How to Create an Apple ID

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Introduction to Making an Apple ID

how to make an apple id
image credit: Westend61/Getty Images

An Apple ID (aka an iTunes account) is one of the most versatile and useful things you can have if you own an iPod, iPhone, or iPad. With one, you can buy songs, apps, or movies at iTunes, set up and use iOS devices, use FaceTime, iMessage, iCloud, iTunes Match, Find My iPhone and much more. With so many uses, it's clear that having an Apple ID is essential; be sure you set up two-factor authentication with this account.

ITunes accounts are free and are simple to set up. This article walks you through three ways to create one: in iTunes, on an iOS device, and on the web. All three work equally well and create the same kind of account—use whichever one you prefer. 

RELATED: A Step-by-step Guide How to Create an Apple ID for a Child

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Creating an Apple ID Using iTunes

create an apple id using itunes

Using iTunes used to be the only way to create an Apple ID. It still works well, but not everyone uses a desktop computer with their iOS device anymore. If you still do, it's simple and speedy. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Launch iTunes on your desktop or laptop computer
  2. Click the Account menu
  3. Click Sign In
  4. Next, a window will pop up on the screen that allows you to either sign into an existing Apple ID or create a new iTunes account. If you already have an Apple ID that isn't currently associated with an iTunes account, sign in with it here and enter your billing information on the following screens. This will allow you to make purchases. If you're creating a new iTunes account, click Create Apple ID
  5. When creating an Apple ID from scratch, you'll have to click through a few screens to begin entering your information. Among these is a screen that asks you to agree to the iTunes Store's terms. Do so
  6. At the next screen, enter the email address you want to use for this account, create a password (iTunes will give you guidelines on creating a secure password, including using numbers and a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters), add security questions, enter your birthday, and decide if you want to sign up for any of Apple's email newsletters

    You'll also have the option of including a rescue email, which is the email account that your account information can be sent to if you lose access to your main address. If you choose to use this, make sure you enter a different email address than the one you use for your Apple ID login, and that you'll have access to it for a long time (since a rescue email address isn't useful if you can't get at that inbox).
  7. When you're done, click Continue.
  8. Next, enter the payment method you want to be billed each time you make a purchase at the iTunes Store. Your options are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and PayPal. Enter the billing address of your card and the three-digit security code from the back
  9. Click Create Apple ID and you'll have your Apple ID set up and ready to use!
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Creating an Apple ID on iPhone

create an apple id using iphone

There are a few more steps in the process of creating an Apple ID on the iPhone or iPod touch than there are in iTunes, mostly because you can fit less on the smaller screens of those devices. Still, it's a pretty simple process. Follow these steps to create an Apple ID on an iOS device:

RELATED: You have the option to create an Apple ID during iPhone set up

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap iCloud
  3. If you are currently signed into an Apple ID, scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Sign Out. You'll have to go through a number of steps to sign out. If you're not signed into an Apple ID, scroll to the bottom and tap Create a new Apple ID
  4. From here on in, every screen has basically one purpose. On the first, enter your birthday and tap Next
  5. Enter your name and tap Next
  6. Choose an email address to use with the account. You can pick from an existing account or create a new, free iCloud account
  7. Enter the email address you want to use and tap Next
  8. Create a password for your Apple ID using the guidelines on the screen. Then tap Next
  9. Add three security questions, tapping Next after each one
  10. After you tap Next on the third security question, your Apple ID is created. Look for an email in the account you choose in step 7 to verify and finalize the account.
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Creating an Apple ID on the Web

create an apple id on the web

If you prefer, you can create an Apple ID right on Apple's website. This version has the fewest steps. Here's what you need to do:

  1. In your web browser, go to https://appleid.apple.com/account#!&page=create
  2. Fill out the form on this page, by choosing an email address for your Apple ID, adding a password, entering your birthday, and selecting security questions. When you've filled out all the fields on this screen, click Continue
  3. Apple sends a verification email to your chosen email address. Enter the 6-digit confirmation code from the email on the website and click Verify to create your Apple ID.

With that done, you can use the Apple ID you've just created in iTunes or on iOS devices.

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Using Your Apple ID

where to download itunes
The latest iTunes icon. image copyright Apple Inc.

Once you've created your Apple ID, the world of music, movies, apps, and other iTunes content is open to you. Here are some articles related to using iTunes that you may be interested in: