One bone of contention in relation to the Apple ID’s from many consumers since the release of iCloud is that you can’t merge your Apple ID’s. Since iCloud was released it’s become more of an issue with the transfer of data and users are stuck scratching their heads wondering how to merge iCloud accounts. If you’ve setup a new Apple Store account (also known as a new apple ID) and you’re looking to consolidate your information from your old ID, Apple doesn’t make it easy. So we’ve put together this guide that will help if you’re looking to merge multiple Apple ID’s into one ID. It’s step by step and something that you can do in 1 hour.
The History Of Apple ID’s
Those who had signed up to Apple’s old cloud service MobileMe (which was also formerly .Mac and iTools) were under a prerequisite to create a @me.com email address to use the service and so began the fallout when Apple introduced the App Store. No longer were you required to use an Apple domain as an email address and many over the years have been asking Apple to allow them to merge their Apple ID with their old Mac Domain ID, but sadly it’s been falling on deaf ears.
Do Some Research On Your Apple ID’s Beforehand
When it comes to merging your ID’s you need to look at what they’re used for. Primarily the iCloud ID you have (unless you’re fairly new to Apple) has been used to store documents and information while your App Store ID is traditionally used for purchases. So really instead of merging the 2 x Apple ID’s you have, it’s all about transferring information from one to the other.
With your iCloud Account, you need to look at what it is you have stored there, and what’s most important to you. iCloud syncs the following automatically from your devices:
– Mail (if you’re using an Apple domain as your main mail account. Otherwise if you’re using Gmail, POP3, IMAP, Exchange or other mail providers you don’t need this option)
– Safari Bookmarks
– Photos (in particular Photostream)
– Documents (which are Keynote, Numbers and Pages)
– Backups of your iPhone
If you’re looking to merge your Apple ID’s the simple truth is, you can’t. However, here’s the lowdown on how you can get all your important information and transfer it over to just a single Apple ID.
Choosing Which Apple ID To Keep.
The one you’ll most likely want to keep is the one you use for all of your App Store Purchases and iMessages, that is unless you want to go and purchase all of your Apps again and pay for them twice as well as downloading them all over again (it’s a no-brainer really).
Every Apple ID now has access to iCloud as standard with storage data for free. You also have the option to increase this to 50GB for $0.99 per month, 200GB for $2.99 per month. There’s also the option for 2TB for $9.99 per month and 2TB for €19.99 per month that can be shared with your family. To check out how much you’re currently using with iCloud go to “Settings” > “iCloud” > “Storage” and you’ll see exactly what is used out of your current allowance.
Getting Your Documents From iCloud
When it comes down to this, it all depends on what information you have stored in iCloud. If like me you have bundles of presentations, word/pages documents and spreadsheets these are easily downloadable. Since Apple introduced iCloud Drive this has now expanded to include multiple file extensions outside the Apple ecosystem.
Start off by creating a folder on your desktop (e.g. iCloud backup). Within that folder, create a number of subfolders for each of the items you’re going to download (e.g. Contacts, Keynote, Numbers etc).
To get your documents, just login into iCloud and select where you have your documents stored. Select all of your documents in either Pages, Numbers or Keynote – then right click and download them into the separate folders you’ve created on your desktop.
The great feature with Pages, Numbers and Keynote in iCloud is that you can fully edit all of your documents in your browser whether they’re from a PC or Mac. Once you’ve downloaded all of your documents from your old Apple ID, all you have to do is drag and drop them into iCloud with your new Apple ID and then you’re done. You’ve now transferred your documents from one Apple ID to the other.
Migrating Your Contacts
iCloud automatically syncs your contacts from your devices but it would be easy to forget how we managed our contacts before the introduction of it – with iTunes or if you’re on a Mac with the “Contacts” app. Migrating your contacts is quite easy and painless.
Whether you’re on a PC or Mac you’ll be using iCloud to export the information.
Log in to iCloud with your old Apple ID and select “Contacts”. Select them all (CMD+A if using a Mac) and in the bottom left-hand corner, click the cog. Then select “Export Contacts” and save them to your desktop folder. They will now be ready to import into iCloud with your new Apple ID using the same method – Just select “Import Contacts”
Migrating Your Photos
iCloud uses your Apple ID to share your photos in Photostream and Shared Albums, but you also have the originals on your devices (unless you’ve deleted them. All you need to do is make sure you have a backup of those photos on your desktop or iTunes, as they won’t be there when you connect with your new Apple ID.
Unfortunately, you’re not able to download your notes to an importable file. iCloud used to allow you to email all of your notes to one of your email addresses, however that feature seems to now be removed. So..looks like you’ll have to do it the hard way.
Depending on what you’re using, PC or Mac and which software you’re using for your calendars – most have the ability to Export all the information to your desktop as a file. If you’re using exchange, it won’t matter as the login you’re using isn’t associated with your Apple ID. If however, you’re using your Apple ID as your default calendar, go to your calendar software and somewhere within “File”, you should have the ability to export it to your desktop which will also allow you to import it when you set up your new Apple ID as the default.
This is probably the one you’ll treasure most as you don’t want to lose all of those messages you have stored in your phone by switching to another Apple ID. The great thing about iMessage is that it can store multiple email addresses to be used from iMessage when you’re sending or receiving. To add your new Apple ID (if it’s not already being used as your default), do the following. “Settings” > “Messages” > “Send & Receive” > “Apple ID” > Sign out of your old Apple ID and enter in your new Apple ID > then “Add Another Email” which is your new Apple ID and you’re good to go. Don’t worry, you won’t lose any messages in switching over your Apple ID’s
One of the great things about Safari is that any bookmark you have on one device automatically shows up on all your other devices using the same Apple ID. You’ve probably spent a good bit of time collecting these and putting them back in manually could be a bit of a pain. In order to do it easily simply go to “File” > “Export Bookmarks” and it will save as an HTML file on your desktop, ready for you to import it with the new Apple ID.
When you’ve set up your new Apple ID, just go to “File” > “Import Bookmarks” and select the file you want. You’ll want to do this on your computer first so that your iOS devices can take the information from it when you log into them with your new Apple ID.
Your iOS Backups
Now, this is the important one. Before you do any of the above, make sure that you backup your phone to iTunes first to ensure that you have a localised backup on your computer.
When you log in with your new Apple ID on your iOS devices, you’ll have the option to decide what you want going to iCloud and what you want staying local. To select these options, go to “Settings” > “iCloud” > “Log In With New Apple ID” > scroll to bottom > “Storage & Backup” > select “iCloud Backup”.
Your iOS device is now backing up all of your information to your iCloud profile with your new Apple ID and you’re done. You’ve now moved all of your important information over to your new Apple ID and reduced the hassle of having multiple IDs.
Hopefully, this was some use (until Apple finally allows merging of Apple ID’s).
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