Using more than one iCloud email account

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by macman4789, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. macman4789 macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2007
    Hi guys,

    I have one main iCloud account that I sync across my multiple devices (email, bookmarks, iMessage etc) that I use for personal stuff. I would like to register another iCloud email address to use for a different purpose and only really would need to use the email function and not the other syncing functions.

    My question is how is this done? Can it be done? In the Mail app do I have two separate inboxes? A friend mentioned something about just being able to select different gmail aliases in Mail but I'm not sure how.

    Any help would be appreciated

  2. impaler macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2006
    Yes it can be done. To create a new account from a Mac, launch System Preferences from the Dock, and then click the Internet Accounts option. From the Internet Accounts menu window, click the iCloud option.

    To create a new iCloud account from an iOS mobile device, launch Settings; tap the Mail, Contacts, Calendars option; and then tap the iCloud option from the Add Account submenu.

    Secondary or tertiary accounts can only use mail, contacts, calendar, reminders and notes. Safari sync (bookmarks & reading list), iCloud keychain, photo stream, documents and data sync, find my device, and storage/backup may only be used by the primary account.

    I've heard there's a limit of five iCloud accounts on a device, but have been unable to verify. Right now I have three accounts on my iOS 7 devices and Macs running Mavericks, with no issue.
  3. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I use three iCloud accounts. My old one that my Apple Store stuff is tied to, but I tired of my email and other related items being tied to my legal first name, which is on my credit cards and bank accounts. I NEVER use my legal first name.

    I use a second iCloud account as my main iCloud account on my Macs and iOS devices for email/calendars/iCloud settings.

    Remember you can use up to 3 aliases for each iCloud account (it used to be 5) for "throwaway" stuff.
  4. macman4789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2007
    Thanks for the replies guys really helpful.

    So when you use multiple icloud accounts does it generate separate inboxes in your mail or all as one?

    Sorry but could you explain what you mean by using multiple aliases from one account?
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    Don't ever write that you're sorry when you start the thread and asking for help! No need for that, we try to help each other, so get over that... :D

    iCloud is a moving target right now, with some upcoming changes to how it works in iOS 8 and OS X 10.10. So, I'll stick to it related to Mail and me. I have an iCloud account and email address that my App/iTunes store is attached to - I'm careful to use that because I have a credit card attached to it and my legal name is *forced* in my App/iTunes Stores and also email - let's say my name is Chris but my legal name is Christopher, so my iCloud name is Christopher (last name) but all of my friends know me as Chris. I can't change that, because updating my Store accounts updates my email account info - and my banks use my legal name. Ugh. Changing my App/iTunes store account information voids my card being charged - because it's my legal name. And, I have a few subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu) that email me regularly, so I still need to get email updates and notifications... Again, ugh.

    And, I don't want to get "hacked" (again, like I did with Adobe Systems last October), so I have an email account that is now my "main" iCloud account in System Preferences that syncs my iCloud data (notes, email, reminders, etc.) and I treat my much-older iCloud account as an "internet account" in system preferences but still my App/iTunes Store account information. And, in my "main" iCloud account I can use any name that I want. I generally don't use my older iCloud account (which I've had for years) for daily emailing any more.

    With that set up, I have completely separate email accounts and inbox/outbox/folder setups in Mail and my iOS devices. If my "main" iCloud account gets "hacked" then my secondary account (which my Store accounts and, therefore, my credit information is tied to, isn't compromised. I protect my Store account iCloud address like my life depends on it, and really only my two attorneys use it to correspond with me now.

    I'd suggest two iCloud addresses to anyone right now - use one to tie your App Store stuff to and don't use it for anything else, and a second one to sync all of your other stuff to - Safari bookmarks, notes, email, reminders, iOS backups, etc. I'm considering setting up a third for other stuff...

    From what I've read, if your "main" iCloud account is from a domain other than Apple's (Gmail,, then the "main" iCloud account tied to the App Stores can be changed, but that's not me so I don't care...

    Aliases are sweet to use. I have an iCloud email account, and set up an alias that I use just for my Craigslist stuff, another alias I use for my app subscriptions that come from outside the App Stores (like Adobe, Weather Underground), and just junk - and all of the alias-based email is sent to your email inbox. Say my main email address is "" - I set up aliases like,, and - emails to those addresses get sent to your "" inbox and configured as you see fit (mainly color based).

    You'll log in to your account via web browser, choose Mail, then Mail Settings - and set up your aliases (and settings) in the web browser sessions. Next time you launch your program and that app syncs with Apple, Mail will recognize your new aliases and you'll be able to send messages with those aliases - it's like getting four email addresses for the price of one (it used to be 6 for the price of one, but Apple changed that for new alias set ups - email accounts with 5 aliases were grandfathered unless changes were made after the new set up was started, with OS 10.9).

    You can always delete aliases from the web portal, then create a new one. Try it, you'll like it.
  6. macman4789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2007
    campy guy thanks for that awesome reply, I learned loads!

    I have an iCloud account that I try and keep 'clean' (don't really use it to sign up to stuff etc and just communicate with trusted peeps) and use for email, reminders, iMessage etc and then a nasty Gmail account that I just use purely for junk/signing up to things etc that I'd like to move away from. The problem is this Gmail account is tied to my iTunes account and I'd like to change this to a new iCloud account - is this possible?

    Additionally I'd like to uses some aliases which you have explained very well and I will try.
  7. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    You're welcome and I'm glad that I can help! My GF was late and I had time to spare so you can thank her as well.

    Regarding your iTS account, you're in luck and read this Apple Support page:

    If I were in your situation, and because of the first point Apple makes on that web page, I would NOT change my iTS account to an iCloud account. Here's why, using me as an example...

    I bought into the Mac ecosystem years ago, over a decade ago. I used iTools, and now have a different email address that now has a .mac, .me, and now .icloud suffix. My first purchases of music (before the iTS app store) were under that first email address. Then, that email address became a spam receptacle, and it became so bad that I created a new .mac account - transferring the music from my first account to the second account was a major PITA.

    Last week, I read about the 1.2B email addresses that were compromised in a global hacking effort. I (stupidly) used my second .mac/.me/.icloud email address for my Adobe Creative Cloud account (which I've changed now, not just the password). Two nights ago, I got an email. Spam. Then another, then another, and a few dozen more - all to the iCloud account that's tied to my iTS account. Which I can't change, according to the Support page BECAUSE it's an Apple domain email address. Fortunately - for me - the spam stopped about 9 hours later, so either the spambot was shut down or Apple's now filtering them out. But, read on...

    I was pondering exporting all of my music - including some out of print stuff that's really hard to find, and repurchasing some of the apps I use - into a new, non-iCloud-based account just for the flexibility of being able to change my email address as you can. You lucky 'tard. :)
    So, read that Apple Support web page - it'll tell you exactly what to do what you are asking about. BUT - there's always a but! Consider not using an iCloud account for your iTS account. I use Gmail as a crap receptacle, and have a legacy account that goes back 8 years. If it were mine to do over again, I'd use an Outlook account - BUT, I'd use an alias in that account. MS is getting their crap together, and Outlook is as slick as Gmail for usage, with real alias support, and has pay options to eliminate ads (for 1 year at a time - I think it's $20).

    I use iCloud because I have to now - for my iTS account. I use an Outlook account for my Windows 8 OS. I use Gmail for, well, junk and crap. If I could start over or port my iTS account, I'd use a paid Outlook account or an alias within that Outlook account. I would not want to be locked into an iCloud email address for my iTS email address because I can't change it. Grrr. :D
  8. macman4789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2007
    You make a good point. I wanted to change it purely because I wanted to go Apple only email really. I iCloud, it's clean and works well with all my devices but not being able to change makes me think twice about it.

    With Apple introducing the cheaper and larger storage options for iCloud with iOS 8 etc I have been tempted to go Apple only. I'll need to take a look at outlook as there are quite a few saying they have greatly improved their service although I don't have any MS devices and don't really plan on it either...

    Thanks again for that reply, the link was really helpful and is easy to follow!
  9. macman4789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2007

    I followed the link given to me from Apple's support pages to change my Apple ID but it isn't allowing me.

    Basically I have a gmail account for iTunes & App Store to log in and then an iCloud/MobileMe account for email/bookmarks/calendar/reminders etc.

    I would like to change the gmail account which I use to log in to iTunes to the iCloud address so that it is all as one. I've followed the instructions on this page but when I log into my gmail Apple ID and manage the account and attempt to change it, it says I can change the email address but not using a domain owned by Apple....

    Does anyone know how to do this? Can it be done?


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