You can use Apple IDs on multiple devices, but problems can arise if you don’t plan your strategy. Customize how Apple ID works on Macs, iPhones, and more with these tips.
Apple IDs can be used on multiple devices, but problems can arise if the settings are not configured properly. Linking an Apple ID to an Apple device, of course, provides the ability to download and install previously purchased applications, access the photos and videos associated with that account, and automatically sync and back up files. to do with iCloud.
There are several reasons why you might want to associate your Apple ID with a device while also limiting which components the device can access. For example, while you might want to load applications onto an iPad from your employer, you may not want that device to access your photos or iCloud email. In other cases, you may need to use iCloud to automatically back up files on a Mac but not an iPhone, or you may want to view photos on an Apple TV but not allow purchases on that same device.
Here’s how to use your Apple account on Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs, while also tweaking settings to best suit your needs.
Associate an Apple ID with an Apple device
The process starts with linking your Apple device to your Apple ID, a setup step that comes standard with Apple devices. If you previously skipped that step, or if you want to change the Apple ID associated with a device, you can do so using the following steps.
On iPhones and iPads, go to Settings and then tap the Apple ID item at the top of the screen. If you’re using an Apple TV, you can change the Apple ID associated with the set-top box by selecting Settings and then choosing Users & Accounts. In the Apple TV Users & Accounts menu, you can choose from the standard user or additional user options. On a Mac, open the Apple ID associated with the laptop or desktop by opening System Preferences (by clicking the Apple icon in the Mac menu bar) and then clicking the Apple ID section at the top of the window.
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Configure various Apple account components with an Apple device
Once you associate an Apple ID with a device, a variety of options allow you to enable or disable various Apple account components with that device. macOS allows independently enabling or disabling all of the following Apple ID elements, as demonstrated in: Image A:
- Photos and videos
- Keychain Passwords
- Private Relay Services
- Hide my email services
- iCloud drive
- iCloud email
- Safari Bookmarks and Activity
- Location data for Find My Mac
Many of those individual components also allow for customization of a variety of corresponding elements. For example, for iCloud, you can enable or disable all of the following, examples of which are shown in: Figure Bon an Apple device to which you have associated an Apple ID:
- Desktop and Document Folders
- QuickTime Player
- script editor
- Edit text
- Garage band
- Universal control
- System Preferences
Often other application options appear in iCloud as well. Affinity Photo, Byword, iA Writer, and Pixelmator are among the programs that allow individual configuration of iCloud backup and sync settings.
How do those settings come into play? Let’s say you want to link your Apple ID to a Mac or iPad to access Mail and install applications you’ve previously purchased on a new device, but you don’t want to link other elements, including photos, Safari activity, or your Location. with that device. In such cases, you can simply clear the corresponding checkboxes for the items — Photos, Safari, and Find My Mac, respectively — that you want to unpair with that device.
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How to set Apple TV restrictions
On an Apple TV, you can access and enable or disable several specific components associated with an Apple ID, including Apple Store, iCloud, and Photo permissions. To access these settings on an Apple TV, select Settings and then click Users & Accounts. Select the correct user (my Apple ID is set as the default user, although accounts may also be listed under additional users if you have more than one account associated with the device) and note the Store and iCloud options. Simply select the Store or iCloud option you want to change and sign out of the associated account for the option in question. Apple TVs also let you turn iCloud Photos and Shared Albums on and off. Just select the corresponding item and choose Off to disable those features from working with that device.
Apple TVs include additional settings that can restrict the device’s access to an Apple ID. You can specify that an Apple TV requires your Apple ID password every time a purchase is made by going to Settings, selecting Users & Accounts, and setting Require password to always require a password when making purchases. You can also disable purchases from the Restrictions menu of an Apple TV’s General Settings, where iTunes Store purchases and rentals can be disabled, as well as in-app purchases. You can also require the use of a passcode in the same Restrictions menu.
Linking your Apple ID to multiple devices extends the usability and capabilities of Apple Store accounts and iCloud sync and backup, among other things. But it often happens that you want to remove specific capabilities. These steps demonstrate the many customizations Apple developers have included in the company’s most popular hardware offerings.