What’s an Apple ID?

Your Apple ID is the way Apple identifies you, tracks your purchases and makes all your devices work seamlessly together. Every iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac user needs one… and it’s free. If you’ve used the iTunes or App Store, you’ve got an Apple ID.

Not sure of your Apple ID? Check iCloud on your Mac (in System Preferences) or Apple device (in the Settings app). You need to use the same Apple ID for iCloud on all your devices – otherwise your contacts, calendars, photos, passwords and documents won’t sync between them. If you’ve never used iCloud, you can use your iTunes & Store account to set up iCloud. If you don’t have an Apple ID, create one in iTunes or the iCloud settings (see below). No matter where you create it, you’ll be able to use your new Apple ID everywhere.

If you’re getting texts intended for someone else, or you see the wrong contacts or calendar events, you’re probably signed in with the wrong Apple ID. You may need to go to the appropriate place, sign out and then sign in with the correct Apple ID.

Where to enter your Apple ID on a Mac

  • iCloud syncs contacts, calendars, passwords, photo streams, keychain passwords & documents. You can also set up your icloud.com and me.com email accounts & notes. You'll find the iCloud settings in System Preferences.
  • Messages app for iMessage syncs with iPhone, iPad & iPod touch so you receive the same messages on all devices. Enter your Apple ID in the Preferences inside the Messages app.
  • FaceTime app lets you make and answer audio & video calls from other Apple users. Look in FaceTime preferences.
  • iTunes for music, video and iOS apps, as well as iTunes Match and iTunes Radio. Set your Apple ID by clicking the Account menu and Sign in. Also turn on Home Sharing in the File menu.
  • App Store for Mac apps. Sign in under the Store menu.

Where to enter your Apple ID on iPhone & iPad

  • iCloud Tap the Settings app and iCloud. Sign in here.
  • Messages Tap Settings and Messages. Tap Send & Receive and Use Apple ID for Messages. Enter your Apple ID and password.
  • FaceTime Tap Settings and FaceTime. Use your Apple ID for Messages.
  • iTunes & App Stores Tap the Settings app and iTunes & App Stores. If you use the Remote app to control an Apple TV or iTunes set Home Sharing for your Apple ID as well.

Where to enter your Apple ID on other devices

  • Apple TV Open Settings and Store. Sign in here. Then go back to Settings and choose iCloud. Enter your Apple ID again. Finally, go to Settings - Computers and turn on Home Sharing.
  • Windows Set your Apple ID in the iTunes Store menu and the iCloud control panel. Family Sharing

Read more about Apple IDs.

Learn more Mac basics.

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