you still want to unify the purchases, you do the same thing on each computer. The key is picking one AppleID to use going forward. So if the family has,, and, each that has been used for iTAB purchases, I would choose as the single iTAB account going forward. Each person would need to authorize the other two accounts that is not on their computer, download all the content into their iTunes libraries. Then everyone signs in as going forward.

    The rest of the setup is the same as iCloud Option 1 or 2 above. When it comes time to setup the iTAB AppleID, you use the Your device will have all content from the other two family IDs and going forward, anything purchased under is available to everyone. BUT THIS METHOD DOES NOT MAKE THE PREVIOUS PURCHASES UNDER FAMILY1@ME.COM AND FAMILY2@ME.COM AVAILABLE IN THE CLOUD FOR REDOWNLOAD UNDER FAMILY@ME.COM. It only serves to get each iDevice access to the collective content and then positions the family to have one ID going forward for all purchases.

    Scenario 2 Common Questions:
    Q: Can I migrate an old AppleID which is tied to iTAB content to a new one that I want to set up as my new iCloud ID?
    A: Yes you can. You can manage this at Apples website. However, this new AppleID under iCloud cannot be an @me account. They restrict this for some reason.

    I know this was a long guide but hopefully it helps explain all the questions out there. If I missed any scenario, please let me know and I will add it. If I misstated anything, please let me know.
  2. FrankTheTankk macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
    Wow. This was very very helpful. Thank you. Maybe should be in the iOS 5 section no?
  3. Rtr macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2011
    I have an address that is my login for mobileme (which I use to sync contacts and calendars). My appleid to by iTAB stuff is a address. Which ID should I use when signing up for icloud?
  4. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    There has to be a more user friendly way to manage this icloud stuff.

    For us, we have two users (Me + Wife). We want to share apps so we have a address as our iTunes Store. But the problem is that some stuff we want to share (reminders, iCal) and some stuff we want to keep personal (mail, contacts). But it seems like using a single ID combines too much stuff and using separate ID's keeps too much stuff apart.

    This cloud stuff is very interesting and I can see how its the future, but the current implementation seems to be ideal if youre single.
  5. scott523 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2006
    Saint Charles, MO
    Awesome thread. This definitely should be moved to the iCloud/MobileMe section.

    I've been stuck with this problem for the past two hours and you know what I realized? It doesn't matter and it is what it is. Here's why:

    My GMail is tied to the iTunes Store and my gut instinct was to tie it to iCloud. Then I had to make an account for iCloud which was when I realized there was problem. I couldn't plug in the newly made iCloud email address into the iTunes Store, I thought I trapped with no way out.

    Long story short... I then tried logging in to the iTunes Store with my account from iCloud and the password associated with my GMail-tied iTunes Store account and it worked. Now it doesn't say '' at the top right corner but I did manage to sign in. The same applies when logging into So it looks like both my GMail-tied iTunes Store AppleID and the iCloud Mail account I had just created is "universal"?

    Even though I wanted to disassociate my GMail account from the iTunes Store and, it seems like that is impossible. Therefore I believe the only option is (a) do nothing and stick with GMail or (b) attempt to migrate/forward everything to iCloud and forget GMail as much as possible? Am I right? If anyone has a better suggestion, please tell me!
  6. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    I have a very old.itunes account.

    I have a catchy five word name as itunes acct name (I don't even have to add an email at the end of it.

    Now apple wants me to add an email? Wtf?
  7. DollaTwentyFive macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2010
    Parts Unknown
    Very helpful, though I am still struggling with the scope of this whole thing.
  8. HopHead927 macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2011
    For a company that prides itself on simplicity, Apple managed to REALLY screw the pooch on this one...
  9. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    +1 - whoever is in charge of this should be fired, it is so un-apple!
  10. dhy8386 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008
    I suggest MobileMe.


    Can be done easily actually. Share iTAB account. Each have an iCloud that is distinct. Then on your own iCloud account, turn on mail and contacts and iCal and reminders. Then add your wifes iCloud account. Only turn on iCal and reminders. These now integrate into the one calendar and one reminder app. Your wife would do the same thing only with your iCloud account.


    Honestly, there are a few ways they could improve it but if you stop and think about it, it makes perfect sense. The iCloud stuff is strictly personal meaning there is no third party content provider involved. Its your own info. Everyone should have their own account simply so the devices, settings, etc can be backed up properly on a per device, per person basis. If we start from there, now we move on to content. How do you handle that? Well families share content. families also have individual content. Apple allows you to share another AppleID that is designated for content purchase. 10 devices. Apple also allows you, through home sharing and computer authorizations, for each individual to share their own content with the rest of the family. The could improve part comes here. Right now this is only PC based. In the future, you should be able to have the one iCloud ID as the master ID. Then you could set in your store preferences, additional IDs whose content then would also become available to you. IN this way, one master ID, and then ability to add subIDS that all roll up into the iCloud ID but is transparent to the end user. I think it will eventually get there. But its not that far off if you think about it.
  11. Mr. Incredible macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2010
    Southern California
    I got a question, if you can help me with this.

    I have a gmail account (, and I also created the iCloud account with it's email service (

    My Apple ID is my gmail account (, is there a way to change this so my iCloud email is my ONLY email?

    So basically, my iCloud email (, will be used for both iCloud, and as an Apple ID.

    Is this possible, or not?
  12. Catdogchicken macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2011
    Sheffield UK
    You can use your new iCloud account to sign into iTunes etc but when logged in will show your current name. I think once this migration stuff is over apple will looke to merge and/or allow you to have a email as your apple ID.

    I created my and have changed everything on my i4 to use that email as default, FaceTime, iMessage, find my iPhone/iPad etc etc. my original apple ID only receives email from the iTunes and App store when I make a purchase.
  13. chimpboy74 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 12, 2007
    My scenario is that I use MM for mail contacts and calendars but have anothe ritunes ID for apps music etc. will print this thread out and read it thoroughly for mest thing to do. Ilove that my contacts and calendard sync to my wifes phone too (and my MM email address is nice and simple)


    I have all my apps against the old email address.

    thanks for the advice.
  14. devman macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2004
    dotmac -> MobileMe -> iCloud?

    Great thread. I hope you can help because I am thoroughly confused.

    I was on dot mac so I have a account.

    I went to MobileMe and so I have a account. I changed everything to use and have worked that way for years.

    Since updating to iOS 5, my mobileme account for mail, contacts, calendars, etc, has been forced back to If I send an e-mail it says from I cannot send from anymore (which I was doing fine until iOS 5).

    When I login to iTunes I use On an iOS device in the Store settings it says my appleid is BUT... if I go to the apple website for apple ids, it says my appleid is and it won't let me change it.

    I have not done the move to iCloud yet because I have no idea what it will do anymore regarding these names/ids.

    Both my phone and pad have now been forced to for my MobileMe account.

    Can someone explain all this please?
  15. dhy8386 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008
    Well i had the same thing. Had .Mac and it was converted to MM when that service went live. But my @mac and @me have always been interchangeable. I always sign into iTunes or even with @me but once it logs in it shows the account as @mac. Same is true if i go look at my user ID on the AppleID info page. I think that is par for the course. Even when i set up MM on my computer, the accounts setting page on my mac showed the MM account as @mac. However, if you are saying that when you send an email, it says @mac then i haven't seen that in awhile. When i send an email, it shows @me.

    You are fine otherwise. Moving to iCloud will not affect it. I would simply move your MM to iCloud. Then on your device sign in with the MM credentials. Someday I am sure, Apple will update all these @me accounts that were legacy @mac accounts.
  16. StingerT125 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 3, 2008
    Dutchess County New York
  17. FrankTheTankk macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
    MODS - This thread should be stickied

    I am all set up with my family. Now just waiting for our 4Ss to come.

    But I wanted to say thanks again and I have pointed like 5 other people to this thread. All found it helpful.

    I wonder if the Mods can sticky this. But it probably should be in either the iOS5 section or the iCloud section or both if thats possible.

    Thanks again.

  18. chimpboy74 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 12, 2007
    Sorry, I'm being really thick with this (I was up late last night trying to install iOS5!!)

    I have a mobile me account (ID) which I want to use for email, contacts and calendars (as my wife and I share these across 2 devices)

    All of my other itunes stuff (music, videos, apps) are against a different apple ID.

    Is it possible to set up my phone so that I can get the iCloud features for my content but still retain the MM settings?

    I seem to have this done at the moment but i think the way I have done it I have set up iCloud against the appleID with all my music content and not with the MM ID. this will work fine for now but I understand mobileme stuff not transferred to iCloud will be lost June next year.

    I have a really nice email address from MM that I want to use so am struggling to see how I can get this to work for me. I have read the first post 3 or 4 times and cant see how to sort out my situation (maybe I'm just tired!) or am I missing something blatantly obvious?
  19. dhy8386 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008
    iCloud Option 1 Note

    I may clarify this some more. ANyway, delete your current iCloud account under Settings>iCloud. Wipe everything off phone to start over. Now go into Mail settings, add an iCloud account. Enter your MM credentials. If you haven't migrated to iCloud your MM, it should prompt you to do that.

    Then follow the above for iCloud Option 1B for store setup.
  20. chimpboy74, Oct 13, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011

    chimpboy74 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 12, 2007
    thanks for that. I'm going to try this afternoon. Hopefully it works its been worrying me this morning as I have spent last few weeks changing everything to my MM email address and didnt want to go back to my old one!

    Just to confuse matters further i have a mobileme alias that I use as my main email address. I want to try and get rid of the main account email address and use the alias. Any thoughts? I guess I might be quicker deleting the alias and opening a new account with that address?
  21. GhostMac24 macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2011
  22. dhy8386 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008
    I think that is the only way to do it. but confirm that w apple. wouldn't want you to lose it.
  23. sananda macrumors 68020

    May 24, 2007
    My Apple ID is also not an email address. When I updated my iPad and iPhone to IOS5 it asked me to update my ID to an email address. Then I was logged into the stores with that email address which is not my usual account. I logged out and logged in with my usual non email Apple ID.

    I haven't set up iCloud as I'm still on Snow Leopard.
  24. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
    Same here. My iTunes login is no email. Its just a user name. To that user name my is connected. Now what ? :confused::confused:
  25. tivoboy macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2005

    First, thanks for putting this together.

    but, WOW if it takes a masters degree to figure out and implement this stuff properly the consumers of the worlds just are NOT going to get it and will not be happy. I simply could not imagine any older relative I know being able to make sense of all this and we're moving to the state where only the young tech adopters are able to setup the FAMILY'S apple account infrastructure.

    this is not a good sign.

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