Make Your Mac Sing!The Deal with Apple ID

Apple ID. You may have heard of it. You know that time when you were on vacation out of the country, when you tried to play your music, you were asked for the password to that thing, then you couldn’t find it, and then you spent a couple hours on the phone with Apple Support trying to change your password? Then you got home, and every other device you own was looking for that new password you scribbled on a scrap piece of paper that flew out the window at some point while you were cruising back on I-91?

Ring a bell now?

Apple ID is the roof under which many services from Apple live. You use the same credentials for iTunes Store, Mac App Store, IOS App Store and the mysterious iCloud. Apple ID is used when you register a new computer with Apple. It can also help you reset your computer password, if you’ve forgotten it.

It is the One Ring That Rules Them All, yet nobody really gets it, probably for that very reason. It does such a variety of things, it is hard to describe. Thus the confusion ensues.


A Trail of Internet Services

Going back to the 90’s, Apple had dabbled with online services, trying to compete with Microsoft Exchange services. They were looking for a way to sync calendars, contacts, emails, and even documents, across various devices. In the early “Aughts”, Apple’s first service that gained any kind of traction was iTools, shortly becoming .Mac.

It had some cool features, but was riddled with issues and was slow as heck.

Then they transitioned to MobileMe when the iPhone was introduced.

It had some cool features, but was riddled with issues and was slow as heck.

MobileMe didn’t quite gain traction, so in 2011 Apple rebranded once again, creating iCloud.

It has some cool features, has issues, and can be slow as heck.

Something tells me that it must be a really, really hard thing to pull off. In fairness, your internet speeds also play a huge part in the performance of the service, and Apple is notorious for services that require serious broadband speeds to push huge amounts of data. Or maybe it's just that sufficient resources are not applied to the task of making it “Great”?

Why should you care about Apple ID?

Since your Apple ID is your access to so many different services, odds are that some are very important to you, and some not at all.

You should care if:

  • You have more than one device, and you want to sync your Contacts, Calendars, Notes, Safari Bookmarks, and/or Reminders.
  • You purchase Music or Movies on iTunes or Apple Music.
  • You want to check on your Warranty status.
  • You want to send your photos from your iPhone straight to your computer without having to connect a cable and import manually.
  • You want to purchase anything in the App Store.
  • You want to back up your iPhone to iCloud.
  • You lost your device, and need to find it. 

Those are a few of the top reasons. There are many others I could quote, but you get the idea. It’s kind of a good idea to know what your Apple ID is, and what the password is.

What’s my Apple ID? Do I have One?

On the Mac, you can check out your Apple ID from the Apple menu, in System Preferences > iCloud.

On iPhone / iPad, go to settings, and your Apple ID is on the top left, alongside your name.

If you don’t have anything down in either place, then you can see if you have an old account having around. Go to (Clever Address) There is a link on the page where you can look up what your Apple ID is. Usually it’s your current email address, but it may be an old one. Remember every account has a Name field, and a Password field. Don’t worry if the name is an old email account. The name of your Apple ID is a name only. You don’t necessarily need to have access to it the old email address (but it might help).

Before you create a new account, try really hard to discover any existing account you may have hanging around. Especially if you’ve made any purchases with it. Believe me, it’s worth the hassle. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t, but 9 times out of 10, I see folks coming up with the old account credentials after the fact. It can be a pain in the butt to reconcile an old account with the new.

Once you know the credentials of your Apple ID, you can log in and see your account settings, credit card on file, devices associated with that account, etc. One thing you really want to do is make sure there is a second email address on file for rescuing the account. You do have a second email account right?

In the future I will talk more about Apple ID, including troublshooting issues with it, as well as some tips on using it.

Thanks for reading!


What Birdwaves Media Does

Web Design

Is your current website mobile-compatible? I'm fluent in both Wordpress and Joomla!. Besides mobile-compatibility and higher Google rankings, a CMS also lets you update your own site using only your web-browser and without having to code. Let's get started!

Video Production / Editing

Small productions, all phases from planning to recording to editing. Editing in Final Cut X. Green screen available.

Mac and PC Support

While I prefer to work on Mac, and I only recommend them, I do work on PC’s as well. Got a problem? I’m here to help!

Music Recording / Production

At my recording studio here in Ashfield, I'm able to record groups. A sweet vocal booth is available for voiceover work. Audiobooks, voiceover, and poetry readings a specialty.