How To Change Your Apple ID Email Address

If you are using a third-party email address as your Apple ID, you may need to change it if you are losing that email address or plan to move on to another email service. Apple has a page that spells out the steps needed to change which email address is used as your Apple ID.

Video Transcript
Here's a command situation you may have had with your Apple ID account. Also known as your iCloud account or iTunes account. It's your one Apple account. Your ID for that is going to be an email address. Now that email address could be something @iCloud.com or if it's older @me.com or @mac.com. In that case you're using an Apple email address for an Apple account.

But it could also be something at a completely different email address. Like a gmail account or something with your ISP. It could be anything. Any email address could be used as an Apple ID. If you setup your Apple ID a long time ago it may very well be some email address that has nothing to do with Apple.

Now what happens is people change email addresses. They leave an ISP or they decide to stop using an email account and maybe start using their iCloud email account or new one. But they're stuck with an Apple ID that's using their old email address. So how do you change it?

The key to changing it is first going to this page at Apple's website. It explains in detail everything you need to do. You should first read this page carefully because there are a lot of different starting points. For instance, if you already have an Apple ID that's at iCloud.com or at me.com or mac.com and you want to change it there's certain things that you need to do.

I'm going to focus here on if you're Apple ID is using a third party email address. So say it's using your ISP's email address and you're not using that anymore. You can still change that so you basically don't have to worry about that old email address. Maybe you don't even use it for other things anymore. You can change it to another email address that you have or even to an iCloud.com email address. The steps are here.

So basically what you want to do, for most occasions, is sign out of just about everything. Now if you're trying to do this on an iOS device you don't want to sign out on the one iOS device that you're actually going to use. But let's assume you're going to do this on a Mac. So you're going to sign out of everything because you're going to go to Safari and you're going to sign in there. So you can have your Mac signed out. You can have all of your devices signed out and everything. In that way there will be no problems as you change your Apple ID.

So as it instructs us here you want to go to appleid.apple.com and sign in. Go to the Account section and click Edit and look for a Change Apple ID button. So here I am at appleid.apple.com. I'm going to sign in using my demo account here. Great. So now I'm at this demo account. Hopefully now you're still not using security questions and your using two-factor authentication. I'm only using security questions here because this is a demo account that I use to demonstrate things.

Here, you can see, is where you've got the ability to do lots of changes like changing your password, changing your security questions, that kind of thing. What we want to find is the ability to change your account. So we're going to click Edit here. Now we can see we have Change Apple ID. I'll click on that. This is where I can start the process entering a new email address to use as my Apple ID.

Now it's going to go through several more steps and verify. If we go back here to the page it will say that if you enter a new Apple ID that uses iCloud.com, me.com, or mac.com you'll get a message to confirm. You're going to have to have had that already added to that account. It explains that all here. But if it's a third party email account then you'll get the opportunity to verify. So you'll get an email there verifying that you want to use this account and everything like that. That way you can't accidentally mistype the email address and now you've changed it to something you don't have access to.

So this is how you do it. Afterwards you sign back in using your new Apple ID.

Apple Site Link: Change your Apple ID

Comments: 13 Responses to “How To Change Your Apple ID Email Address”

    Arnold Karpoff
    6/18/18 @ 2:37 pm

    en I try to change my Apple iD I run into a problem with the secret words. When asked for my birthdasy I type it in only to be told it is incorrect. How do I fix this?

    6/18/18 @ 2:39 pm

    Arnold: Your only hope is to call Apple and go through the options with them. I don’t think your birthday has even been a secret word option, so perhaps you mean something else? Or, it is asking for your birthday in a different format than you expect?

    Karl
    6/18/18 @ 8:32 pm

    Is it safe to use your full name as your Apple ID, couldn’t someone use your name and try to hack your account?

    6/18/18 @ 8:46 pm

    Karl: You use an email address, not a name. But you have to assume that every email address is public. After all you have gotten at least one piece of junk email, right? So it is public. Email addresses pass through email servers as plain text, so whether it is your name or something random, it doesn’t matter. That is why the security is all about using a strong, random, unique password. And, of course, 2-factor.

    Jimmy
    6/19/18 @ 5:31 am

    I wish I had this info a few weeks ago. I changed my Apple ID because I was cancelling my old email address. It was a nightmare but finally got it done.

    Karl
    6/19/18 @ 1:18 pm

    Gary, usually Apple reserves your name for your Apple ID. Like “YourName@me.com or YourName@icloud.com
    Are you saying Apple doesn’t require that anymore? I could be say “CookieMonster@icloud.com” now?
    Thanks

    6/19/18 @ 1:33 pm

    Karl: You should be able to use any unused combination of characters you want for your iCloud email address. I see iCloud email addresses all the time and they are all sorts of things. But if you have already chosen yours, then changing it will require some work.

    John.P
    6/21/18 @ 6:16 pm

    This has been a bugbear of mine for some time, Using a third party email for your ID creates so much confusion in just about all your apps, I have been unable to change this even with apple support, the person told me it could not be done, that was about three years ago so maybe they have changed something? : (

    6/21/18 @ 6:29 pm

    John.P: Yes, I do believe there was a major change to all of this last year.

    Bert Mullemeister
    6/22/18 @ 4:57 am

    Hi..me again. I give lessens each Friday for all Apple devices (volunteer)
    A number of my students have xxxxxx@icloud.com as their Apple Id, but would prefer their ….@gmail.com..I am worried changing this as they could lose app etc
    Is it better to leave this as is?
    Thanks in anticipation

    6/22/18 @ 8:55 am

    Bert: Yes, according to that page I link to: “When you change your Apple ID to an @icloud.com, @me.com, or @mac.com account, you can’t change it back to a third-party email account.” So it simply wouldn’t work.

    Sandra Schley
    6/26/18 @ 8:58 am

    Dear Gary, back in 2011 I had bought my first Mac. Without any experience with apple products i created an Apple-ID which consisted of a third party E-Mail address. Now I would like to change it to my iCloud.com-address, but never dared to. I fear to lose all programs, apps, books, music I bought over the years. Can this happen? Thank you so much for all of your help.

    6/26/18 @ 9:10 am

    Sandra: It shouldn’t happen, no. Just follow Apple’s steps carefully. I wonder if the Genius Bar will walk you through it if you made an appointment and did it there?

Comments Closed.