An Apple ID is a unique username and password that you create to access Apple’s online services, such as the App Store, iTunes, iCloud, and more. Your Apple ID is linked to your Apple devices, and it allows you to download and purchase apps, music, movies, and books, and also enables you to back up your data to iCloud and sync your content across your devices. With an Apple ID, you can also access services like iMessage and FaceTime, and use Apple Pay to make purchases online or in stores.
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Creating an Apple ID is free, and it can be set up on any Apple device or through Apple’s website. You can use the same Apple ID across all your Apple devices, so you don’t have to remember different usernames and passwords for each one. But you might be wondering whether you can transfer purchases to another Apple ID.
Can You Transfer Purchases to Another Apple ID?
The answer is that there is no way to transfer apps or any other purchases (movies, songs, games, books, etc) from one ID to another ID. Apple just does not allow it. Further, you cannot merge two or more Apple IDs into a single one.
However, if you are using multiple Apple IDs, you can gather all of your content purchases onto your iOS device, iPad, or iPhone by copying all of your purchased content so it is on the same Mac or PC with iTunes and then sync your iOS device with after authorizing your computer to play content with each Apple ID in iTunes.
Use a Different Apple ID for App Store & Purchases
If you decide to use one Apple ID, you can still access your app purchases (if any) using your other Apple IDs. You can also have all the purchases made using a different Apple ID on one device, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap [Your Name] at the top of the screen.
- Scroll down and tap Media & Purchases.
- From the menu that appears, tap the Sign Out button.
- A pop-up box will appear confirming that this will sign you out of the App Store, Books, Music and Podcasts.
- Tap the Sign Out button to confirm.
- Once you’ve been signed out, tap the Media & Purchases button again.
- From the menu that appears, tap the [Not Your Name] button.
- Enter the Apple ID and password for the account that you want to use for the App Store and purchases.
If you want to double-check and make sure that the secondary Apple ID is actually signed in correctly, you can do so. Just open the App Store on your iPhone or iPad, then tap your Profile Image in the top right corner. From there, you can look at the top of the page, and the Apple ID email address will appear below your name.
What makes this great is that even if you sign out of your “primary” Apple ID via the steps above, it won’t affect the use of things like iCloud storage, Family Sharing or Apple’s Find My. The only major difference is that the Apple Music app will no longer have the same library, as it relies on the same Apple ID as the one used for your purchases. Additionally, if you have an Apple Music subscription tied to the initial Apple ID, it won’t be accessible when you switch to a different Apple ID.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the original editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.