Saturday, 22 Jun 2024

Eireview: Migrating Apple IDs – A Comprehensive Guide

merge apple id

Since 2020 is a year filled with challenges, I decided to make some major changes that I had been postponing for a while. One of these changes involved merging my Apple IDs. This process allowed me to consolidate all of my cloud services into one account, resulting in a more streamlined and efficient experience. In this article, I will share with you the steps I took and the tips I learned along the way. So, let’s get started!

How did this happen?

Like many long-time Mac users, I found myself in a situation where I had one Apple ID for iCloud and another for iTunes. This was not an uncommon occurrence, as the transition from .Mac to iTunes accounts had been a gradual process over time. My iCloud-focused Apple ID was used for backups, address book syncing, and other iCloud-related tasks, while my iTunes-focused Apple ID was primarily used for purchasing apps and subscribing to services.

To rectify this situation and have a consistent email address across all platforms, I decided it was time to merge my Apple IDs. Although Apple does not offer a straightforward solution for this process, I took it upon myself to manually migrate all the services and data from my iCloud-focused ID to my iTunes-focused ID with the new email address.

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The Power of Lists

To keep track of everything, I created two lists. The first list consisted of all the hardware that needed to be migrated, including iPhones, iPads, HomePods, Apple TVs, Apple Watches, and Macs. I simply signed out and back in on each device as the process progressed.

The second list was more comprehensive and included all the services and data that needed to be migrated. Here are some of the items on that list:

  • Past hardware purchases: Unfortunately, there is no way to move a purchase history from one Apple ID to another. This is something I am still working on resolving.
  • Voice memos: When you log out of your old account, voice memos disappear, so I saved the audio files externally.
  • Apple Books: Purchased books remain in place after the merge, and manually added books/PDFs are also retained.
  • Health data: Health data remained on my local device after the switch and continued to sync.
  • Shortcuts: Shortcuts remained on my local device after the switch and continued to sync.
  • Home: This required resetting hardware added directly to Home, such as HomePods and smart locks, and re-syncing devices that were already part of the Home setup.
  • Backups: Although there is no way to transfer existing backups, new backups are automatic for iPhones and iPads.
  • Family sharing setup: This was a complex process, as I had to start a new family group, transfer my kids there, and reset screen time settings for the kids.
  • Keychain: Keychain data remained on my local device after the switch and continued to sync.
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These are just a few examples from the extensive list, but the important thing to remember is to make sure everything is downloaded before logging out, then upload it again to the new iCloud account. Patience is key during this process, as it may take time for everything to sync correctly.

Was it worth it?

Absolutely! The benefits of merging my Apple IDs are undeniable. I can now log in with the same email address everywhere, eliminating the need to remember which service is associated with which ID. Additionally, changing the image on my new Apple ID has provided a visual indicator that reassures me I am using the correct account. Overall, the process was worth the effort and time invested.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it possible to move my purchase history from one Apple ID to another?
Unfortunately, there is currently no way to transfer a purchase history from one Apple ID to another. This is something I am still researching and hope to find a solution for in the future.

Q: Do I need to reset devices that were added to Home directly?
Yes, devices such as HomePods and smart locks that were added directly to Home will need to be reset to factory settings and paired with the new Apple ID. However, devices that sync from other devices only need to be re-synced and organized.

Q: Can I keep a local copy of my voice memos when switching Apple IDs?
Unfortunately, when you log out of your old account, voice memos will disappear. To keep a local copy, you can remove the audio files from the app and store them externally.

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Q: What happens to my shared photo streams when I change Apple IDs?
Shared photo streams will disappear when you make the change. However, you can create smart albums to gather the same photos from the streams. After changing IDs, you’ll need to recreate the shared photo stream and share it again.

Q: Can I export my reminders and notes before switching Apple IDs?
Unfortunately, there is no way to keep a local copy or conveniently export your reminders and notes. However, you can copy and paste full lists by using screen sharing or other methods to transfer the information to your new Apple ID.


Migrating Apple IDs can be a complex process, but with careful planning and attention to detail, it is possible to merge your IDs successfully. Consolidating your cloud services and data into a single account can greatly enhance your user experience and simplify your digital life. While there may be some challenges along the way, the benefits of having a consistent email address and a unified ecosystem are well worth the effort. So, take the leap and enjoy the ease and convenience of a merged Apple ID.