Managing 6 Mac's & Apple ID's

Discussion in 'macOS' started by HelpdeskRules, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. HelpdeskRules macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2011
    I'm looking for some advice on the best way to manage 6 Apple Mac's that we have ended up having on our Windows network.

    We've just recieved a new 27" i5 iMac with OS X Lion installed on it and there is an update available for iPhoto via the App Store (it's not listed in the Software Update option. To download the update I need to configure an Apple ID.

    We have another Mac that has OS X Leopard installed on it and we'd like to get that on to Leopard (the idea being that if all our Mac's have the same version of the OS on them it'll make is easier for us to support). To do that I need to upgrade to Snow Leopard and then download OS X Lion via the App Store.

    Do I need an individual Apple ID for each Mac? If so what's the best way of us (the IT Department) of managing these accounts?

    I've looked at Apple Volume Licensing but that's only available for 20+ Apple Mac's.

    What's the best way of managing/looking after the Macs that we have with regards to Apple ID's?
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    You could install multiple accounts on each Mac. One of those accounts could have an Apple ID associated with it. You log in to that account to run updates and then log out. Most applications are installed such that every user on a machine has access.

    There are 3 places you need an Apple ID. One is iCloud and the id is most often of the form One is iTunes and the id is most often NOT of the form Lastly there is an Apple ID for support on and for Apple's developer program. Apple tries to convince us to consolidate these to 1 ID but I refuse to do so. I keep my iTunes login separate from my iCloud login separate from my developer login and it works just fine.

    Each user should be setting up iCloud system preferences to sync with their own iCloud account so their contacts and calendar can sync with their iPhone and other iThings. There is no limit to the number of computers they log in to iCloud sync.

    You, as admin, should be logging in to the app store on each machine so that you can install software purchased by your company for your users. If an individual user wants access to their own music or apps they purchased at home, and if your IT policy allows them to install things, then they should log in to the app store using their personal login for their iTunes/app store account. So in effect you have two app store logins (or more) per machine. You have your company app store login on the admin account and you allow users to log in the app store on each of their individual accounts.

    iCloud login:
    contacts sync
    calendar sync
    iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch backups

    iTunes login:
    iOS apps
    OS X apps

    Apple ID login: support site
    Apple developer login

    For now, despite Apple's assertion that these should be one ID, I recommend keeping them separate, especially in a situation such as yours.

    hope this helps...
  3. HelpdeskRules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2011
    Thanks for your reply.

    I've spoken on the phone to an Apple expert at our suppliers and they have advised me on what I need to do.

    The gist of it is, if you have 20 or more Macs then it's nice and simple as Apple will give you a Volume Agreement so you get one code per software and can then download it and install it on as many machines that you have purchased licences for.

    As we have under 20 Macs we cant do this.

    What we've been advised to do is create an individual Apple ID per computer as the software that we download will be tied to the Apple ID - we have asset tag numbers on all our computers so we'll use this as part of the email address associated with the Apple ID.

    Creating an ID without a credit card (so we are told) can be done by choosing a free peice of software in the App store and then it should give you the option of creating an account without a credit/debit card.

    We can then go to the business store on the Apple website and purchase multiple copies of any software we need and you get a code which you can then enter in the App store after you've logged on to the computer using the correct Apple ID you've created for that machine.

    The upgrade to Lion that I need is for a Mac that has Leopard on it so I need to buy Snow Leopard first - not sure how it will work with Snow Leopard, perhaps I'll get a disk sent to me?!

Share This Page