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My son has a child/minor account on my iMac. It's a family account. He has his own username and password and iCloud access. We recently bough him his own MacBook. I can not figure out how to connect/configure this new MacBook to his iCloud account. During setup the MacBook will not let me log into his account, keeps saying password is wrong, then it freezes it.... but then I go to the iMac and I'm able to login into his account with his password that the MacBook thinks is wrong. So I gave up on that and logged into the new MacBook with my account and it worked. Now I'm trying to add my sons child/iCloud account as a user to this MacBook and it can not be anymore difficult. I have no clue. He shows up under family, but when I logout it only has me as a user to log back in. I go to Users & Groups and add account, but this wants to create a whole new account, I Just want to use his existing account. Also I want to keep his account on my iMac, so he can either login to my iMac (as he has been doing) under his own account to login to the new MacBook under his account.
Any ideas on how to make this work?

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I would make a backup of the working Mac and then restore it onto the new computer.

Then delete any accounts and apps from the new computer that aren’t needed (promoting the child account to a full account / possibly the lone admin left standing if desired).

Set up the new computer to back up as well and as long as you have both backed up if you need to erase and start over you won’t lose the files or setup that works.


It may be hard to remotely guess what the error on the new computer is. Have you tried Apple support to get troubleshooting on using the new account on the new Mac? They are very good at seeing the screen and going through 20 questions type troubleshooting and likely have helped several people yesterday with the issue you face today.

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  • Would it not be simpler to nuke & pave, then migrate just the child account? [That kind of sounds like I'm telling you… but no, I'm actually asking;)
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 14, 2023 at 19:04
  • Ah… I guess an admin account would be needed too...
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 14, 2023 at 19:10
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    Yes @Tetsujin - I edited to explicitly consider promotion of the working account to admin or at least not a managed account.
    – bmike
    Nov 14, 2023 at 19:49
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Not sure what the issues was but went thru the process of reseting/changing both mine and my sons Apple ID password and it’s now working.

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  • So glad it worked out for you. +1 for reporting your results. Your steps are much quicker / less onerous than my proposal.
    – bmike
    Nov 15, 2023 at 1:18

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