Over time I've used different e-mail addresses for different things with Apple: Apple Store, Support, I-Tunes, Apple Developer and while I still have control of the addresses, I cannot confirm my Apple ID with any of them. I have now created a new ID with yet another e-mail address that I could confirm and for which I've activated 2FA. However, I don't seem to be able to associate this id with my local user account and I can't associate any of the other e-mail addresses with the new one, confirmed one. All Apple's documentation seems to assume that it's possible to login with the accounts and has no information about what to do when the confirmation doesn't work (I receive e-mails with the confirmation code, but Apple doesn't like them). Can I dissociate my local user from an Apple ID?

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    This doesn't add up…"I still have control of the addresses, I cannot confirm my Apple ID". Why not? Every time you add another ID, you are adding complexity, making things worse. Each ID owns its own things, inc the OS itself, adding more is not going to help. Consolidating what you have, or abandoning some is your way forward, literally giving up on all that went before, as you cannot merge them & you cannot share addresses.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 17:42
  • @Tetsujin The OP may not have been in control (owned) the email prior and another user created an AppleID with it with answers to security question the new owner cannot validate.
    – Allan
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 18:21
  • Have you tried contacting Apple for assistance? Just creating IDs in the hopes that something will link/confirm/login/whatever is not a good strategy.
    – Allan
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 18:25
  • @Allan - I'm working from the "have control" element. What part of having control doesn't actually … have control?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 19:01
  • If the address was in someone else’s control prior to this. I’ve seen it before. While the current user controls the email no, they can’t confirm anything set up by the previous user thus, can’t link anything to it.
    – Allan
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


I spent some time with Apple Support on this but we only succeeded in bricking my system so that I couldn't create any kind of accounts (so existing accounts for Google, etc. were lost and not replaceable)!

The Apple support script suggests you delete the accounts from ~/Library/Accounts and elsewhere before running defaults delete MobileMeAccounts. Now, the acccounts in ~/LibraryAccounts are in an SQLite database which is readable and editable with the sqlite3 program so changes are always possible and removing the files should be considered a last resort. I was also required to reinstall MacOS and reset the permissions for my home directory, takes a while as it's 200 GB. I also tried reinstalling from Time Machine (takes forevever) and failed here. Fortunately, I'd also created a backup with Carbon Copy, which is both faster and more useful.

Relevant, at least for me, because I couldn't sign out from the account I can use but can't confirm, is the MobileMe stuff, which is what Apple called accounts before it introduced iCloud.

However, again deleting anything without creating a backup is asking for trouble. Fortunately, profile information can be exported and imported so you can make a backup and even make changes. To make a backup defaults export MobileMeAccounts - > accounts.plist. This will create an XML file which you can edit in a suitable editor or with XCode. You can then make changes such as removing a broken account and then import it using defaults import MobileMeAccounts accounts.plist. If you then restart the machine or logout and log back in, you should be able to create associate the account with a different Apple ID. This worked for me

This still doesn't solve the underlying problem as to why Apple will not accept certain Apple ID accounts as valid accounts and, apparently, it will also not let you merge them. But they can be added as additional accounts so that purchases from the App Store, etc. should still be usable.

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