I had this issue for a while where system prefs -> icloud complained about "Update Apple ID Settings".

Update Apple ID Settings

Clicking continue it'd eventually ask for my icloud password and then it would an error

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clicking sign out, i'd be asked if i wanted to save a copy of some iCloud data, then nothing would happen just takes me back to the screen with signout on it and the update apple id settings.

i tried many many things myself and with apple to resolve this including:

do at least 1 full backup first

  1. moving keychains folder and restart

  2. create new admin account and sign in to my apple id, all features worked fine in new account restart into recovery, repair permissions, reinstall os

  3. previously to calling apple i had repaired permissions, backed up, booted into internet recovery, reformatted the ssd, reinstalled Catalina, created new admin account, used migrate assistant to restore from backup, used recovery to repair permissions yet the appled id issue persisted.

  4. changed my apple id password

  5. used ipad to sign out of appleid on all other devices.

In my research i had come across a blog that referenced removing the accounts in ~/Library/Accounts and deleting the mobileme plist. i couldn't find the blog again but found this stackexchange which references the same.

iCloud sign out not possible on High Sierra

i made some changes as:

  1. i made a note of all accounts in system preferences -> internet accounts then ensured all icloud settings where on.
  2. i created an archive of ~/Library/Accounts
  3. put all the items in Accounts into a new folder in accounts, that enough to stop the OS using those folders and enables a quick restore
  4. i archived ~/Library/Preferences/MobileMeAccounts.plist then deleted it, i also put all plists older than 2015 (had ~ 400 of them) in a new folder (select all the files you want then right click and choose new folder with selection).

rebooted the Mac, opened system prefs -> icloud and signed in, waited to be notified that email accounts had been added then opened Internet options and enabled them all, adding any additional iCloud accounts not present.

All appears ok with the other benefit being windowserve cpu utilisation is now in single digits from a minimum of 50+%

Hoping this will help someone

1 Answer 1


answer is in my original post.

  • 1
    Answer should be in the answer space, not in the question.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 18:30
  • Hi @chris-net, thanks for sharing your knowledge but please read the Help Center article Can I answer my own question on how to properly do so.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 20:48

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