When I try to change my Apple ID's email address (a Hotmail address), I get the message This email address is not available. Choose a different address.

The email address I intended to change (a Gmail address) is mine and I had another Apple ID opened with that earlier. I was not able to delete that account, as Apple doesn't allow that. Hence, I put a Yahoo email in the account so I could remove the Gmail from the account. So, currently, there is no Apple ID registered with the Gmail address.

  1. Why can't I switch my current Apple ID to the Gmail address?
  2. Should I transfer all my info to the Gmail as a newly Apple ID and use that if the change is not possible?

3 Answers 3


Had exact same problem. Called Apple Support. Explained problem to them. Changing emails on Apple ID's is a little tricky so my call had to be bumped up to the next level of support, but the problem was quickly ironed out. And I had THREE email addresses going! LOL!

  • 2
    Do they solve your problem? I didn't quite understand from your answer. I read from another answer that it may not be possible. It described below, "You can’t remove the primary email address associated with the account. You can set another one as the primary, but the first email address that you use to create the account with cannot be changed ever. Not even by calling Apple. I tried. Eventually, I created a dummy gmail account to get my invoices and stuff. Once an email address is verified, there is no way to “unverify” it."
    – Arefe
    Jul 6, 2018 at 0:45
  • As a solution, I just use the Apple ID with the Gmail address and leave the Hotmail alone.
    – Arefe
    Jul 6, 2018 at 0:53
  • Thank you for asking for clarification Arefe. When I purchased my Mac Air in 2012 I created an Apple ID using a gmail address. Now, in 2018, I no longer use that gmail address and I wanted to close it. So, I called Apple Support, explained the situation, and together, we created a new Apple ID using a Comcast email address and completely deleted the initial Apple ID.
    – m champ
    Aug 8, 2018 at 1:19

From apple support: You can't use a "rescue" email address to sign in to Apple. If you try to use a rescue email to sign in, you will get the error message: "This email address is not available. Choose a different address."

I had exactly this problem, and switching to my old mac.com email address fixed the problem.


You are likely already using that email address as the "alternate" email and/or "rescue" email on another Apple ID.

Using previous alternate email as apple id

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