As I’ve written before, it sometimes seems like the Apple ID back-end systems run on ancient mainframes, given how inflexible the company is about allowing changes—especially in not providing a way to merge accounts, data, and ownership associated with multiple Apple IDs. I, like many people who have kicked around in the Apple ecosystem for a while, have two Apple IDs, and use one for purchases and the other for iCloud stuff. I’d rather have one, as many of you would.
Macworld reader Deb writes in with a related question that may have a better solution. She’s been using an Apple ID connected with her Gmail address for several years. However, her daughter set up an iPad and iPhone for her with a fresh Apple ID that generated a new iCloud address. She’s not committed to that address, and wondered if there were a way to bring them all together.
Because it appears she hasn’t made purchases yet with her Apple ID that uses an iCloud address, the easiest pathway is to abandon the iCloud address, and log in everywhere in macOS and iOS using her Gmail address.
Apple does let you add email addresses as additional ones to an Apple ID account, but you can’t merge iCloud addresses. That is, Deb couldn’t delete her Apple ID that relies on an iCloud address and then add that address to her Gmail Apple ID account. And the other way around—deleting the Gmail-based Apple ID and adding its address to the iCloud-based one—won’t work, as she would lose any purchases or other data associated with her long-standing Gmail-based Apple ID.
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