Managing multiple Apple IDs for apps (with Apple Music)

Discussion in 'iOS 9' started by nicho, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. nicho macrumors 68020

    Feb 15, 2008
    I grew up in the uk and bought all my apps until a year ago in the UK App Store. I bought them on an Apple ID which existed before my iCloud Apple ID.

    I moved to China a while ago and decided, as I make no money in the uk, it'd be easier to buy apps in China from now on, and some I need her are only available on the Chinese store. That, and Apple Music in China being 1/10 of the price made it a no brainier.

    Obviously I still have apps from the uk store (some of the banking obese aren't available here and there's games I bought etc) - but I can't update them anymore. I'm sure this used to work fine, downloading updates to every app on my phone but at some point in December it seems a switch has been flicked and it appears only apps available on the Chinese App Store (whichever Apple ID I used) will show any kind of update now.

    I just tried to sign out of my Apple ID and sign into the other one - worked great... Except for deleting every Apple Music file (why can't they just make them unplayable and not actually delete them for say 24 hours?!!!). So I won't be doing that again. I imagine doing the same thing on my computer will also delete the lot without warning?

    I have an old iPhone 4S I use for a backup phone number. It doesn't leave the house and I just use sms forwarding. This used to have my important apps on it and was signed into my old Apple ID, allowing me to transfer the updated apps to iTunes and then onto my iPhone 6. App thinning has pulled the plug on that one.

    What solutions am I left with?

    I have 100meg Internet and can download from Apple Music relatively speedily. I could do the sign out - swap - download updates - sign into first Apple ID - redownload music thing once in a while, but would it work? I'm worried Apple Music would be broken and I rely on managing it from the computer.

    The only other idea I have is launch a guest account every now and then, sign into iTunes, download the latest versions of relevant apps (time consuming and may be downloading the same file I already have!) then copy the files into my own iTunes.

    Anyone else manage the same issue?
  2. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    The annoying thing is that your App Store purchases are tied to the country you defined in your Apple ID. Once you change the country, you cannot access your purchases anymore (but you can change it back). What you experienced was likely a glitch or something, because it has been like this for a long time. Apps are DRM-protected and only work with the same account they were purchased with.

    It is completely unsuitable to migrants. There is just no good way to deal with this, either you give up your old purchases or you create a new Apple ID. You cannot transfer your iCloud and Apple Music data to another account. Maybe you should consider another streaming service.
  3. skwood macrumors 6502a


    Jul 8, 2013
    Tonbridge, UK
    I have the same situation. France and UK.

    You can manage switching app stores without losing Apple Music downloads by keeping two links in notes. One for an app in the UK App Store and one in the other App Store. These links will take you straight to the app store and you can then update apps and switch back using the other link.

    I hope that makes sense - I didn't explain it very well.
  4. nicho thread starter macrumors 68020

    Feb 15, 2008
    I don't think you understand my question. I haven't ever changed the country of either of my Apple ids, and I already have two. I am not trying to transfer my iCloud or Apple Music data to another account. I'm trying to update apps on an iPhone from two different stores which certainly was possible until about a month ago.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 29, 2016 ---
    I think I understand. Could you give me an example of your links so I don't mess up? Redownload ing everything from Apple Music is painful enough once!
  5. KALLT, Jan 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016

    KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    I understood it and I tried to explain why the problem is there. Apple maintains an artificial barrier between the Stores. You are supposed to use only one Apple ID on your device for your apps. Identical apps in both Stores may be updated automatically, but not apps that are only available in the other Store. Sometimes apps only seem identical when in fact the developer maintains separate versions. This has been the case for a long time and I am not sure why it worked on your device for a while, but this is how it is supposed to work. Apple has also not so long ago introduced a block for updates that are not in your Apple ID’s purchase history, so this may be the direct cause for the change. You need to make sure that all the apps are in your current purchase history in order to be eligible for automatic updates.

    I don’t think that this is the problem. When you log in with another Apple ID, you will automatically switch to the App Store where you can make purchases.
  6. skwood macrumors 6502a


    Jul 8, 2013
    Tonbridge, UK
    Orange et moi, l’espace client by Orange - France - UK

    It will take you to the app store and ask if you want to switch store
  7. nicho thread starter macrumors 68020

    Feb 15, 2008
    This solution appears to work. I couldn't find a link that would take me back to the Chinese App Store, as everything seems to be available worldwide that I'm aware of at least, but going to view my account gave me the prompt it's only valid in the Chinese App Store and took me back there.

    I expect it'll be patched at some point in the future but for now it'll save me some time and effort while I look at what apps I really need nowadays!
  8. niji Contributor


    Feb 9, 2003

    the original poster's situation is clear and is what all of us who live in multiple countries deal with when using iOS.

    since some of the later posts in this thread contained wrong information, to be clear:

    1 currently you can only be signed into any iOS device with only 1 apple ID at the same time

    2 also, currently, you can only be signed into any iOS device at one time with one Region preference (of course...)

    3 the problems that these two settings (apple ID and Regional preference) give to people who use their single device in several countries while traveling or living is those countries include :

    - Wallet: if you register your credit card or debit card in the USA (because that is where the card issuer is), you must have your Region preference set as the USA. But when you switch back your Region presence to a different country, the card's registration settings are canceled. Meaning when you go back to the USA you need to re-register the card again. There is no apparent relationship with apple ID registration country however.

    - News: Of course only available if your Region is set to USA, UK, or Australia (only these three?). But it doesn't matter where your apple ID is registered. The (strange) good news however, is that if you change your Region to a region that doesn't have News, and then change it back to Region where you originally were using News, it does remember all the preferred channels and the types of articles you began training it.

    - apple Music: as the original poster found, if you have a subscription to apple Music under one apple ID, and have downloaded (for free!) music, if you switch to a different apple ID and then later change again back to your original apple ID all your (free) downloaded music is removed and you need to start all over.

    - purchased music and movies and TV shows through iTunes: media you have purchased and downloaded to your devices is NOT deleted if you change to a different iTunes ID/apple ID. the media stay on your devices. and of course, if you didn't download to your device before, when you switch to that ID, you can find it in Purchased, and download to your device and then even off load it to an off line device so that its always accessible on any of the up to 5 devices that can be associated with any iTunes ID.

    - apps: most specialized apps (meaning apps that are in some way associated with a certain country) are actually not found in all/most app stores. for example there are thousands of apps that are found in the Japan iOS app store that are not in the USA iOS app store. changing your iOS ID to get into a different app store will not delete the apps you downloaded (either paid or for free) at any other app store. but again the original poster is correct: from about January or maybe December the apps that are not associated with your currently signed in ID are now not being updated. For example Bank of America app (downloaded from the USA app store) are no longer being updated through the Update tab. the only way to update these apps is to sign into the app store you used to download them originally.

    - Calendar: Holidays are taken from your Region setting. But if you modify your Regional setting by changing the number or date format then you are not able to get the shared Holidays calendar automatically.

    - Family Sharing: your family members need to be is the same country's app store for you to add them. for multiple country families, this is a problem.

    there are rumors of apple eventually allowing multiple apple IDs to be be combined.
    and, there are also rumors of apple close to a decision to give the ability for people to "send" other people money via iMessage.
    probably both of these would also have Region or same apple ID country as limitations as well.

    but the good news is that apple did make a huge breakthrough when it went live with apple Music: DRM and rights issues had to be solved for apple Music to come into existence. for music. but not for Movies, or TV shows yet.
    i hope that the day will come soon so that any valid credit card from any country can be associated with any iTunes/apple Music purchase from any iTunes media, and that the virtual store barriers will come down.

  9. slenpree macrumors 6502a


    Apr 13, 2010
    I live in Spain but kept my UK AppleIDs. apart from the fact I already have two personal UK appleID plus a work one, a fourth would be too difficult to manage. Fortunately my bank in Spain puts their app on the UK App Store - popular demand I should imagine !

    Nevertheless apps can update for 90 days then you have to sign in to your old account to refresh that 90 back to the start. The other option is to join the two AppleIDs together as a family (that's what I did with my two UK personal AppleIDs and works flawlessly).
  10. nicho thread starter macrumors 68020

    Feb 15, 2008
    I'd like to correct a couple of these with my own experiences.

    Wallet - I have cards registered from the UK. I have changed my region back and forth between UK and China without the registration being changed. In fact, when apple pay launched in the uk many jumped the gun and registered their cards before they were supposed to be allowed to, by changing to the USA region, successfully.

    Apps - it's not quite how you put it, "the apps that are not associated with your currently signed in ID are now not being updated". I have many apps I haven't bothered to link to my Chinese Apple ID because I don't really use them anymore. Facebook messenger for one (as its blocked here). Inexplicably it is in the Chinese App Store and as such it updated automatically three days ago. I also used the method @skwood suggested to update the first direct app ('purchased' on my uk Apple ID and not available in the Chinese App Store) without signing out of my Chinese Apple ID. This suggests the iOS device either keeps a memory of associated Apple ids or doesn't care so long as the app is present. It is merely reliant upon the availability of an app in country the app Store is currently set to when deciding whether or not to offer an update. It doesn't appear to matter if the app was purchased on the Apple ID that is signed in or not.

    I'm aware of the multiple country family sharing problem all too well. In the end that's why we went all in with new Chinese Apple ids rather than our uk and Hong Kong old ones.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2016 ---
    Family sharing is not applicable when the problem is with multiple countries' apps ;)

    Also not sure about that 90 day thing. I only signed out of my uk iTunes Apple ID and into the Chinese one on 6th November and the apps stopped updating sometime before the 1st of this month (I didn't realise how many apps weren't up to date until i signed into my uk Apple ID and some of the updates are from before new year).

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