What to Do If Your iOS Device is Asking You to Sign-In To Someone Else's Apple ID - AppleToolBox (2023)

If your iOS or Mac device keeps asking you to sign in to a different Apple ID, you probably know how frustrating it can be.

That’s especially true since the reason behind it isn’t readily clear (assuming the device in question is actually signed into your own Apple ID and iCloud account).

The author of this piece (me) has personally run into this problem, and it can be incredibly annoying. Luckily, the author has also figured out why this happens in most cases and how to fix it. Here’s what you need to know.

Contents

  • The Issue
  • Why This Happens
  • The fix for when your device asks for a different Apple ID
    • Luckily, you can mitigate this problem by simply backing up to iCloud and then restoring from that backup.
    • Back up using iCloud
    • Next, restore from an iCloud backup
    • Alternatively, you can use Finder or iTunes on your own computer.
    • As always, an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure. That seems to be especially true for this case. The best way to “fix” this problem is to avoid it.

The Issue

In the vast majority of cases, this issue is tied to the apps on your device. Basically, when you download an app with an Apple ID, Apple counts that as a purchase — even if it’s a free app. It also associates that “purchase” with the Apple ID that made it.

As such, if you have apps that were “purchased” under someone else’s Apple ID, you’ll need to log in to their account to do anything with the app other than open and use it.

Usually, that means this problem appears when iOS/iPadOS or macOS is attempting to download an update for that app — whether it’s automatic or you’ve manually initiated it. Before that update can be downloaded, Apple will need you to log in with the Apple ID that “purchased” (downloaded) the app in the first place.

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Even if you can easily get that person to log in, it’s inconvenient to relyon someone else whenever you want to download an update. If you can’t get them to log in, then you’re sort of stuck. That is unless you understand the problem and know how to fix it.

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Why This Happens

This can occur if you’re using a Mac or iOS/iPadOS device that had a previous owner and that device wasn’t factory reset or otherwise wiped properly. Those apps, even free ones, are still associated with the original Apple ID.

What to Do If Your iOS Device is Asking You to Sign-In To Someone Else's Apple ID - AppleToolBox (1)

You can also run into this problem if you’re using iTunes or Finder associated with one Apple ID to back up and restore a device that’s logged into another Apple ID account.

For example, if you use your iTunes or Finder to help a friend back up and restore their device, some of the data stored on your computer might be transferred over. Of course, this also works the other way around: such as if you’re restoring from a backup on someone else’s iTunes or Finder app on Mac or PC.

This only seems to be the case for apps that are already on the iOS device in question but are also stored on the computer you’re using. Common culprits include major social media platforms and other popular apps.

That’s because iTunes/Finder tries to get as much data locally as it can. Rather than download information, it simply uses the data already on a computer to sync.

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The fix for when your device asks for a different Apple ID

Unfortunately, if you have an app “purchased” by a different Apple ID, you’re sort of out of luck.

That means the only way to fix the issue is to delete the apps that were purchased by that other account. From there, you can re-download and install them with your own Apple ID.

On the other hand, if you have a lot of apps, sometimes it can be tricky to tell which specific ones are the culprit. The App Store doesn’t readily let you know which apps are associated with your Apple ID and which apps are associated with someone else’s Apple ID.

Luckily, you can mitigate this problem by simply backing up to iCloud and then restoring from that backup.

If you do that, usually, the offending apps will be re-downloaded from the App Store under the proper Apple ID.

Back up using iCloud

  1. Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network
  2. Go to Settings >Apple ID > iCloud

    What to Do If Your iOS Device is Asking You to Sign-In To Someone Else's Apple ID - AppleToolBox (2)

  3. Tap iCloud Backup
  4. Toggle iCloud Backup on.This turns on automatic backups
  5. PressBack Up Now

    What to Do If Your iOS Device is Asking You to Sign-In To Someone Else's Apple ID - AppleToolBox (3)

  6. Stay connected to your WiFi network until the backup completes
  7. Check the progress and confirm the backup by going to Settings > Apple ID> iCloud > iCloud Backup. Under Back Up Now, look for the date and time of your last backup

Next, restore from an iCloud backup

You must first erase all of your device’s current contents–so double-check and triple-check that you have an iCloud backup available following the steps above. We also recommend you make a backup using Finder or iTunes, for extra safety and precaution.

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  1. Once you confirm you have an iCloud backup, go toSettings > General > Reset >Erase All Content and Settings

    What to Do If Your iOS Device is Asking You to Sign-In To Someone Else's Apple ID - AppleToolBox (4)

  2. Enter your Apple ID to confirm
  3. Wait for your device to erase and reboot
  4. At the reboot, you should see the Hello welcome screen
  5. Follow the onscreen prompts untilyou reach the Apps & Data
  6. Choose Restore fromiCloud Backup What to Do If Your iOS Device is Asking You to Sign-In To Someone Else's Apple ID - AppleToolBox (5)
  7. Sign in with your Apple ID
  8. Choose your most recent backup or a different backup if desired (look at the dates available)
  9. Follow the on-screen prompts to sign in
  10. Wait for the progress bar to complete. DO NOT disconnect from WiFi. If possible, keep theWiFi connection and plug your device into power to let the process complete all your data download

Be aware that content like your apps, photos, music, and other information continues to restore in the background over several hours or days, depending on how much data you have.

Alternatively, you can use Finder or iTunes on your own computer.

When you attempt to sync or backup, Finder/iTunes alerts you that it cannot transfer some purchases. If you restore from backup on this computer, it should solve the problem.

As always, an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure. That seems to be especially true for this case. The best way to “fix” this problem is to avoid it.

  • iTunes and Finder Backups are great, but if you use iCloud as your primary backup method, you won’t run into this issue.
  • Whenever possible, avoid using an Apple app (like Messages, FaceTime, iTunes&App Store) that’s logged into a different account than the device you’re backing up or restoring.
  • If you have to use someone else’s Apple ID, it might be worth deleting common apps that are shared between that device and yours. Just reinstall them when you’re done restoring.
  • When you buy, inherit or otherwise get your hands on someone else’s device, make sure to perform a Factory Reset to completely wipe it of existing data.

We hope that the tips provided in this short article were helpful to you. Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions.

Mike Peterson( Senior Writer )

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Mike is a freelance journalistfrom San Diego, California.

While he primarily covers Apple and consumer technology, he has past experience writing about public safety, local government, and education for a variety of publications.

He’s worn quite a few hats in the journalism field, including writer, editor, andnews designer.

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FAQs

Why is my iPhone asking me for someone else's Apple ID? ›

You might have acquired a used iPhone and the previous owner is still signed into the device through their Apple ID. Or you've let someone else use your iPhone, and they've signed into the Apple App Store with their own Apple ID to download an app, forgetting to sign back out again.

How do I get rid of someone elses Apple ID that is not mine I can't even download apps on the App Store? ›

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content & Settings. That's because the Apps that are requesting an update are ones downloaded with another Apple ID. You will not be able to update those apps without that Apple ID password. However, you can delete the apps, and then redownload them from the App Store.

Why is my apple watch asking for someone else's Apple ID? ›

It sounds like her Apple ID may be signed in to iTunes and the App Store. Make sure that you are completely signed out using the steps from Sign out of iCloud on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac. Then Unpair and erase your Apple Watch.

How do I remove previous owner Apple ID from iPhone? ›

How do I remove previous owner iCloud account when they are not available?
  1. Sign in to iCloud.com with their Apple ID.
  2. Go to Find My iPhone.
  3. Click All Devices at the top of the screen.
  4. Select the device that you want to remove from iCloud.
  5. If necessary, click Erase [device].
  6. Click Remove from Account.
12 Sept 2018

Why is my device associated with another Apple ID? ›

When you try to associate a device that was previously associated, you might notice a message that says, "This device is associated with another Apple ID. You cannot associate this device with another Apple ID for [number] days." You might need to wait up to 90 days to associate the device with a different Apple ID.

How do I unlink someone's Apple ID? ›

In the Family Sharing section:
  1. On your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac, sign in to appleid.apple.com with your Apple ID and password.
  2. On your iPhone or iPod touch, tap the downward-facing arrow at the top of the page, then tap Family Sharing. ...
  3. Tap or click Disconnect Account.
  4. Tap or click Disconnect.
4 Nov 2022

How do I remove Apple locked to owner? ›

How to remove Activation Lock
  1. Go to www.iCloud.com/find.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID and password.
  3. At the top, click All Devices.
  4. Select the device that you want to remove from iCloud.
  5. Click Remove from Account.
20 Sept 2021

How do I unlock an iPhone that is locked to its owner? ›

Method 2: Remove iPhone Locked To Owner via iCloud [Apple ID Required]
  1. Sign in to iCloud.com. Click on "Find My iPhone.”
  2. Select the device and click “Remove from Account.”
  3. Click “Remove.”
  4. Wait for a second and you can set up the iPhone as a new one.

Why is my iPhone locked to owner? ›

On a device with iOS or iPadOS 15 or later that is protected by Activation Lock, you see an "iPhone Locked to Owner" screen when you turn on or wake the device. Don't take ownership of any used iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch if it's protected by Activation Lock.

How do I get my iPhone to stop asking for the wrong Apple ID? ›

7 Methods To Fix Wrong Apple ID On iPhone
  1. Method 1: Force Restart Your iPhone.
  2. Method 2: Relogin Your Apple ID.
  3. Method 3: Uninstall Apps When App Store Ask for Wrong Apple ID On iPhone.
  4. Method 4: Update iOS Version.
  5. Method 5: Factory Reset Your iPhone.
  6. Method 6: Restore iPhone via iTunes.
29 Mar 2022

How can I tell if my Apple ID is being used by someone else? ›

Use the web to find where you're signed in

From the Devices section of your Apple ID account page, you can find all of the devices that you're currently signed in to with your Apple ID, including Android devices, consoles, and smart TVs: Sign in to appleid.apple.com,* then select Devices.

What happens if I log into someone else's Apple ID on my phone? ›

Depends for what purpose. To just check their accounts, etc, won't affect anything. You'll just have to log out, then log into yours and your friend should be aware that you'll have access to their personal and financial info. If it's to download their purchases, then Yes, you should expect issues.

Can I unlock my device from a previous owner's Apple ID? ›

An Apple store can bypass this, but they are unlikely to do so unless you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you own the device. Often, they'll just turn you away and say they can't do it. The absolute best way to fix this is to reach out to the previous owner and have them remove the device from their Apple ID.

Does factory reset delete Apple ID? ›

Apple IDs are permanent. They do not disappear because you reset the iPhone. You can continue to use it normally after resetting the iPhone.

How do I change the Apple ID owner? ›

Change your Apple ID
  1. Go to appleid.apple.com and sign in.
  2. In the Sign-In and Security section, choose Apple ID.
  3. Enter the email address that you want to use as your Apple ID.
  4. Choose Change Apple ID.
4 Nov 2021

Can you have 2 Apple IDs on same device? ›

Not many people are aware of this, but it is possible to sign in and use multiple Apple IDs on an iPhone or iPad. You can log in and set up multiple Apple IDs on an iOS device from the Settings app, and use them for different purposes like contacts, email, notes, bookmarks, etc.

Does signing out of Apple ID on one device affect other devices? ›

We see that you came to us from the article Sign out of iCloud on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac and want to know if signing out of iCloud on one device will sign you out on another. It will not. You can sign out of one and still be logged in on another device.

Is it possible to unlock an iCloud locked iPhone? ›

A direct way to unlock an iCloud-locked iPhone is to remove your Apple ID, which will remove all services or restrictions linked to your Apple ID, thus reaching the end of removing the iCloud activation lock.

Can you bypass a iPhone lock? ›

Using Siri to bypass the iPhone password is an iPhone hack existing on iOS devices running iOS 8.0 to iOS 10.1. You can use Siri to bypass your iPhone passcode by turning off the cellular data, reading a new message, setting a reminder, and more. This is a roundabout way to bypass a forgotten passcode on iPhone.

Can you unlock an iPhone if you are not the original owner? ›

One of the ways to remove the Find My iPhone activation lock from your iPhone without the previous owner is to present a proof of purchase to the Apple support team. When you give this document to Apple, they can verify the original owner of the phone and then can help you unlock the device.

How do I find out what app is using another Apple ID on my iPhone? ›

View the apps that you use with Sign in with Apple
  1. Open the Settings app, then tap your name.
  2. Tap Password & Security.
  3. Tap Apps Using Apple ID.
24 Oct 2022

Can my iPhone be hacked? ›

An iPhone can be hacked remotely through iOS vulnerabilities. However, it's more likely that it'll be hacked through malicious software or physical access, as programming-based hacking is the most difficult to carry out.

How do you know if your iPhone is hacked 2022? ›

If your apps, messages, and files are loading slowly or not at all, it could be due to malware. Unrecognized apps — New apps that you don't recall downloading could be hiding malware that lets hackers access your device. These apps can get onto your iPhone through scam links and malicious websites.

Can you tell if someone looked at your phone? ›

Pick Digital Wellbeing & parental controls from Android Settings or Screen Time from iOS Settings. There, you can dig in to see which apps have been in use over the past 24 hours or the past few days—if there are apps you don't remember using, it might be a sign that someone else has been on your phone.

Does deleting Apple ID remove activation lock? ›

After your account is deleted, you can't sign out of iCloud or turn off Find My iPhone Activation Lock on your devices. If you forget to sign out, you might not be able to use your device when your account is deleted."

How do I force my iPhone to factory reset? ›

Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone. Do one of the following: Prepare your content and settings to transfer to a new iPhone: Tap Get Started, then follow the onscreen instructions. When you finish, return to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone, then tap Erase All Content and Settings.

How do you reset a stolen iPhone? ›

How to factory reset your iPhone remotely
  1. Navigate to icloud.com/#find.
  2. Click “Find my iPhone”.
  3. Enter your Apple ID.
  4. Choose your iPhone from the All Devices list and click Erase iPhone.
  5. All the data on your lost or stolen iPhone will now be erased.
6 Apr 2018

How do I change the owner of a device? ›

Update your own profile
  1. Open your device's Settings app.
  2. Tap System. Multiple users. If you can't find this setting, try searching your Settings app for users .
  3. Tap your name. To change your profile name, enter a new name and then tap OK.

How can I tell if my Apple ID is being used on another device? ›

From the Devices section of your Apple ID account page, you can find all of the devices that you're currently signed in to with your Apple ID, including Android devices, consoles, and smart TVs: Sign in to appleid.apple.com,* then select Devices.

How do I unlink two iphones from another Apple ID? ›

Launch iTunes on the computer and sign in with your Apple ID credentials. Go to Menu> Account> View My Account option. Click manage devices in it and select the device you want to unlink from the list of connected devices. Tap on the remove button to complete the process.

How do I get rid of someone else's Apple ID on my iPhone without password? ›

If you just want to remove the Apple ID signed in to the iTunes Store and App Store on iPhone, you can do so without a password required. Step 1: Go to Settings > iTunes & App Stores. Step 2: Tap on the Apple ID and choose Sign Out, so the Apple ID will be removed immediately.

How can I tell if someone is connected to my iPhone? ›

Sign in to the Apple ID website (https://appleid.apple.com) and review all the personal and security information in your account to see if there is any information that someone else has added. If you have two-factor authentication turned on, review trusted devices for any devices that you don't recognize.

How can I tell if someone has used my iPhone? ›

How to Inspect a Used iPhone
  1. Verify the IMEI Number. Go to Settings -> General -> About, swipe down to IMEI. ...
  2. Check the activation lock. This step makes sure the phone is not a stolen phone. ...
  3. Reset the iPhone. Before buying an iPhone, please remove current owner's Apple ID from Settings > iCloud. ...
  4. Check Warranty.

How can I see who is logged into my Apple ID? ›

Check the Apple ID devices list on your iPhone: Open Settings > click on [your name]. Scroll down and you can see there is a devices list that has ever logged in with this Apple ID.

What happens if two iPhones have the same Apple ID? ›

If you don't want to create a new Apple ID, what you can do on the phones will be limited. You will only be able to use Messages/FaceTime on one phone because if both phone are signed into Messages/FaceTime, you will see all messages visible on both phones. Any data synced to iCloud will show on both phones.

How do I change my Apple ID on only one device? ›

Tap Sign in to your iPhone (or iPad).

Tap Email and enter the email address associated with the different Apple ID. Enter the Password associated with the different Apple ID. Tap Merge if you want to merge the data on your iPhone with the iCloud account associated with the different Apple ID.

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