I'm thinking of getting a "household" iPad (the new iPad) to be shared. Can the iPad have multiple users? Or is there another way to keep email accounts, Safari bookmarks, and Angry Birds scores separated between users?

4 Answers 4


Apple really designed the iPad as a 1-to-1 device (one device to one person) so I don't think there is an EASY way.

I know they have deployment products out there that might make it so you can remove and restore profiles, but it's not on the fly and I think it's very clunky.

I also did a quick Google and noticed this software that is out in beta and is exactly what you want, but it looks quite experimental and your iPad needs to be jailbroken to install it: http://nowsci.com/userprofiles/

  • Multi users feature is available for schools. Their is also a “shared iPad” feature for business that let you open a guest session. The limitation seem more about business model that design choices. This limitation create a lot of privacy and security concern. This is very problematic for parents.
    – gagarine
    May 11, 2020 at 14:41

When you first setup your iOS device, you are asked to enter an Apple ID (Apple says that you "associate" the device to your Apple ID).

On the iPad you need the ID in two cases:

  • In Settings → iCloud you enter the Apple ID you’d like to use with iCloud.
  • In Settings → Store you enter the Apple ID you want to use for store purchases.

As Apple does not offer to enter multiple Apple IDs in iCloud for example, you cannot sync iCloud services of multiple users at the same time with one device. The only option is to share the Apple ID which is associated with the device.

[source: Apple IDs and iCloud]

How many devices can be associated with an Apple ID? How fast can I change it?

Your Apple ID can have up to 10 devices and computers (combined) associated with it. Each computer must also be authorized using the same Apple ID. Once a device or computer is associated with your Apple ID, you cannot associate that device or computer with another Apple ID for 90 days.

[source: Associating a device or computer to your Apple ID]


"Once a device or computer is associated with your Apple ID, you cannot associate that device or computer with another Apple ID for 90 days." This is called a "HOOK" or "GAFT" or "SHAFT". A feature that cripples the functionality of a device, " This is nothing more than corporate greed which Apple is famous for. So Apple wants our working family of two teenagers, one child and two adults to each purchase a $600 iPad? Another reason to pick Android which does "all that" allows multiple profiles, and thousands more free apps for $79 to $199.

  • Or - that restriction was implemented as a tradeoff to prevent malicious reviews and gaming of app ratings. I also doubt Apple wants anything from your working family in particular. The Verge and developers and Tech Crunch document the fraud by fake reviewers. If you'd like us to take you seriously, could you elaborate on how this restriction is crippling?
    – bmike
    Jun 4, 2015 at 15:22

Check out Apple Configurator (by Apple, it's free) Here it can be used for families and not just businesses, edu, institutions.

  • The original question was about multiple individuals sharing a single device. The Apple Configurator is designed for a single individual to configure a fleet of devices. It's an interesting tool, but just the opposite of what the OP is looking for.
    – Ash
    Apr 19, 2012 at 20:22

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