Technical notes index
iCloud: Pertinent Questions

iCLOUD FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I forgot my  password

I forgot my security answers and have no rescue email

I need to contact iCloud Support

I want to archive my iCloud emails

I want to change my iCloud password

I want to change my iCloud address or add a new one

I want to change my Apple ID/iCloud login

I changed my Apple ID and now I'm being told to sign out of 'Find My iPhone/Mac/iPad

I need to delete some photos from Photo Stream

I want to downgrade or cancel renewal of my iCloud extra storage

I am using Mail on Snow Leopard and it is no longer accepting my password

I don't have iCloud in my System Preferences, only MobileMe

My second-hand iOS device was Activation Locked by the previous owner

I forgot my  password


Go to http://iforgot.apple.com and sign in with your iCloud login. A new password will be sent to your associated email address. If this doesn't work you will have to contact Support. Go to https://getsupport.apple.com; click' See all products and services', then 'More Products and Services, then 'Apple ID', then 'Other Apple ID Topics' then 'Lost or forgotten Apple ID password'.



I forgot my security answers and have no rescue email

Go to https://getsupport.apple.com click 'See all products and services', then 'More Products and Services, then 'Apple ID', then 'Other Apple ID Topics' then 'Forgotten Apple ID security questions'.



I need to contact iCloud Support


If you currently happen to have AppleCare, either because you recently bought Apple hardware or have paid to extend the initial period, you can contact them here:
 
http://www.apple.com/support/icloud/contact/
 
You will need the serial number of the covered hardware. If you are not covered by AppleCare, then - in common with other free email services - there is no free support and you may be asked to pay a fee.



I want to archive my iCloud emails

In Mail on your Mac:
  1. Create a new mailbox: make sure that it's under 'On My Mac' not 'iCloud'.
  2. Go to your inbox, or wherever your old emails are store, in the 'iCloud' part of your list in Mail.
  3. Select the latest, then shift-click the earliest, of the emails you want to move. I shouldn't try to do too many at once.
  4. Drag them to the mailbox you just created.
  5. Take the dog for a walk while they download. They will be removed from the server.
You'll have to do this from time to time to keep the numbers on iCloud down (Rules apply only to mail as it comes in so you can't apply the process automatically to emails once they reach a certain age).


I want to change my iCloud password

1. Before doing anything, turn off 'Find my iPhone/iPad/Mac' on any devices it's enabled on.
 
2. Sign out of iCloud on all your devices. On a Mac, System Preferences>iCloud and click 'Sign out'. On an iOS device, Settings>iCloud and click 'Delete account' (this will not delete the account from the server). Your iCloud-synced data will disappear from your device. If offered the opportunity to save it on your Mac, don't.
 
3. Go to http://appleid.apple.com, sign in and click 'Password & Security' in the sidebar. Answer the security questions, if set, and then click 'Edit' next to the password field. Save.
 
4. Sign back in on all your devices. Your data will re-appear (give it time). You can now re-enable 'Find My...'.
 
5. I reiterate, before you start, turn off 'Find My...' or you will probably need the services of Support.


I want to change my iCloud address or add a new one

Once you have created an iCloud account and chosen an @icloud.com address to go with it you can't change the address (short of creating an entirely new account).
 
However, all is not lost. You can add up to three 'email aliases' - these are additional addresses (not accounts) which deliver into the same inbox as the main account. (In fact it's a good idea to give out alias addresses, rather than the main address, because if they attract spam you can easily change them.)
 
You should be aware before you start that once you've created an alias you cannot turn that address into a full iCloud account or move it to another account.
 
More information on aliases here: http://help.apple.com/icloud/#mm6b1a490a



I want to change my Apple ID/iCloud login


Firstly, if you have 'Find My iPhone/iPad/iMac' enabled on any of your devices, turn it off.
 
Create a new email address, for example  at Yahoo or Gmail, or anywhere convenient (or you can use an existing address as long as it has never been associated with an Apple ID).

Go to http://appleid.apple.com and click 'Manage your Apple ID'. Sign in with the current ID.
 
Where it says 'Apple ID and primary email address' and gives your current ID email address, click 'edit'.
 
Enter your new address and click 'Save changes'.
 
Now you will need to go to each of your devices and sign out in System Preferences (or Settings)>iCloud - 'Sign out' on a Mac, 'Delete this account' on an iOS device (this will not delete the account from the server).
 
Then sign back in with your new ID. Your iCloud data will disappear from your devices when you sign out, but reappear when you sign back in.
 
I re-iterate: before you start, turn off 'Find My Mac' (or whatever) or you will need the services of Support.



I changed my Apple ID and now I'm being told to sign out of 'Find My iPhone/Mac/iPad

Try going back to http://appleid.apple.com and changing the ID back to the original address. If you can get this accepted, then go to the iCloud preferences/settings pane, stop 'Find My ....', and then sign out. Do the same on any other devices or computers.
 
Then go back to http://appleid.apple.com and change the ID to the new one. Sign in with that on all your devices.
 
However if the address which forms the original ID is now not working it can't be validated and it's possible that you won't be able to revert to it. In this situation only Support can help you.
 
To contact  iCloud Support: if you currently happen to have AppleCare, either because you recently bought Apple hardware or have paid to extend the initial period, you can contact them here:
 
http://www.apple.com/support/icloud/contact/
 
You will need the serial number of the covered hardware.
 
If you are not covered by AppleCare, then - in common with other free email services - there is no free support and you may be asked to pay a fee.



I need to delete some photos from Photo Stream

Please see this Apple Tech Note: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5125
 
PhotoStream is purely a conduit for sending photos taken on one device to all the others automatically. Photos there are deleted after 30 days on the assumption that by then they will have been synced to all devices. There is no access to the photos on the server.



I want to downgrade or cancel renewal of my iCloud extra storage

Apple have now changed iCloud from an annual to a monthly subscription. If you are still on an annual subscription you can only cancel it as from its next renewal date.

If you have purchased storage under the new monthly plan or have been transferred to it from an annual subscription you can cancel that as from the next month.

For details of downgrading under either plan please see:

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4874

and scroll down to 'Downgrade your iCloud storage plan' for instructions for OSX, iOS, and Windows.



I am using Mail on Snow Leopard and it is no longer accepting my password

If you have set Mail up on Snow Leopard or earlier to access iCloud Mail, and if you have also enabled 2-step verification on your Apple ID, you will find your usual Apple ID password doesn't work. Apple are now requiring app-specific password for third-party applications to access iCloud if you have set up two-step verification (if you haven't set this up you won't be affected).

Since Mail on Snow Leopard and earlier was not intended to access iCloud you will have to generate a password for it. Go to http://appleid.apple.com; click 'Manage your Apple ID' and sign in (you will be prompted for an access code sent to your trusted device).

Select 'Password and Security'; click 'Generate an App-Specific Password' and follow the instructions. Once you have the password, copy it and paste it into the password field in the Account settings. You should also keep a note of it (though you can generate a new one if required).




I don't have iCloud in my System Preferences, only MobileMe

The minimum requirement for iCloud is Lion 10.7.5 (Sierra preferred): the iCloud Preference Pane does not appear on earlier systems - the MobileMe pane appears on Lion and earlier but is now non-functional - you cannot now open or access a MobileMe account.
 
To make use of iCloud you will have to upgrade your Mac to Lion, Mountain Lion. El Capitan or Sierra, provided it meets the requirements.

Mountain Lion is available in the Online Apple Store ($19.99 - search on 'OSX 10.8' in any Apple web page from the magnifying glass icon in the menu bar) - you get a code to download from the Mac App Store.The system requirements are the same for El Capitan (10.11.x) - which is free from the Mac App Store - in the event that you need to run specific software which will run on Mountain Lion only. Lion appears to be available only in the USA.

Since both require the Mac App Store anyone running Leopard or earlier can not upgrade. Snow Leopard 10.6.8 is required and appears still to be available (use Google rather than Apple's search); if you are already running a lower version of Snow Leopard than 10.6.8 you will need to update to 10.6.8 to see the App Store: the 'combo updater' is still available at https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1399


The requirements for Mountain Lion and El Capitan are:

    • OS X v10.6.8 or later
    • 2GB of memory
    • 8GB of available space


  and the supported models are:

    • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
    • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
    • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
    • Xserve (Early 2009)
    • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
    • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
    • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)

 
El Capitan is available from the Mac App Store (in Applications, available on Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and above). Mountain Lion can be obtained from the Online Apple Store (see above). (Mavericks, and Yosemite are no longer available.)

Sierra is limited to the following machines:

    • MacBook (Late 2009 or newer)
    • MacBook Pro (Mid 2010 or newer)
    • MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
    • Mac mini (Mid 2010 or newer)
    • iMac (Late 2009 or newer)
    • Mac Pro (Mid 2010 or newer)

If you have Snow Leopard and wish to upgrade to Sierra you must upgrade to El Capitan first: the link is:

https://itunes.apple.com/app/os-x-el-capitan/id1147835434?mt=12
 

You should be aware that PPC programs (such as AppleWorks) will not run on Lion or above; and some other applications may not be compatible - there is a useful compatibility checklist at http://roaringapps.com/apps:table


If you are running Leopard on an Intel Mac you will have to upgrade to Snow Leopard to access the Mac App Store - it's available in the online Apple Store. However if you have a PPC Mac you cannot run Snow Leopard and cannot proceed further.




My second-hand iOS device was Activation Locked by the previous owner

If a second-hand iOS device has been 'Activation locked' then only the previous owner can unlock it, either by providing you with the account ID and password, or by removing it from his list of devices (as he should have done before selling it) - please see http://support.apple.com/kb/ts4515
 
If you are unable to contact him to do this then I'm afraid you will not be able to use the device - there is no other way of unlocking it at all. Apple cannot unlock it for you.

You should if possible return it to wherever you bought it and ask for a refund as in this event the device is completely useless.

Apple have provided a method of checking before purchase that an iOS device isn't Activation Locked: go to https://www.icloud.com/activationlock/ and enter the IMEI or serial number.



Roger Wilmut. This site is not associated with Apple.