Apple belatedly decided they don't like something about my email address, but won't tell me what.

I just bought a new Mac for work and my employer paid for it so I set up a new Apple ID with my work email address rather than use my own. It seems you can't buy anything from Apple without using an Apple ID. That all went fine as far as can tell, Mac arrived, I switched it on and all works as expected but is a bit insistent about requiring my Apple ID for various things.

So I need to verify my Apple ID; they send an email with a code number; I type in code number… "This email address is not valid for use as an Apple ID"

No explanation, and no instruction what to do about this. I'm stumped.

Anywhere I try to access my Apple account I am told I can't get in until I've verified my ID, but can't because my email address is somehow not valid.

I have checked that I don't have the work email address associated with my personal Apple ID, so that's not confusing anything.

  • When you say “Apple belatedly...” does that mean you use this exact email with Apple previously and are now locked out of that account?
    – bmike
    Oct 25, 2019 at 10:05
  • Yes @bmike. Basically when I ordered the new iMac I was obliged to set up an AppleID and everything went though OK for the order. They never sent anything to that email address though, except verification emails which then don't verify, as above. They have sent emails to another address of mine which I guess my browser auto-completed later in the order, however that address is also "not valid for use as an Apple ID". Perhaps it really is something about our domain, but they never give a useful error message!
    – braedsjaa
    Oct 25, 2019 at 13:16
  • I advise you to solve this problem with Apple Care before you are in an emergency in need of your professionnal Apple-ID.
    – dan
    Oct 26, 2019 at 9:00

1 Answer 1


If you use work e-mail and you just got the new e-mail account from work, it probably uses a work domain.

It extracts the MX records from the email address and connect to mail server (over SMTP and also simulates sending a message) to make sure the mailbox really exist for that user/address. Some mail servers do not co-operate in the process or have a delay, in such cases, the result of this email verification tool may not be as accurate as expected.

This technique of E-mail validation through the sending of an E-mail interrupted before the end is a technique used by criminals to perform stealth E-mail verification. This is the reason most serious companies will block these interrupted SMTP handshake. This is a bad method to check an E-mail.

Often with not recognized or newly registered domains Apple takes a few days and then it will magically accepts the e-mail.

You can see here https://verifalia.com/validate-email what a e-mail validator will check. And the results.

If it doesn't work after serveral days, you should contact Apple Support.

  • 2
    Agree, and I'm also very disappointed e-mail validation is really bad at a lot of services. They are so random sometimes and not even accepting RFC valid addresses(I use the + a lot).
    – Timmetje
    Oct 22, 2019 at 10:51
  • Thanks guys, but… The work email account is not new and not a new domain. Also we use Google mail servers which tends to pretty much guarantee even Apple are not too big to mess with it!
    – braedsjaa
    Oct 22, 2019 at 16:12
  • 2
    @Timmetje: I share your practice of using the + to sort my mail automatically and to avoid giving the same address for private and professionnal different uses. It is also very useful to detect web servers made by pigs and people who sell my E-mail.
    – dan
    Oct 25, 2019 at 9:10
  • @dan Yeah it's a great trick. But some crappy sites don't even accept the character..heard of RFC much? :P
    – Timmetje
    Oct 25, 2019 at 9:54
  • Be careful with web servers who are ignorant of the real format of E-mail. You can't expect them to make any serious verification of input.
    – dan
    Oct 26, 2019 at 8:51

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