Please explain the different use of passwords for mac products

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by maclad, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. maclad, Jun 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017

    maclad macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2016
    I have a 6 year old MacBook Pro and a 6 month old iPad mini and am confused about which passwords apply.

    I use password "Pro" when I download applications or log in to my MacBook Pro. I can only use a numbered password to log into my iPad mini, and use "iPad numbers".

    When I set up my iPad I had to reset my password, that seemed to be associated with my .me email address, and I used password "iPad". Is my password "iPad" also the password for my .me email address?

    Today, I tried to upgrade my MacBook Pro to macOS Sierra and it appeared to ask for the password associated with my .me email, but it did not accept my password "iPad". EDIT 3; but I suppose it is possible that I may have got it wrong twice.

    Can someone please lay out what passwords I need and what they give me access to? Over the years things seem to change and often my old passwords do not seem to work.

    Note passwords in inverted commas are not real.


    My iPad is due to be updated, which password will I need, "iPad numbers" or "ipad"?

    EDIT 2;-

    I have just received a dialogue box on my iPad saying that someone had tried to access my account near London and should I allow? I am about 100 miles from London but I assumed that it was me as it was too much of a coincidence. Another dialogue box then appeared titled 'Apple ID verification code' saying 'Type your password followed by this code into the password field of your device.' it then gives 3 numeric characters, followed by a space and 3 more numeric characters. What is that all about?
    Note, both the iPad and the MacBook Pro appear to be working normally and my email is working.
  2. Mikael H macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2014
    Basically you have one general AppleID account that is common across all of your devices, and which is used to confirm to Apple that you are who you claim to be. This is used when you purchase applications, music, or films from the App store and through iTunes, and for registering a device for eligibility to access the various device services Apple offers.

    The fact that you were prompted to add a security code to the end of your password tells me that you don't have two factor authentication enabled for your account. You really should have a look at the following page to learn about the AppleID, why you should secure it, and how to do so:

    Then you have a device specific password, which on an iPad might be a 4- or 6-digit PIN, or a pass phrase. This is used for logging on to the device itself, and to confirm that you wish to perform privileged tasks like updating the operating system. If you still have a 4-digit pin, you really should read up on how to switch to a better PIN or pass phrase here:

    To be honest I'm not sure whether you need a separate password for your .me account; I have a feeling that it will be linked to your AppleID, but I simply don't know.

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