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How to create an Apple ID

Carlton Boyce / 08 August 2016 ( 27 November 2018 )

Your guide to setting up your Apple ID

iPhone and Mac need an Apple ID

Hopefully, after my thoughts on What is an Apple ID, I’ve convinced you of the need to have an Apple ID, so now I’m going to walk you through the process of setting it up.

It’s a simple process, but you might want to set aside 15-20 minutes when you know you aren’t going to be disturbed, just in case…

Step 1: Apply online

First, click here: Apple ID, which will take you straight to Apple’s online application form.

Your new Apple device will prompt you to either enter your Apple ID or create a new one when you first turn the device on.

Step 2: Create a secure password

In either case you now need to complete the form, populating it first with a valid email address.

You will then be prompted to create a secure password. This needs to be at least eight characters long. It must include a mixture of upper- and lower-case letters and must include at least one number as well.

Your password can also include one or more special characters, which is a good idea as this will further strengthen your password.

I use all three, and Apple’s colour-coded security bar went green when I entered it, showing me that I have a strong password that should be hard for a hacker to guess.

The hardest part is now behind you and all you need to do now is to continue by adding your first and second names and your date of birth.

7 password mistakes

Step 3: Answer security questions - honestly or not!

There are three security questions to answer, and you choose from a set of standard questions like “What is your dream job?” or “What was your childhood nickname”.

I personally answered these in a slightly different way to what might be expected, so my childhood nickname might be my wife’s nickname or that of a friend at school, for example. 

I did this because the advent of social media sites like Facebook mean that a lot of personal information like your your first pet’s name or your childhood nickname might be in the public domain already, innocently and unwittingly shared by a friend or member of your family.

If you enjoy Carlton's inimitable style of writing, you'll love his book How to Become a Motoring Journalist - available on the Saga Bookshop.

Step 4: Verify your ID

Apple will then send you a verification email to the email address you provided in Step Two. Just click on the link they’ve sent you and you’re up and running! 

I’m now going to show you how to discover your Apple ID and reset your password when you forget them. I’ve done both and have to reset my super-complicated, impossible-to-hack password at least twice a year when I get too clever and make it impossible to remember. It’s a pain, but a small price to pay to keep the criminal elements at bay.

Discovering your Apple ID

Don’t worry if you forget what your Apple ID is. First of all, if you only have one email address then remembering it is easy, because it will be that!

But most of us have more than one, so you can either scan your deleted emails (all of which will probably still be stored on your computer in ‘Mail’ for it, or you can follow this process:

1. Click here: iForgot my Apple ID.

2. Now enter your name and email address.

Nine times out of ten, this is enough and you will be shown your Apple ID. However, if this doesn’t work, then try entering all of your email addresses one by one. You will strike lucky, I promise!

What to do if your Apple ID is hacked

Resetting your Apple ID password

Resetting your password after you forget it and accidentally get your account frozen (Apple will freeze it if you enter the wrong one too many times as a security precaution) is just as easy.

If you’re using a laptop or desktop computer then:

1. Click iForgot my Apple password (Brilliantly named: ‘iForgot’…)

2. Enter your Apple ID, which is the email address you used to set it up.

3. Decide whether you want to reset it via an email link or by answering the security questions you set up.

4. You now need to reset your password following the same rules as when you first set up your Apple ID.

If you’re using a mobile device like an iPhone or iPad then:

1. Press Settings; iTunes and App Stores; Apple ID.

2. Then press iForgot and have a little chuckle to yourself at the same time…

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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