Tuesday, 20 June 2017 11:55

How to update to two-factor authentication for an iTunes-only Apple ID

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If you’re like me (and many of you are), you have two Apple IDs for historical reasons that you continue to use. Until the mythical future date at which Apple updates its back-end systems to achieve the glory obtained only decades ago by most businesses that manage accounts to allow merging purchases and other data from multiple IDs into a single one, we’re stuck with it.

(Sidebar: Many, many, many people write in regularly asking how to solve this problem, because they assume they simply haven’t found Apple’s merge-accounts options. It’s not you, folks.)

Years ago, iOS could interact poorly with two ID setup, but then Apple switched to embrace it fully. Now, in iOS 10, the Settings section for accounts even lists iCloud and Store as separate items if you’re using two accounts along with the email addresses for them. That’s a nice move.

However, you’re still left with a problem: if you want to use Apple’s two-factor authentication (2FA) system, and you’re using just a password now or Apple’s older-but-still-active two-step verification, you can’t switch 2FA on. That’s because as part of the 2FA upgrade, Apple moved the setup portion from its Apple ID website to Settings in iOS and the iCloud system preference pane in macOS.

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How to update to two-factor authentication for an iTunes-only Apple ID published on
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SPEEDEE spends his day searching the internet for the information you need to better use your Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch and all else Apple.

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