I bought a brand new iPad for my child that's younger than 13. During setup iPad wants to create an Apple ID. I seem to have have two options:

  1. Create one for myself and just hand over the iPad to my child to use
  2. Purchase another Apple device, and create my Apple ID on there. Then create a child's Apple ID linked to mine for use on iPad. Continue setup on iPad and use child's Apple ID

I really, really don't want to do option 2) in the next year or two. Is there another way? Brainstorming here: I have root access to apple hardware at work including apple IDs, but those devices don't belong to me... will that help somehow to bootstrap me? Emulators? Virtualization? Hackintosh? I'm guessing not, but had to ask.

Now, back to option 1) there are several sub options here:

1a) Use my First name, Last name and my birthday and just live with the fact that when my child is interacting with others it's under my name. Am I understanding this right? Maybe this name and age will not always show up? Maybe it can be overwritten by display names and other settings? What are the limits and flexibilities here? For example, I want that when my child is using iMessage, Facetime etc it shows up with child's name, not mine.

1b) Use child's First name, Last name and fake birthday of 13+. What are the negative consequences of this approach?

1c) Use child's First name, Last name and fake birthday of 18+ What are the negative consequences of this approach?

Is there option 3) that I haven't considered? ... For example, one thing that came to mind is that I could do option 1) and then create child's account from the iPad, signout of apple ID and then re-sign in with the child account. Seems like it would work, but has anyone tried it? What could go wrong with that approach?

My biggest concern is that these days it seems like apple ID is used as a proof of ownership (more than having the actual device in my hands) and by messing with birth dates and such it will create some hassle later on in the device's life cycle: device lost, password resets, sale, etc etc

Also, apple ID seems to be connected to device's serial number. If I have multiple accounts linked to single serial number like option 3) is that going to create a problem?

Note that I do not plan to enter my credit card in any scenario, so I'm not worried about child making unauthorized charges. If I do, it will be very rarely ... maybe once per year (and then I would remove the credit card info again)

I have a feeling that there is no "best way" and I will have to choose between different trade-offs. What are those trade-offs to be aware of? What would you do if you were me?

Thank you

  • You do know that you can create an AppleID on any computer with a web browser? Signing into an AppleID on any Apple device does not lock that device to that AppleID. Create your own AppleID on the iPad and then you can create one for your kid and use that. All on the iPad. Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 0:57
  • Nearly all my answer here applies - apple.stackexchange.com/questions/372475/… This question might do better distilled down to one question like “should I set up family sharing so I can manage my child’s account” tbh. From there you could get a resounding YES and ask follow on questions as needed for each hurdle you face.
    – bmike
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 1:12

1 Answer 1


You will have the least headaches to bribe (or make time) to wipe the device - and set yourself up as the Family Owner using your own Apple ID.

To start, just use parental controls and have the child come to you for authorization. Once you have gotten a few purchases in, maybe with a $25 gift card - then consider if you can approve purchases from an inexpensive used iPad with your credentials or via email from your device of choice and then put your child’s account in as a managed / family / child account.

You can set up your family at https://appleid.apple.com once you register yourself first on the device. Put in your charge card, address, and save your security questions - make sure your cellular and recovery email are safe and operational if you go two factor auth.

You asked about 5 great questions in the original post, so hopefully this is enough to get you started. Take the time to set up your account, then make a family and create the child accounts. You will be super glad you spent the time to use the managed route.

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