Fixing the iCloud and Apple ID Mess

Mon 23 May, 2016 12:55 pm
I can definitely talk to someone at the Apple store about this (they are GREAT about just typing their side of the conversation on their own iPad) and I'm sure I could just do some research and figure this out. Giving this a shot first though.

(This is long, but I'm trying to give all of the pertinent info up front instead of a bunch of "why don't you ___?" "can't, because ____" exchanges. It's probably longer than it needs to be. I won't yell at you if you just scan.)

So. I've had an iPhone (5) since 2012. Sozlet got an iPod around there, when she was about 11. Since all purchases went through me and I was generally in charge of everything at that point, both devices were on the same Apple ID.

At some point, we added iCloud to that. Also at some point, Sozlet got her own iPhone (5s). (Yes, she has a nicer phone than I do.) We stayed with one Apple ID.

Also in the stable (same ID) -- an elderly iMac, and my Macbook laptop. And Apple TV.

The iMac is shared amongst the family, and the laptop is my work computer. I've wanted to keep it lean and mean, without much stored on it (like photos).

The iMac is filled to the brim. We need to get a new one, but for now, we really can't store anything more on there. We'll get a new one eventually and that will solve the problem, but the point is that right now it's not available.

Sozlet has had iCloud backup ever since she had a phone calamity. (A friend who knew her password was trying to take her phone and read some texts she didn't want him to see, so she hastily changed her password -- including typing it the same way, twice -- but then wasn't able to recreate that password and was locked out.) She then had a freak accident with her next phone (not her fault) and it was completely destroyed/ inaccessible. But she got a brand-new replacement for free and because of the iCloud backup, everything showed up on the new phone. EVERYTHING. It was downright miraculous, like someone just waved a wand over her poor broken phone and poof, there it was good as new, like nothing happened, down to the same lock screen image.

So I'm a big fan of iCloud.

I haven't had it on my own phone because I usually back up to the iMac. But again, that thing is stuffed to the gills, no more backups there.

I need a new phone. (I don't like the big phones so I'm thrilled about iPhone SE -- I can keep everything I like about my current phone but with a better camera, etc.) So I went ahead and activated iCloud for my phone as well, to back it up before getting the new one.

Now, all of these devices -- my laptop, my phone, and sozlet's phone -- all have every single photo on both of our phones. This is annoying, and means I keep getting "storage almost full" warnings. (The iMac probably would too if it was working properly, but it's not, so there's that.)

I don't really know where to go from here.

My best guess is:

- Set up a new Apple ID for sozlet
- Keep my Apple ID
- Cancel the Apple Music subscription for my Apple ID, set up a new subscription on hers. (I don't use it at all, she absolutely loves it.)
- Delete a bunch of photos off of my phone and my laptop (all individually I think -- I can select a bunch at a time off of thumbnails but still ugh)

Not sure what to do about iTunes -- that includes music but then also things like purchased TV shows and movies, which are linked to my Apple ID and my Apple TV.

Ugh, it's a mess. Any advice welcomed. And sorry this is so incredibly long, really.

Mon 23 May, 2016 01:43 pm
Sympathy from here, but no help.
0 Replies
Mon 23 May, 2016 02:01 pm
I recommend getting unique iCloud ID's for each user and then controlling all the "Family" accounts through the Family Management function of the Apple ID.

Bear in mind that the iTunes account cannot be transferred so once purchases have been made on that account, you cannot transfer them to another account, but you can allow family members to automatically download/access a copy of anything you've purchased as the Family Organizer. This is the method I use for my daughter's account (she is 6yrs old, so too young to manage her own account).

As for the annoying replication of Photo's across devices I recommend going to the Genius Bar at the Apple store and letting them sort it out because it's going to be very complex and time consuming to get under control.

Good luck.

For all of Apple's skill at designing single user machines, they do a poor job at Server Design and Cloud Account Management.
0 Replies
Robert Gentel
Mon 23 May, 2016 08:39 pm
Ok so first of all you definitely want to move to icloud vs local backups, much nicer.

You definitely want to have a separate apple id too, and you should setup family sharing so that all your purchases are available to the apple ids you add to your family.

You also might want to subscribe to icloud to backup all your photos online, and then there are settings to have each device only store lower res versions and download the originals when needed (can save a ton of space).

Don't cancel your apple music, change it to the family sharing plan and up to 6 people in your family can use it for 14.99 (note that anyone who you add to your apple family has to share the credit card on the family account, so you don't really want to spread this too much and probably only want to use it with real family you don't mind sharing a credit card with). Edit: just saw that you don't use it, you might be interested instead in itunes match, which will backup all your music online for 30/year and let you stream it, so you could theoretically remove a bunch of local files on the mac to save space.

This is kinda disjointed but lemme know if you have any other questions and one other recommendation I have is to try some of the apps (I use space gremlin and a few others but they are all about the same) to show you where the space on the imac is going (but I'd not use the apps to clean anything up, just identify what the big space takers are). You will want to delete old itunes backups etc, and you can also move your itunes library to an external drive for a cheap way to increase space.
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