I have a serious problem here:

I would like to change my apple id to the email address that I mainly use which happens to be the alternate email. So what I did was to change the alternate to another email thinking I would be able to now use the old alternate as my apple id. Unfortunately and for some very strange reasons,apple is telling me I cannot use alternate email as my id when I had actually changed and verified my new alternate email. Can someone please help me out here?

  • Did you manage to fix this. I am having this same problem and don't know what to do. – user54238 Jul 30 '13 at 23:43

According to Apple's support page:

  1. Go to My Apple ID, click "Manage your Apple ID," and sign in.
  2. Delete the alternate email that you have. Click Yes when it asks for confirmation.
  3. With the Name, ID, and Email Address drawer selected, click Edit next to Apple ID and Primary Email Address.
  4. Enter your new email address.

I just applied the following steps above to my own Apple ID and it did not complain.

  • 2
    It complains for me, saying the address is not available. – Sulthan Dec 13 '14 at 10:30

I had the same issue, but I found a solution!

There are 2 separate sets of safety emails, an "alternate email" in the name, ID, and email addresses section of AppleID and a "rescue email" under password and security.

I only deleted the email I wanted to make my primary as an alternate email, not realizing that it was also my rescue email. After deleting it as my rescue email it was no longer associated with my AppleID and I could make it my primary.


I ran into this situation when my wife's email was previously an "alternate" email address on my own Apple ID. I solved it this way:

  1. Remove alternate email address
  2. Login to the Apple ID using the email address you just removed (https://appleid.apple.com/)
  3. If you don't know the password, reset the password.
  4. Once logged in, this is now a separate Apple ID

I've got two separate Apple IDs as I decided I wanted to keep both (not sure of the consequences if I remove one then add that as an alternate to my newer ID).

All answers above are correct (it won't let me comment as a new user).

Just wanted to note I had no issues using my original Apple ID as a rescue e-mail address for my new Apple ID. You may need a fresh browser window).

Also, if it doesn't let you login - either via the app store or the website - the website will tell you if you're in a time out due to too many attempts. Try again in 15-20mins and make sure you refresh your browser before you enter details (possibly use a different browser). I've had it not accepting a perfectly valid password...

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