I have an iPod sync and my wife just got an iPhone. Before I set up her iPhone, I want to make sure I don't mess anything up. I have a few questions:

  1. Should I create a separate Apple ID for her, or have her use my id?
  2. Is there anything else I need to worry about to make sure it recognizes her account and sync info and mine and doesn't get confused?

I see a few horror stories on the web and just want to make sure I do this right.

3 Answers 3


While there are (too) many ways to setup multiple iDevices on the same machine, the simplest way and most headache free is having a single account on all devices synced to the same machine. That way you can sync everything everywhere easily.

If you want to have separate accounts, set separate users on the machine and then you can setup different iTunes/Apple accounts on each computer user. But that will give issues with syncing contents. Apple is not very good with sharing content with other people - but they're trying to get better on it at least with family members.


You can do the Apple ID any way you like. If you use the same ID on both devices, then you can sync all the Purchased apps to both devices.

I'm using my iTunes to manage and backup the iPhone of my girlfriend and my iPhone. We have separate ID's and iTunes never got confused.


Oh and remember, if you setup up separate ID's then you still can sync all apps from both accounts, but you can't update the apps from your Wife's account on your iPhone, because your phone is set to your account.

This can be avoided by updating all apps through iTunes, though.

  • You can update apps from several different accounts in a single iPhone/iPod/iPad. The App Store app will show that there is a new version for an app and when you try to update it will ask for the password of the account that originally downloaded the app. It is a bit of a nuisance, though.
    – lpacheco
    Feb 22, 2011 at 7:09
  • @Ipacheco - And when you input the password, then it tells you that your phone is not setup with this account and tells you to change the phones account to be able to update. As you an have only one Apple ID profile on the phone you'd have to switch between the different ID's all the time, and not just input the password
    – deiga
    Feb 22, 2011 at 9:28

For me, the least confusing way is to setup both separate iTunes accounts and separate computer logins for both people. That way "your" iTunes will only see your iPad and know about your iTunes account, applications, data, etc. and "her" iTunes will only see her iPhone and know about her iTunes account, applications, data, etc.

This also gives both of you your own space on the computer -- not to keep secrets, right -- but so you can have your stuff organized and she can have her stuff organized.

  • but what about shared content??
    – leora
    Feb 21, 2011 at 20:29
  • That's where it is more confusing. Probably easier on the iPad or iPhone to switch to the account that first bought the app and then re-download the app. Feb 21, 2011 at 21:12

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