Problems with iPhone Setup and Non-Email Apple ID

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jcookeusa, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. jcookeusa macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2015
    Hi All,

    I'm new here and not very experienced with any Apple products (mostly a PC guy :) -- software engineer, actually). Anyway, I'm having a horrible time just trying to setup a gift iPhone 5 as an iPod touch for now (just wifi, no phone service yet). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    After a little back and forth with the previous owner to ensure it was fully erased and removed from her "Find My iPhone", I am now trying to step through the initial setup process. I'm stuck at the portion where I enter my Apple ID/pwd.

    My Apple ID is not an email address (maybe because I set it up a few years ago?). It's just a single username, but I do, of course, have an email address associated with the ID. I entered the Apple ID and pwd and then the iPhone setup tells me I must enter an email address. I enter the address on my Apple ID account. It says that that Apple ID is already in use and prompts me to reset my pwd. Of course it's in use, since it's my Apple ID. :)

    I then figured that maybe the iPhone requires my Apple ID to be in the form of an email address, so I look into changing it. Supposedly at some point there was a button on the page to just make that change, but I can't find it. I instead click "Edit" to change my Apple ID to my email address (the same one already on the account -- gmail). It seems to be OK with the ID after entry, but clicking "Save" doesn't record the change. It goes back to the non-editing screen showing the previous non-email ID. No error messages, nothing -- but not changed. Ugh...

    So, then I try to find out why this is so hard and I also notice that if I happen to still be logged in with my Apple ID, any time I try to go to the Apple forums (, I'm redirected back to my page. So, this effectively means I can't even post a question on the actual Apple forums! I have to be logged in to do that and when I'm logged in, I can't go anywhere except to my Apple ID management page.

    I feel like I'm losing my mind over this, so I really would appreciate help. I can't believe this is so hard (and then I wonder if it isn't and I'm just missing something obvious :) ).

    - Must my Apple ID be in the form of an email address for the iPhone to work?
    - If so, how can I change it? I'm unable to edit and save the changes.
    - Why am I forced back to the Apple ID management page whenever I try to access the Apple forums if logged in?

  2. 1k9 macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2014
    If you don't have a bunch of stuff on your Apple account, why don't you just make a new account and start over.
  3. jcookeusa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2015
    I could certainly do that and, no, I don't have much, if anything, actually associated with my account. Do you think that will work? Am I having all this trouble simply because my Apple ID isn't in the form of an email address? I'm surprised Apple doesn't make that clear.

    Also, I'd rather not have to use a different email address for a new account. Can I use the same one -- somehow I doubt it :) Please let me know what you think.

  4. 1k9 macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2014
    I'm sorry, it's just a thought on my part, I'm no expert but that's what I'd do.
  5. jcookeusa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2015
    Thanks for considering the problem. And I've gotten it to work -- yay! :) Your idea got me thinking that perhaps I actually had a second Apple ID and I did. I had the one I was working with that had a single username plus my email address and a separate account using the same email address as my ID. I didn't think that was even possible, considering that when I did first tried to create a new ID (per your suggestion), I was blocked from using my email address (since it was already in use on another account).

    Anyway, however it happened, I had two IDs in the system, each with the same email address. After some somewhat tedious back and forth with changing and verifying email addresses, changing passwords, etc., I was able to finally get an Apple ID that used my email address as both the account name and address. And that is now working and I finished the phone setup.

    Thanks to all that read my query and to 1k9 for spurring me to look a bit deeper into the multiple Apple ID accounts issue.

    And slightly off-topic: Wow, Apple really ought to improve the error messages and handling. Clearly these two accounts were causing various problems, but that was never really made clear. The most glaring issue was the lack of saving any changes to my Apple ID, but with no information as to why it failed. So be it.

    Thanks again.

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4 November 16, 2015