Case: I bought a new Macbook pro and I got lion as free upgrade.

By mistake my friend's apple id was stored in the Mac App Store and I didn't notice the error when I entered my redemption code.

I already redeemed that lion upgrade using my friend's id on my machine.

The purchase, download and upgrade all happened on my machine. I intend to keep on using that Lion for my machine only.

I download new apps and everything using my apple id not my friend's apple Id. Will it work? Or for my new upgrades or downloading new apps, do I need my friend's ID and password.

Moral: Lion has been downloaded with different ID and Now I want to use my apple id to install new apps.

  • I'm with Philip. There's no reason to use someone else's Apple ID to download a free upgrade to Lion.
    – Ben Wyatt
    Aug 23, 2011 at 14:20
  • @Philip By mistake...
    – Mohit Jain
    Aug 23, 2011 at 14:30
  • @Ben By mistake...
    – Mohit Jain
    Aug 23, 2011 at 14:30
  • @MohitJain yeah, the same thing:\ Nov 13, 2012 at 11:04

3 Answers 3


It will work, although it will not be legal.

It will work, because OS X doesn't care what AppleID it was bought with and you can easily buy new apps using any other AppleID. I.e. if you have more than one AppleID you can use any to buy apps and they don't have to match the one you bought Lion with. It will slightly complicate the apps update process, but it will work without any problems.

It will not be legal, because you will be using OS X Lion bought with someone else's AppleID - not yours. So you are not legally allowed to use it.

In your initial question you ask whether you can transfer Lion purchase from one ID to another. No. Apple's policy does not allow transferring purchases between IDs.

  • The Lion upgrade he purchased was free by redemption code--it came with the computer he installed it on. Unless you've read more of the EULA than I have, I think he's in the clear UNLESS his friend uses the Lion installer on his own computer. (In which case, his friend should just buy a copy of Lion with the other Apple ID and they'll be golden.)
    – NReilingh
    Oct 18, 2011 at 1:10
  • Well, he's not exactly in clear. Although the redemption code is/was legally his, he, by assigning it to his friend's AppleID gave it away. It won't appear on his Purchased tab in AppStore, so he won't be able to download it again later with his AppleID. He will have to use his friend's AppleID and I don't believe that using someone else's AppleID is legal, although I have nothing to quote here to back this up. He'll be fine if his friend gives him his AppleID (to which the Lion is assigned to).
    – Michal M
    Oct 18, 2011 at 8:47
  • At the same time, I'll bet that technically neither the redemption code nor an AppleID is legally transferrable. Oh well.
    – NReilingh
    Oct 18, 2011 at 20:59
  • Not sure about that actually. But transferring, as in giving away to another person, an AppleID is no-brainer really. Apple's AppleID website allows to edit any personal details (inc. address and email addresses) so I assume it's easy to simply transfer it to another person.
    – Michal M
    Oct 19, 2011 at 6:14

Having to maintain a purchase under your friend's Apple ID is a bad idea. If they change their password or otherwise change/lose their account, you're stuck in a bad situation if you ever have to re-download the installer.

Although Apple doesn't allow purchase transfers, they do have a return policy. As per this Apple Support Communities discussion, if I were you, I would do the following:

  1. Open iTunes. Go to menu item Store->View my Account. You should be asked for your password. Have your friend use his account and password.

  2. Right in the middle of the window should be your friend's purchase history. Click View All to the right of that.

  3. OS X Lion should be in the list. Below the list should be a big button labeled Report a problem. Click it.

  4. Now the list of your purchases should have a Report a problem line right from each item. Look for OS X Lion, click the corresponding Report a problem button.

  5. On the form where you can state your problem with Lion (accidentally upgraded with wrong Apple ID, for example.) State that you want your money back or a new redemption code. Send the form.

Your friend should then receive an email. If Apple gives money, you can work it out between each other. If needed you can call Apple Customer Relations at 1-800-676-2775 and I bet they would be happy to solve this problem or step you through a solution.

  • This is clearly the right thing to do. Whether Apple makes you authenticate later or not is an unrelated issue.
    – bmike
    Aug 23, 2011 at 22:01

Why not go to the source? Report a billing problem through the App Store app under your account.

Explain your mistake and ask what apple prefers you do.

Keep in mind you did in effect give your friend your license to Lion. If your friend was going to get lion, they can gift it to you or gift you the amount and this is just a short term problem that you can solve yourself.

Also, only Apple knows how they are tracking and signing these installers but anecdotal evidence shows you are not currently prevented from just going forward with your plan. Currently the installer for Lion doesn't ask for the purchasing ID and password other than when downloading the installer.

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