I recently discovered that although you can change your Apple ID, and Apple’s ID management website makes it appear a simple task, it can be a hassle if you don’t go through the right steps beforehand.
Strangely, you are unable to change your Apple ID to your iCloud name (your address ending in @icloud.com, @me.com, or @mac.com) if it isn’t that already, but you can change it to any third-party email address that isn’t already associated with another account.
Remember that this is changing your login information for Apple ID, iTunes Store, iCloud or anywhere else you might log into Apple’s servers.
I’m not going to cover the exact steps and what precisely you’ll need to click, as this will change as Apple evolves their system and security protocols, and I won’t remember to come back to this article to update it, but these are the basic steps. You may find that if you had skipped step 1 and went straight to changing your Apple ID (step 2), you won’t be able to log out of some services and you’ll have to change your Apple ID back to what it used to be before you can proceed. This sounds silly but it’s caused by Apple’s new Find My iPhone feature that makes your iPhone useless to a thief that doesn’t have your iCloud password. If you change your Apple ID first it means that your iOS device is unable to unregister itself with Apple because you can’t authenticate. Apple TV just freaks out and pops up with so many error messages that it’s almost impossible to do anything.
- Log out of iCloud/iTunes on all devices.
- Settings > iCloud. Take note of which services are enabled. Scroll to the bottom of that page and tap Delete Account (when prompted, you can safely delete content from your iOS device because this content will still be in the cloud)
- Settings > iTunes & App Store, tap your Apple ID
- Apple TV
- Settings > iTunes Store
- Settings > iCloud
- Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud. Take note of which services are enabled. (when prompted, you can safely delete content from your iOS device because this content will still be in the cloud)
- Apple menu > System Preferences > Internet accounts, delete your iCloud account if it’s configured anywhere in here as well
- Apple menu > App Store > Store menu (from the menu bar) > Sign Out
- iTunes > Store menu (from the menu bar) > Sign Out
- Change your Apple ID at appleid.apple.com.
- Log back into your account everywhere you logged out in step 1, enabling the services that you noted were previously enabled. If prompted, choose to merge your information with iCloud.
That should do it!