How to Delete Your Apple ID Account: A Guide on Resetting or Deleting

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iPhone X

Apple sells as many as 10 iPhones per second at the busiest time of year. And it’s safe to say virtually every one of those iPhone owners creates an Apple ID.

That’s a lot of personal information people are trusting Apple with. If you’re having second thoughts about what you’ve shared, you might be thinking about shutting down your Apple ID. Let’s look at how to delete Apple ID information for good.


Consider the Consequences

Before you delete your Apple account, make sure you understand the consequences. Your Apple ID is the foundation of almost everything you do on Apple devices. It tracks all the apps, music, movies, and other content you’ve bought. Your iMessages are all tied to your Apple account. All your photos and videos get backed up in iCloud.

Once it’s deleted, you can’t login to your Apple ID so you’ll lose access to all those things permanently. You won’t be able to install any new apps on your iPhone or iPad and you’ll only be able to use software that’s available direct from the developer on your Mac.

You can back up any music you’ve bought and played it without an Apple ID but the movies, TV shows, and books you’ve bought from Apple will be gone. They all use your Apple ID for authorization.


Deauthorize Your Devices

If you’re okay with the consequences and want to delete your account, the first step is to deauthorize all the devices registered to your Apple ID.

2018 MacBook Pro

Deauthorizing Your Mac

To remove your Apple ID from your Mac, follow these steps:

  • Open iTunes and click Store then View Account
  • Click Manage Devices under iTunes in the Cloud
  • Remove each device listed
  • Click Store then Deauthorize this Computer
  • Open System Preferences then iCloud
  • Click Account Details then Devices and remove each device
  • Click Done then Sign Out

iPad Pro

Deauthorizing Your iPhone or iPad

To remove your Apple ID from your iOS device, follow these steps:

  • Open the Settings app and tap the account name at the top
  • Tap each device listed and remove it from your account
  • If you have Family Sharing set up, remove each member from that list
  • Go back to the Apple ID screen and tap Sign Out at the bottom
  • Tap iTunes and App Store and tap Sign Out on that screen
  • Go back to the main Settings page and tap Music then scroll to the bottom and tap Sign Out
  • Go back to the main Settings page again and tap Messages then Send and Receive. Tap on your Apple ID then Sign Out


How to Delete Apple ID Account for Good

Once you’ve removed all the above settings on your devices, it’s time to take the final step. Log into Apple’s Privacy portal using your Apple ID credentials and click or tap on the Request to delete account link at the bottom of the screen.

This will start the process of deleting your account and all your personal information on Apple’s servers. Once you do this, there’s no turning back so make sure you are okay with losing all the information and purchases tied to your account.


How to Test the Waters

Before you follow these steps for how to delete Apple ID information permanently, there is another option that will let you give it a “trial run.” Instead of requesting your Apple ID to be deleted, you can request it to be deactivated on that same page in the Privacy portal.

This will turn the account off without nuking all your information and purchase history. If you have a change of heart you can reactivate your account and continue as if nothing changed. Understand that your information will stay on Apple’s servers, you just won’t be able to access anything while your account is deactivated.

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