I originally had my current email address set as a rescue email, and my old email as the original Apple ID.

When I deleted my current email address off the rescue email list, I was unable to set it as my Apple ID address.

How would I be able to set my current email as my Apple ID?

3 Answers 3


You are getting an error message because your primary email cannot be the same as your rescue email. You have to first change your rescue email.

I just went through this. A source of confusion is that the instructions are not clear, and the option to change your rescue email is not easy to find.

Go to manage Apple ID (https://appleid.apple.com/account/manage), and in the left navigation to password and security. You need to enter answers to your security questions before you can go through. If you forgot the answers, there's a link to send security questions reset information to your rescue email.

Once you have entered the answers to the security questions, you can change your rescue email - you'll have to enter one different from the main email, and you'll have to validate.

Once this done, you can set your current email as your primary email, and then set it as your appleID.

Update: It was mentioned below, but worth adding it here to save headaches. Turn off Find my phone in all devices that are signed in to icloud. Otherwise, you won't be able to sign out, as your device will be signed to an account (used id) that does not exist. Suggest making a backup first and then signing off from iCloud. Make the ID change once all devices are signed off.

If you forget to do that, you will either have to restore the device, or will have at a later time to change your id back to the old email, log off the device, and then change it back to the new one.

  • This works to clear your rescue email from all accounts. Whether you can then rename your original AppleID depends on if it's @mac/me/icloud.com - that's an additional restriction in addition to not being able to usurp a "rescue" email and sign up with a new AppleID or rename an existing AppleID to what is currently a "rescue" email associated with any other AppleID.
    – bmike
    Oct 24, 2015 at 18:33
  • Is it still true you have to log out of Find My Device on all devices first? Does this mean that you are actually creating a new account? It seems odd that Apple would actually use the full email address as the user id when performing internal operations; using strings as an identifier all the time would be terribly inefficient.
    – Paul
    Oct 8, 2016 at 15:44
  • 2
    It would be useful to edit your answer and put the "UPDATE" information FIRST. I just followed the first part, only to realize that I seem to be connected to an icloud account that no longer exists... Jul 31, 2017 at 1:20
  • +1 for advising where to find the "notification email" --> You have to click Edit on the Security section. In your answer you mentioned that that is where you found your "rescue email", but in my case it was the "notificiation email" that was the holdup and I couldn't find where it was until I read your answer. Thanks!
    – Jason
    Nov 18, 2018 at 22:17

It depends. If it's an apple email address... (i.e. @me.com @icloud.com etc) you may not be able to change it.

Navigate to http://appleid.apple.com and click "Manage Apple Id" and log in. If the "edit" button appears next to your primary email address then you can change the primary appleid. (if the edit button doesn't appear at all then your appleid is using an apple email address and you cant change the primary.) First however you will need to delete that address as your alternate email address. Once it doesn't appear as the secondary you can edit the primary and use that previous secondary.

CAUTION turn off Find my iPhone before beginning this process. Make sure to log out on your phone and log back in multiple places on your phone, such as iCloud, iTunes and app store, iMessage, Facetime, Game Center, possible email settings, etc. Once the changeover is complete, don't forget to turn find my iPhone back on.

  • I logged out of everything and deleted all my alternate email addresses, but it still gives me the message "This email address is designated as your rescue email address and cannot be used as your Apple ID or Primary email address. Please choose another." Is this something that can be worked around, because your way didn't quite work?
    – ssun098
    Apr 11, 2015 at 1:19
  • At appleid.apple.com when you click "manage" and log in does it show that email address as the alternate email address? If yes, click the delete button next to it. Then change your appleid to that address.
    – Tyson
    Apr 11, 2015 at 1:25

The E-mail address you use as a login name on an Apple ID can not be changed. It's essentially your user name. You can change which E-mail address you get your mail regarding the Apple ID sent to on the Apple ID settings page.

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