My wife has a iPhone 5 and a iPad 2. After she received her iPhone 5, I took over using her old iPhone 4 and also have a MacBook. We share one Apple ID, therefore we share all contacts. (I updated the iPhone 4 to iOS6 and the phone ceased working. Apple kindly replaced the out of warrenty device.)

Now I have a new iPhone 4 but want to do things right this time and separate contacts. How can I do this?

  • Do you just want separate contacts, or do you want entirely separate Apple IDs? This would include re-purchasing any apps, music, movies, and all such iTunes and App Store content. Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 18:18
  • We want to share all apps music movies, but the contacts are confusing us both. We may both have the same contact but named it different. When we get a call "Daddy or Wife's Dad" may show up.
    – Donnie
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 18:37

2 Answers 2


In order to do this, you must collaborate iTunes Apple IDs, but split off iCloud accounts. For you, it sounds like sticking with iCloud contact syncing will be good so that you (and your wife) will have your contacts synced across multiple devices.

First you must decide who will stay on the "primary" account - this is the account that you already have. The other user (probably you), will setup a new account for iCloud.

Go to https://appleid.apple.com/ and get a new Apple ID. Next, on your iPhone, go to Settings.app -> iCloud. Scroll to the bottom and select "Delete Account". Don't worry, it's basically just signing out of the account on your device. When prompted with the contacts, select "Keep on my iPhone" (very important).

After "signing out", sign in with your new Apple ID. You may need to change accounts on your Macbook as well so that contacts are synced over. After you are signed into the new iCloud account, go to Settings.app -> iTunes & App Stores, and make sure you are signed into the old (your wife's, or the "primary" account) account. This way, you can make purchases with the same credit card, and you can perform updates on apps.

If you wish to share calendars, you will probably be best off using Gmail for that. Unfortunately, sharing reminders and notes won't be possible with the new setup.


We found that the best way to do this was to create three separate iCloud accounts - 'his', 'hers' and 'joint'. As iCloud accounts are free, there's no costs.

The joint account allows you the flexibility to share contacts, calendars, documents, iTunes Match, Photo Stream, etc.

As an example, my iPhone has mine, my wife's, son's, daughter's and 'house' accounts all configured. Obviously, they all trust me not to read their email, etc (or reply on their behalf >:-} ), but we found this to be invaluable rather than using 'Share my Contacts', etc.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .