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20/5/2016 2 Comments
During this past fortnight, I visited a client who had a tricky problem with iCloud.
In a fairly standard appointment with a family, I was assisting in 'untangling' their iCloud mess, where some of the kids' devices had Mum's Apple ID used for iCloud and others had Dad's. As mentioned in another post this week, this was causing all sorts of havoc with mis-directed messages, full iClouds and more.
The problem came when we tried to 'sign out' of Dad's Apple ID on the daughter's device.
The password for Dad's Apple ID had been forgotten. This is not normally a problem, and a forgotten password can (usually) be fairly easily reset.
(Here is an article that describes how to reset a forgotten Apple password.)
In using the iforgot.apple.com webpage to try to perform this reset, we found that the Apple ID that was used for the daughter's device did not exist - so the password could not be reset.
How was this possible?
How was this possible, given that there was a device signed in to iCloud using this Apple ID?
It turned out that the father had moved on from a job, and no longer had the email address that was associated with the Apple ID.
So, he had signed in the appleid.apple.com and changed the email address to a new, current email address.
The mistake he made was not signing out of iCloud on all of the devices that used this Apple ID BEFORE he changed the email address.
Now, the old Apple ID doesn't exist - so attempts to sign out of any iCloud account attached to that address are unsuccessful.
If he still had access to that old email address, he could sign in his Apple account at appleid.apple.com and temporarily change his account's email address back to the old email address so that he could then sign out the still-attached devices.
But changing back to the old email address requires that he can receive a 'verify' email at that email address - something this father could not do, given that he no longer has access to the account.
What can this family do to resolve the problem?
The only option in this case is to talk to Apple - over the phone, not at an Apple Store - to try to sort this out. If Apple cannot find a record of the old Apple ID, they might be stuck , never able to sign that device out of the incorrect Apple ID.
The moral of the story?
DO NOT change your Apple account email address UNTIL you have signed out of iCloud on every device that uses that Apple ID.
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