The Apple ID

If you purchase an iOS device an Apple ID is required. It’s an E-Mail address and a related password. With an Apple ID you are able to use all services provided by Apple with this one and only one ID.

This image shows the properties of an E-Mail address used as an Apple ID.


These are

  • iCloud

    getting 5 GB free storage
    backing up and restoring your device
    syncing data from Apple’s apps
    Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, iWork
    finding, locking or deleting your device if it was stolen
    determining the location of one of your devices if you cannot find it
    finding friends

  • iMessage
    Apple’s free messaging system for text and media messages via internet without using special services of your carrier
  • Facetime
    Apple’s free video call between Apple devices
  • Apple Store
    purchasing devices and accessories
  • Apple iBooks
    purchasing eBooks and downloading free documents about different topics, e.g. manuals for the devices, for iWork products, the filesystem or the UI Guidelines
  • iTunes
    purchasing media
  • Apple hardware and Apple Care Protection Plan
    for extension of warranty and hard- and software support
  • Concierge (for Genius Bar appointments)
    needed to make a reservation at the Apple Genius Bar. Apple Genius Bar is a tech support service that is offered inside every Apple Retail Store.
  • iTunes U
    accessing and downloading teaching and learning aids
  • Apple Support Community
    engaging in discussions and asking questions

Locations of the ID …

On your device you will find the Apple ID at the following locations.

  • Settings – iCloud – Account
  • Settings – Messages – Send + Receive – iMessage
  • Settings – FaceTime
  • Settings – iTunes + App Stores
  • Apple Store (built-in app) – More – Account

There are several issues here to consider in terms of how Apple IDs work for the various services. The first and most important thing to keep in mind is that you can use different Apple IDs for some of the different services—they don’t all need to use the same ID. The ID that you use for the actual iCloud service (Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Safari, Find My iPhone, Documents and Data, Photo Stream and Backups) does not need to be the same as the Apple ID used for the iTunes Store, iMessage, FaceTime or Game Center; you can use a separate Apple ID for each of these services.

The Apple ID used for iCloud determines your 5 GB free space offered by Apple for using iCloud backup and syncing of Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Safari, Find My iPhone/iPad, Documents and Data and Photo Stream.

A frequently asked question is how you can locate devices e.g. of your kids if they use different Apple IDs. Open the app ‘Find my iPhone’, tap on Sign Out and sign in with the Apple ID for the device you want to locate.


Managing the Apple ID …

You don’t need iTunes on your PC/Mac to manage your Apple ID. All changes can be done by using SETTINGS on your iOS device.

Go to Settings – iTunes + App Stores, tap on your Apple ID and enter your password. Look at this gallery for further information of some functionalities.

If you want to purchase items from Apple Stores you additionally have to select a payment method e.g. your credit card number and a three or four digit code engraved on the front or rear side of your card, the card verification code. Apple just calls this code Security Code.
The payment method can also be edited in Apple’s app App Store.

Make sure to update your credit card information within your Apple ID settings if you get a new card where date of validity and card verification code are changed.
To do so go to Settings – iTunes + App Stores – Payment Information.

Different abbreviations are used for this code

card security code (CSC)
card verification data (CVD)
card verification value (CVV or CVV2)
card verification value code (CVVC)
card verification code (CVC or CVC2)
verification code (V-code or V code)
card code verification (CCV) or
signature panel code (SPC)

These codes are not stored on the magnetic stripe of the card and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) also prohibits the storage of the code post transaction authorization.

If you don’t want to use a credit card look here

Creating an account without a credit card

More than one iOS device …

If you use more than one iOS device it’s recommended to use the same Apple ID on all devices because this is the prerequisite for using the sync feature e.g. for Contacts, Reminders, Calendar and documents created by the Apple’s iWork suite.
A different Apple ID on one device admittedly gives you another free 5 GB storage on iCloud but syncing is no longer available.

Security …

At the time it was not reported that Apple’s security levels have been compromised. Nevertheless it’s highly recommended to increase security by using a strong password with a minimum of 12 characters. If you purchase apps at the App Store or music from iTunes you are asked to enter your password at irregular intervals. For this reason many users define weak passwords. Don’t do it! A general rule for all passwords is to change them regularly even though it’s not comfortable.

See below how to change the password.


Regarding the data stored on your device you should specify an Unlock Code because it’s the only way to encrypt data when backing up to iCloud.

For added security go to Settings – General – Restrictions to prevent anyone else to turn off Find my iPad/iPhone.

When enabling Restrictions you have to enter a password for this feature which should be different from your Unlock Code for this device. So if anybody knows your Unlock Code he is still not able to change the Restrictions.
Set ‘Don’t allow changes’ in Settings – General – Restrictions for ‘Deleting Apps’ and ‘Location Services’.

Another security feature is the disabling of an Apple ID if the account password is incorrectly entered numerous times. This affects some services you may access with your Apple ID (iCloud, and iTunes Store, etc).

If the account was partially disabled for security reasons, you have to reset your account via


This should restore your access to the disabled services. You can also click the ‘Reset Password’ or ‘Forgot Password?’ buttons that appear in the alert message.

Best practice …

Use an E-Mail address for your Apple ID which you don’t use for communication or other purposes like usernames for websites or online shops. So this address is basically unknown in the tremendous daily stream of bits around the world.

If you already use an E-Mail address which does not follow this suggestion you might want to know how you can change your E-Mail address.

Follow these steps …

Apple Support Document HE40

Change Apple ID or password …

Manage your Apple ID

Reset your password

Apple communicates with you via your primary E-Mail address which usually is identical with your Apple ID. If you change data within your account Apple will send an E-Mail to your primary E-Mail address which confirms the changes.


Summary …

The Apple ID is a comfortable way to use all services of Apple.
Apple is often criticized because of it’s restrictive corporate policy.
The are many pros and many cons. I think everybody can agree with my opinion that no other company developed such an efficient infrastructure like Apple. With the App Store and the iOS filesystem Apple’s devices are also secure devices which is getting more and more important as smartphones will kick off purses and credit cards in the near future. One day it will also be used as our ID Card.

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