To date I have had an Apple ID tied to my personal email address. It uses my personal paypal account for the purchases, and currently it has a credit balance thanks to some Christmas iTunes gift cards.

With the App Store recently being released, I'd like to buy an OS X app for business purposes. I don't want to use the credit balance on my personal Apple ID account, so I was thinking about creating a new Apple ID just for when I buy apps that I use for business. This way I could have the business Apple ID tied to my business paypal account.

However, I'm concerned that there might be some gotchas with using two different Apple IDs on the same MacBook by the same user. Before I just try this blindly, does anyone have any experience or know of any gotchas?

6 Answers 6


There are a couple of gotchas I'm aware of.

  1. If you buy apps on both iTunes accounts, they all get listed together when updates become available, not just the ones on the account you're currently signed into. So if you click 'download all free updates' iTunes will only download the updates for the account which is signed in. This can be confusing because you've told it to download all free updates and it doesn't tell you why it hasn't downloaded the others.
  2. If you have an Apple TV and you want to use Home Sharing, then you can only share the content for one account at a time.

I've been using 5 accounts in 3 different countries for the past 18 months. I wouldn't say that there are any gotchas, just some annoyances.

The biggest annoyance is related to apps being in different App Stores - if I'm in the US App Store and click an update for an app purchased in th UK App Store (and there's no way to tell by looking at the list), I have to go through the whole process of being sent to the other App Store, signing in, checking updates, clicking Update again. You shouldn't have that problem if your accounts are for the same App Store.

The other annoyance is that even in the same App Store, you'll need to update your Apps in batches. Clicking Updae All will update the apps for the current login, and that will leave you with some remaining apps. Click Update All again, and you'll be asked to sign in with the other account details.

I would love the App Store to work in a more streamlined way.

  • 1
    Very much agree with your post, Anthony. I am NOT envious of your 5 accounts -- I shuttle between the US and UK App Stores and find that it is plenty annoying as is.
    – Ash
    Apr 19, 2012 at 20:20

Won't really be a big deal, it can help you keep your Mac App Store purchases separate from your iTunes Store.

Only issue would be if you somehow forgot which account was signed in to a device and started buying on the other account.

I imagine you can keep that straight though if you are ONLY using the Mac App Store account on the Mac(s) you own.


I do have several Apple IDs, one each for the iTunes Store accounts (more than one country, but that's another story) and one for the Apple Developer Program.

For the Mac App Store I'm using the same account as for the iTunes Store, though.

I've not had problems so far.


I use a German and a US Apple ID; switching as described by anthonyg works. However, I also find that switching IDs can turn off and even break iTunes Match (which is a strange beast as it is), making syncing with other devices unreliable. Different story. But a way around this problem is to create a separate iTunes library; IDs are connected to libraries and are not hardwired into system preferences.

(You can switch libraries easily by holding down the Option key while clicking the iTunes icon; a small window pops up asking you whether you want to create a new library or select an old one.)

I use this separate library every other week or so just for getting app updates and the occasional content item on the German store; after iTunes has downloaded the files, I simply copy them into the "Automatically add to iTunes" folder of the main library (which uses my US ID), and they get added next time I switch to this main library.

I have not experimented to find out whether my main library accepts this "alien" content only because I previously had switched to a different ID while using this library, but I suspect this is the case. Anyway, this makes things easier for me.


just add additional profiles (users) on your mac.

  • 1
    Of what benefit is two OS users in this situation?
    – bmike
    Oct 15, 2013 at 21:20
  • This is an irrelevant non-answer.
    – Will
    Dec 2, 2013 at 4:23

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