I recently bought iPads for my kids and set them up under my iPad/iPhone account. I did set up separate email accounts but all their text messages are coming to me and they have access to my pics, contacts etc. I am not extremely tech savvy but there must be a way that they can have their own texting accounts and I can block access to my stuff? Please help!!!

  • What do you mean by iPad/iPhone account? Your Apple ID? Did you set up an separate Apple ID for each of your kids?
    – Gabkano
    Jun 5, 2015 at 1:08
  • No I didn't thought they had to be the same to share apps.mThanks so much for your help.
    – Rexsin
    Jun 6, 2015 at 0:34

2 Answers 2


The term "AppleID" is being used here to refer to two different accounts and that's where it gets confusing. Your actual Apple ID is what logs you in to the App Store, has your credit card linked and keeps track of your purchases. The details are in the Settings App under "iTunes & App Store". As @Gabkano said you can now use Family Sharing to put your kids' Apple IDs under yours so that if you buy an app, song, movie, etc they get it too without having to pay for it again.

But that's not why you and your kids are seeing each others' photos, contacts, iMessages, etc. Those are all part of your iCloud account which also includes calendars, reminders, Safari bookmarks, and, if you've enabled it, password saving through Keychain. The login details for that are in the "iCloud" tab of the Settings app just above the AppleID tab.

Most people use the same e-mail address for both the AppleID and the iCloud ID but you don't have to. For example, my wife, kids and I all share a single AppleID but we each have our own iCloud accounts. That way we only have to buy apps once but my contacts and such stay separate from hers and from the kids'. I also log my iPhone, iPad and Mac into my iCloud account so that all of my data is synced between them automatically.

To make matters even more confusing there's a third account that often gets lumped in with the AppleID: your Game Center ID, which tracks scores and achievements in games. Your kids will almost certainly want their own GameCenter IDs so I suggest using the same email address there as your iCloud ID.

Maybe this will help:
  Me:   AppleID=[email protected], iCloud=dad@me.com,   GameCtr=dad@me.com
  Wife: AppleID=[email protected], iCloud=mom@me.com, GameCtr=mom@me.com

With Family sharing you can set up individual AppleIDs for everyone and link them together but for years I've been doing it the way I explained above and it's worked out very well.

I hope this helps.

  • I didn't think of a difference between Apple ID and iCloud account, since almost everyone uses his Apple ID also for iCloud, but you are totally right
    – Gabkano
    Jun 5, 2015 at 7:47
  • Thanks @Gabkano. Even my tech-savvy friends get tripped up here so I'm surprised that Apple hasn't done a better job of explaining the three accounts, though I'm sure Family Sharing was designed to get rid of the issue entirely. But when it's set up the way I've done it's really flexible and powerful. <br> Between Apple's programmers and marketing team why haven't they made a slick app and brief how-to video?
    – Jason S
    Jun 9, 2015 at 17:06
  • if you need a video to understand something so basic, the developer made something wrong, so that's probably the reason they don't make a video. I myself was confused, because it's some time since I created my whole account thing so I couldn't remember that well. But I don't think it was difficult for me back then, also because I simply use the same account for all Apple ID and iCloud stuff.
    – Gabkano
    Jun 10, 2015 at 18:10
  • @Gabkano Good point on the video. The settings app should explain this more clearly. And yes, most people do use the same login information for all three but before Family Sharing that meant families would pay multiple times for the same app or song, etc. Or, the alternative is what we saw in the original post: mixing of contacts, iMessages, etc. Come on, Apple - you can do better.
    – Jason S
    Jun 11, 2015 at 20:08

Gabkano said it right. But the good thing is that you can set them up with different Apple IDs and that's no longer as much of a problem. Now that family sharing is a thing, your kids can enjoy the benefits of having the same Apple ID without actually needing the same Apple ID.

I highly suggest Setting up their Apple IDs with something simple like their first name and last name because if it's something that they may grow out of later, the pains of changing an Apple ID are still very much alive and will make it hard for them to get everything out.

  • Thank you so much, I may come back to you if I have problems if that's ok, like I said I am not very tech savvy!!!
    – Rexsin
    Jun 6, 2015 at 0:35

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