How to break up a shared Ap­ple ID ac­count

Macworld (USA) - - Contents - BY GLENN FLEISHMAN

Ap­ple’s cloud ser­vices (itunes, icloud, etc.) re­quire you to cre­ate an Ap­ple ID, which is es­sen­tially your key to ac­cess. Each per­son us­ing Ap­ple’s ser­vices should have a unique Ap­ple ID, but some­times peo­ple share IDS for con­ve­nience. That could led to some is­sues, how­ever.

For ex­am­ple, if an Ap­ple ID is be­ing shared by a cou­ple, it can cre­ate a prob­lem if the cou­ple breaks up. A reader writes in with such a story:

My part­ner and I broke up. We shared the same itunes ac­count. Ev­ery­thing down­loaded on one phone ap­pears on the other. How do I stop this?

While the ques­tion is about itunes, an itunes ac­count is a form of Ap­ple ID: you

can use it just for pur­chas­ing, or with icloud for cal­en­dar, con­tacts, email, pho­tos, and mu­sic, as well as macos ac­cess and el­e­ments as­so­ci­ated with Con­ti­nu­ity (ios/macos in­ter­ac­tions).

Be­fore I of­fer the rest of my ad­vice, can you ne­go­ti­ate with this for­mer part­ner over cus­tody? If so, you might be faced with dif­fer­ent choices. If you’ve pur­chased apps, mu­sic, videos, au­dio­books, and other items us­ing this Ap­ple ID, you might have to fig­ure out how one party re­im­burses the other for stuff they want to keep and still use.

If that’s the case, one per­son could be left with the ac­count and sim­ply change the pass­word. (This is a good time to also en­able two-fac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion [ go.mac­world.com/e2fa] and re­view the phone num­bers and email ad­dresses as­so­ci­ated with the Ap­ple ID, to make sure they’re all yours; or en­cour­age your ex to do the same.)

Let’s as­sume you are will­ing to aban­don the ac­count or have granted cus­tody to your part­ner.

First, you’ll want to copy all me­dia and other items that aren’t pur­chases that are tied to the ac­count. If you’re us­ing the Ap­ple ID just for itunes, that’s ev­ery­thing. With apps and videos, us­age is tied to an Ap­ple ID lo­gin, and you can use them with­out log­ging in. (The mu­sic files have no pro­tec­tion on them, but if both you and your part­ner re­tain copies, that’s a copy­right vi­o­la­tion.)

If you’re also us­ing icloud sync for con­tacts, cal­en­dars, email, pho­tos, or mu­sic, you’ll want to make sure you have the copies you want of all your stuff stored lo­cally be­fore delet­ing it. The last stage of what you’ll do after the be­low bul­let points is log out of the itunes or icloud ac­count you’re us­ing.

(I’m as­sum­ing no one will do some­thing ma­li­cious here and delete me­dia or other in­for­ma­tion that the other per­son has a right to have, but given the com­pli­cated na­ture of re­la­tion­ships, I’m go­ing to let you all work out those de­tails.)

Con­tacts: You can use the Con­tacts app in macos to se­lect con­tact en­tries and then use File → Ex­port → Con­tacts Ar­chive to cre­ate a file that you can im­port on an­other Mac. You can then delete those se­lected Con­tacts be­fore log­ging out. Quit after delet­ing, be­cause oth­er­wise, dele­tion can be un­done.

There’s no way to ex­port con­tacts from ios’s Con­tacts app or from icloud.com. How­ever, you can use third-party apps that ac­cess your IOS ad­dress book to group, copy, ex­cerpt, and delete en­tries.

Cal­en­dar: If you’ve shared a sin­gle cal­en­dar, it’s harder to sep­a­rate these en­tries and, as with Con­tacts, you have to use macos (or pos­si­bly a third-party IOS app) to ex­port en­tries. You may want to

use Cal­en­dar in macos to ex­port an en­tire cal­en­dar, and then se­lec­tively delete en­tries re­lated to you, es­pe­cially those with phone num­bers, ad­dresses, and peo­ple’s names.

Email: If you’re us­ing op­tions to store email on a server with Ap­ple’s Mail app, re­trieve it on a Mac to store lo­cally by drag­ging mes­sages or mail­boxes to en­try un­der On My Mac that ap­pear in the side­bar. All mes­sages you drag to that sec­tion are moved from the server to your Mac. You don’t need to do any­thing else. If you’re us­ing a dif­fer­ent email pro­gram, con­sult the di­rec­tions for mov­ing mes­sages and mail­boxes from server stor­age to lo­cal Mac stor­age.

Pho­tos: With icloud Photo Li­brary en­abled, ev­ery photo you up­load us­ing a Mac, IOS de­vice, or via icloud.com while logged into that Ap­ple ID will be copied to all other de­vices logged into the same one (and avail­able via icloud.com). Copy the files you want to re­tain, and then delete them from Pho­tos in IOS or macos or via icloud.com. Delet­ing im­ages from icloud Photo Li­brary deletes them from ev­ery de­vice on which they ap­pear. To make sure they’re per­ma­nently gone, check for the Re­cently Deleted al­bum. If they’re still there, se­lect them and choose delete, which re­moves them for­ever.

Mu­sic: Ap­ple lets you sync mu­sic files in your li­brary across de­vices. (This is dis­tinct from itunes Match, which finds high-qual­ity ver­sions of any mu­sic you’ve ripped or pur­chased else­where, and makes those avail­able.) You’ll want to make sure to copy any mu­sic files that be­long to you be­fore log­ging out of the Ap­ple ID ac­count.

After hav­ing done all of the above, on all your de­vices, log out from that ac­count. If you’re us­ing a sin­gle Ap­ple ID for both itunes and pur­chases and for icloud, log out from both places.

> In macos, go to the icloud sys­tem pref­er­ence pane, click Sign Out, and fol­low prompts.

> In IOS, to sign out of icloud, go to Set­tings, tap your name, and swipe down. Then, tap Sign Out. For itunes, tap itunes & App Store and then tap the Ap­ple ID: [email protected]­main. com link. Fi­nally, tap Sign Out.

> If you’re us­ing third-party con­tact, cal­en­dar, or email soft­ware, you may also need to sign out of or delete your Ap­ple ID from those lo­ca­tions.

As­sum­ing you don’t have an­other Ap­ple ID you’re al­ready us­ing with icloud, cre­ate a new Ap­ple ID at ap­pleid.ap­ple. com ( go.mac­world.com/apid), then log in via Set­tings in IOS and the Shar­ing pref­er­ence pane in macos.

You can now copy all the stuff you ex­ported and saved back into your var­i­ous apps. ■

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