How to switch to a new Apple ID (and keep all your purchases)

What's in a name? Quite a lot actually

Radio

Have an Apple, Mac, or iOS tech question? We've got the answer. This time, we'll show you how to update your Apple ID to a new email address but still keep all the purchases and history associated with it — plus, if you want, how to transfer your old ID's email to a new user.

Question

Ever since I got my iPhone back in 2008, I've been using my wife's email address as my Apple ID. Now my wife has her own iPhone and naturally wants her own account using her email address. How can I fix this so that all of my data is under my email account, and then set her up with a new Apple ID?

Answer

There's an easy way to fix this using the Apple ID manager website. First, you'll need to change your account so that it uses your email address instead of your wife's. To do this, head over to appleid.apple.com in a web browser, click the Manage your Apple ID button, and sign in with your existing account.

Select the sidebar item labeled "Name, ID and Email Addresses," then select the Edit button next to the "Apple ID and Primary Email Address" field. Here, you will be able to change the primary email address that is associated with your Apple ID. When the changes are saved, you will be able to log back into all of your devices using this new email account.

My Apple ID

Next, log out of appleid.apple.com, then head back to the main page of that site, where you'll see the option to "Create an Apple ID." Click it to go through the process required to set up a new Apple ID for your wife's account.

After everything has been completed, you will have your account with a new ID (and all of your saved items), plus a new, clean account that your wife can use on her devices.