Apple to Introduce Account Merging for Multiple Apple IDs

Apple to Introduce Account Merging for Multiple Apple IDs

Many of you will have a number of Apple IDs, especially if you’re a MobileMe subscriber. So when you login to iCloud, or Game Center, or the iTunes Store, or FaceTime, or iMessage… how do you know which one to use? Well, thankfully, Apple is working on Apple ID account merging that will turn all of your 30 Apple IDs into just one.

The issue was first highlighted by TUAW back in July when Apple first introduced automatic downloads across all your Macs and iOS devices:

Some readers have been managing two Apple IDs on purpose and are now frustrated about the fact that Apple is restricting logins for automatic downloads. Others have only just discovered that they have two IDs. Most of them have already contacted Apple, only to be given the same answer without exception: Apple will not consolidate Apple ID accounts.

If you’re a MobileMe subscriber, you’re likely to have at least two Apple IDs: your original account for the iTunes Store, and your MobileMe account. If you login to your iPhone with one, you cannot switch and use the automatic downloads feature on the other account for 90 days — which will be a huge issue for some.

However, Apple seems to be working on a solution, according to MacRumors:

MacRumors reader Robert emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook about the issue, and quickly received a phone call from an Apple executive relations employee. She had spoken to the team responsible for Apple IDs and acknowledged that they understood the issue and that more people would run into the problem with iCloud. She also repeated that there is no way yet to combine accounts but revealed they are working on it. In the meantime, she recommended picking a single account to plan on keeping indefinitely and to make all future purchases on that account.

Another user reports hearing the same information after emailing Tim Cook over the same issue.

I’ll certainly be looking forward to this feature. Will it help you with the upcoming launch of iCloud?

  • eltan

    I hope that this include merging iTune accounts from different countries. I have got a Singapore iTunes account from the start, but have relocated to London and am purchasing now from a UK iTunes account. Updating apps between the two stores can be a little tedious!

  • Ric

    Likewise eltan.
    I’m running 3 iTunes accounts.I have a U.S.A account for all things U.S.A (especially movies) with credit topped up by purchasing codes, a U.K. account for most purchases with my UK credit card, and a Portuguese account where I live. I run 3 iPhones, 2 iPads and also have Mac App Store purchases over 4 Macs. Updating anything is more than a little tedious.

  • Marc

    Why the 90-day restriction anyway? 
    I sure hope that they won’t force you to choose 1 store when you combine accounts. It sure sounds that way though. 
    I have a US account and an NL account. I need the US account to buy books (the Dutch iBookStore is a big joke to say the least) and movies because Apple is too lazy to make books and movies available in smaller countries, even after all these years. So I hope they ‘ll allow to combine accounts without losing having to choose just 1 store.

  • uptownnyc

    Is there any “best way” to deal with sharing content between spouses?  For instance, we share our music at home, so is there any way to get our shared music collection available to both our devices when iCloud goes live?  How about apps?  I’m assuming those will need to be purchased for their respective account-holders, but it seems like there must be a way to handle the shared music collection without having to store two completely separate instances.  Anyone solved this problem?

  • cyscaine

    This is a feature that I really need. Inadvertently created two accounts with app purchases made on both of them. Would really l love to be able to bring them back together under one account.  Only surprise is that it has taken Apple this long to address this issue.

  • Deilusd

    I have that same question.  With App updates we have to enter passwords in order to proceed.  Seems a bit redundant if sharing has already been activated on a registered device.

  • ksdulin

    I really hope this includes merging accounts from multiple countries… I already like the changes made to the Online Store Apple ID section, its finally helped me sort out some of my email problems from having various accounts

  • CharliK

    Best way to me seems to be to have one Apple ID that is for buying stuff and as needed another for email, FaceTime etc. 

    At least that’s what I recommended to my sister for her family and so far it works pretty well for the 6 of them. 

  • CharliK

    It’s likely due to validation issues. They need a way to prove you own both accounts and this isn’t some stunt to screw your ex girlfriend by capturing her Apple ID and then changing the password etc so she can’t get back all her stuff

  • CharliK

    “because Apple is too lazy”

    No. Apple is not. Apple would love to have all products available everywhere and is working to get it that way

    The issue is that the publishers, studios and labels don’t want it that way and they have the power. 

  • Marc

    To a certain extend that’s true But Apple does make it work in major markets that are important to them. So if they want it, they can. If they put their power to it I’m sure they could make it work in other markets too.

  • emmteeproductions

    I’ll agree. I had the same issue and forwarded my correspondence with apple I’d support to (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address), and got a call the next day. The apple executive representative told me that currently apple ids cannot be combined but support will be coming soon.

  • Max Manfrin

    Same issue here… I relocated twice, so I have iTunes Store accounts with purchases done in 3 different countries. Having to check for updates is really not funny!

  • Dan Kaplan

    Doesn’t seem like there has been a solution to this problem – I’m still managing 2 IDs

  • Mac_user

    Still no solution for multiple Apple IDs. Got a mail today about deadline june 2012. We did buy a family-account with several MobileMe-addresses and Mail-addresses for iTunes an still have the old .mac account also. It’s a nightmare to update all our iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and iMacs already. When living i 2-3 different countries every single year, it’s way to complicated, compared to how smoothly Apple devices and software are running normally. How comes? In every Airport I’ve been, I see people are moving around in the World today as never before and Apple still operates with old fashion borders – borders in AppStore, iTunes and like Apple can’t imagine, people are moving more then ever. But also inside my house with several members it’s getting totally fu…up with the iCloud now. Too many restriction in 2012 – way too many different developer interests and too much old fashion thinking – how many apps and music every country may have. The world got a new iPad with Retina and even faster processor – but you still have to face really old fashion restriction from the last century – after buying the device….

    It’s time for Apple to concentrate on service now – not on faster and more colors and thinner. Who cares when they getting huge problems after buying the device. People talking together…

  • Sumit1

    its great to see that apple is doing all the difficult things
    Apple Mac Support London

  • Brett

    It’s halfway through 2014, and Apple still has not created a way to merge accounts. This is complete, amateur bullshit on Apple’s part.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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