How to Delete your Apple ID: Remove your iPhone, iPad or Mac from your Apple account
It may seem like everything on the Internet is permanent these days. In some ways that’s true, but thankfully personal privacy is becoming more important to the everyday tech user and the biggest corporations in technology are having to adjust. Apple is no exception to this growing demand for privacy relating to individual user’s information.
At one point, Apple made it impossible to completely and permanently erase your Apple ID, but it did let you manage it, either by deactivating it, de-authorizing it, or removing devices associated with it. Now, you can completely delete your Apple ID if you so choose.
Deleting your Apple ID
Apple has made it much easier to delete your entire Apple ID than in previous years. They have an entire site dedicated to data and privacy. To delete your Apple ID and all of the data associated with it, follow these steps:
- Log in on the Apple privacy website linked above.
- Complete the 2-factor authentication if you have it enabled.
- Scroll down and find “Delete your Account.” Tap “Request to Delete your Account.”
- Select a reason for your request and hit “Continue.”
This will submit a request to Apple to delete your account, which they will review and take up to seven days to fulfill. During this time you can submit a request to Apple support to cancel the deletion if you change your mind.
Be mindful that deleting your account is permanent, and both the account and ALL data that has not been backed up will be gone forever. If you’d like a less permanent solution, there is an option to temporarily disable your account on the Privacy Site. You can also try any of the methods listed in the following sections of this article.
Logging In to Manage your Apple ID
The first step to managing your Apple ID is to log in to the account that you would like to manage. You can log into your Apple ID on any device here.
Recovering your Apple ID Password
If you know your username, but not your password, reset your password as below:
- Go to your Apple ID account and click “Forgot Apple ID or password” in the text entry box.
- Enter your Apple ID and click “Continue.”
- You can then choose how to reset your Apple password:
- Answer security questions
- Ask for a reset email to be sent
- Ask for a Recovery Key
If you have two-factor authentication enabled, you’ll need the phone linked to the account. If you attempt to follow the steps above, you will be asked to provide a phone number and a notification will be sent to your Apple device:
Then, on your iPhone, do the following:
- Go to “Settings.”
- Tap your Apple ID at the top (most likely your name.)
- Tap “Password and Security.”
- Tap “Change Password.”
Managing your Apple ID
Once you’ve gained access to your account, you can either: remove your devices from the Apple ID, or sign out of the Apple ID on each device.
Remove devices from your Apple ID
Removing devices from an old Apple ID is a great way to make way for signing into a new Apple ID on your current devices, which is just about as close to “deleting” an old Apple ID as possible currently.
- Scroll down to “Devices.”
- Click on the name of a Device so a pop-up window appears and click “Remove.”
- Click “Remove this Device.”
Sign out of your Apple ID
If you would prefer to sign out of devices manually on each device, follow these steps:
- Go to “Settings.”
- Tap on your Apple ID (your name.)
- Scroll down to the bottom of the menu and click “Sign Out.”
You’ll need to do this for all devices individually. If you’re on a Mac, this can be done by:
- Click the Apple icon in the top left-hand corner
- Click on “System Preferences.”
- Click on your Apple ID.
- Click Sign Out.
Whether you’re just looking to add a different account to a new device, or trying to have as start of a fresh on the Internet as possible, knowing how to delete or manage your Apple ID is an important skill. Thankfully, it has gotten easier in recent years to outright delete your account. Do you have any experience, tips, or questions related to deleting your Apple ID? Leave a comment below!
If you’re selling your iPhone or iPad, read How to factory reset your devices