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Managing Your Apple ID

Too many times when I am helping customers I get a blank stare when I ask for their Apple ID. Some quickly look through scraps of paper while others just start guessing. You Apple ID is the personal account you use to access Apple services like the App Store, iTunes Store, iCloud, iMessage, the Apple Online Store, FaceTime, and more. It includes the email address and password you use to sign in, as well as all the contact, payment, and security details that you’ll use across Apple services. So, yes it is important and you should remember it.

Setting up an Apple ID

Okay, so you are new to the Mac and want to take advantage of all that iCloud stuff, FaceTime and buy stuff at the App store. You need to set up your Apple ID. Before you run off to create a new Apple ID, consider whether it might be better to continue using one you already have. Remember that you might not be able to move data or purchases from an old Apple ID to a new one.

If you aren’t sure if you already have an Apple ID, Apple can help you find it. If your email address has changed, you can change the address you use for your current Apple ID to continue using it.

You can create your Apple ID when you set up a new device or sign in to iTunes or iCloud for the first time. You can also go to the Apple ID site (https://appleid.apple.com/account#!&page=create) and select Create Your Apple ID.

Here’s what you need:

  • A valid email address to use as your Apple ID username.
  • A strong password.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Three security questions and answers to verify your identity and a rescue email address. You can also use this information to reset your password.

It really doesn’t work well to have multiple Apple IDs and they cannot be combined after the fact so be careful to only set up one that you will use for a long time.

Managing your Apple ID

Things change. You may have to change your email address, you may want to change your password or payment method. You can do all this at the Apple ID Account page (https://appleid.apple.com/#!&page=signin). Here you can:

  • Update your Apple ID email address to make sure it’s an address that you use frequently.
  • Change your password to help maintain the security of your account.
  • Manage your payment information to keep your payment method or billing address up to date.
  • Add additional email addresses to help people find and communicate with you on Apple services like FaceTime, iMessage, Game Center, and Find My Friends.
  • See and manage the devices that you’re signed in to with your Apple ID.

Setting up an Apple ID without a Credit Card

If you already have an Apple ID and want to remove your payment method it is easy. You can choose to remove the payment method for your existing Apple ID after you have signed in to the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBooks Store. You won’t be asked for a payment method again until you make a purchase.

If you are just setting up an Apple ID you can do so without a payment method. On a iPhone, iPad or iPod touch follow these steps:

  • Open the App Store app, iTunes Store app, or iBooks app.
  • Choose any free app, song, video, or book.
  • Tap iOS Get button next to the item, then tap again to get it.
  • When you’re asked to sign in with an Apple ID, tap Create New Apple ID.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions. When you’re asked for payment information, choose None.
  • After you enter your information, you’re asked to verify your Apple ID by email. You must verify your Apple ID before you can begin using it.

It is a little bit different if you are setting it up on your Mac.

  • Open iTunes, then go to the iTunes Store.
  • Scroll down and find the country or region flag in the lower-right corner of the window. If it’s not the flag of the country or region where you live, click it and choose your country or region.
  • From the menu in the upper-left corner, choose Music,TV Shows,bApps, or Books.
  • Download a free song, TV episode, app, or book. To find free items, look under Quick Links on the right side of the iTunes Store window for any link that includes the word “free.” When you find a free item, click Get beneath its icon.
  • When you’re asked to sign in with an Apple ID, click Create Apple ID.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions. When you’re asked for payment information, choose None as the payment type.
  • After you enter your information, you’re asked to verify your Apple ID by email. You must verify your Apple ID before you can begin using it.

Protecting your Apple ID

  • Make a strong password, use uppercase and lowercase, numbers and letters and not your dog’s name
  • Reset your security questions to make sure they’re easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess.
  • Add a rescue email address. If you forget your password or the answers to your security questions, your rescue email address will help you regain access to your account.
  • If you haven’t already, set up two-step verification or two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to your account.

Sharing your Apple ID

DON’T.

Your Apple ID should not be shared with anyone else. It provides access to personal information including contacts, photos, device backups, and more. Sharing your Apple ID with someone else means you are giving them access to all your personal content and may lead to confusion over who actually owns the account. To share iTunes & App Store purchases, photos, a calendar, and more with someone else, try Family Sharing, iCloud Photo Sharing, or other easy-to-use sharing features.

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