By Rebecca J. Hogue

Your Apple ID is your identity in the Apple ecosystem. It allows you to buy apps in the App Store and update your iPad’s operating system. In addition, your Apple ID is used for messaging, iBooks purchases, and iCloud backup and file transfer.

When you initially configure your iPad, you enter one Apple ID; however, the iPad will allow you to use a different Apple ID for each service. For example, my husband and I share an Apple ID for our App Purchases. Most Apps allow you to install the App on up to 5 devices. Having a shared ID allows us to buy apps once. We each have our own unique Apple ID for messaging and for iCloud backups. The unique ID ensures that we are not sharing contacts, calendar, and device configuration data. For most people, I recommend two Apple IDs. One family ID for shared purchases and another unique per person ID for messaging data associated with individuals. Specifically, I recommend setting up the following using individual and family accounts:

Individual:

  • iCloud (to change the Apple ID associated with iCloud, you must delete the current configuration first)
  • iMessages
  • FaceTime
  • Game Center

Family:

  • iTunes & App Store – Note, you may be asked to confirm your credit card information. You can either confirm it or hit cancel. In both cases, your Apple ID will be updated
  • Music – Home sharing feature (if you change the Music Sharing setting, it also changes the Video sharing setting)
  • Video – Home sharing feature (if you change the Video Sharing setting, it also changes the Music sharing setting)

When you download an app, it is associated with your current App Store Apple ID. When the app needs to be updated, you will be required to enter the password associate with the Apple ID that was used to purchase (or download) that app. If you no longer have access to that Apple ID, you will not be able to update that app. If it is a free app, the easiest solution is to delete the app and then re-add it with your current App Store Apple ID.

Reference: iPad User Manual, section “Apple ID”

This video shows how to change your iCloud Apple ID.