Splitting a shared Apple ID/iCloud account amongst two or more users

3 November 2015, 04:54

Once upon a time people would create a single Apple ID and share it amongst family and friends. In other words, EVERYBODY logged into their iPhone or iPad using the same Apple ID.

This way it was only necessary to pay for an app or piece of music once, and everybody could then use it. Clever, eh?

The trouble is, what if the group of people sharing the account want to have their own, private Apple IDs/iCloud accounts so they get their own iMessage account, FaceTime address, iCloud storage space etc – yet ideally still keep on sharing stuff?

It turns out there’s a neat solution, and it’s obvious when you think about it: Family Sharing. This is Apple’s scheme intended for families that lets a group of people share the same purchases while having their OWN Apple ID/iCloud accounts. It also offers other things like a (mandatory) family calendar, and a family to-do list, but these features can be ignored.

To split a single Apple ID/iCloud account, here are the steps:

  1. One person will have to act as the Organizer. He/she will keep the original Apple ID/iCloud account, and will need to make a list of the NEW Apple ID login names that the other people have created.
  2. The Organizer will need to open the System app on their iPhone or iPad, select the iCloud entry, and tap Set Up Family Sharing.
  3. The Organizer will then have to confirm they want to, erm, organize things, and then will be invited to add the others. Be sure to add them as Adults, so they have full usage and access rights.
  4. On the iPhone/iPads of the others, they’ll receive an invitation request to join the family group. They should select to do so.
  5. Once joined, the non-Organizer members can access the old purchases by clicking the Purchased entry within iTunes, or the Updates icon and then Purchases within the App Store. The Organizer can also do this to find any purchases THEY might make in future.
  6. The Organizer should now change the password for the original account to make it personal.

Leave a comment...

Terrible advice. People coming here likely want to know what happens to data on their phone with they change from the master to the new apple id. Everything you wrote is common knowledge.

— john · Dec 7, 10:26 AM · #

^^ Someone’s having a bad day, or is just too lazy to look through multiple search results when the first article addresses a different topic then the one they are interested in. This page was really helpful for me, thank you!

— Andrew · Jul 31, 07:56 AM · #