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How to delete an Apple ID account

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How to delete an Apple ID account

If you really don’t want to have an Apple ID associated with your identity, it is possible to delete it. Here’s how to remove the Apple-centric account.

There are a few reasons to completely delete an Apple ID account, including some that are quite sensible and plausible. For example, a person may have multiple accounts set up by accident but only wants to use one and not the other.

At the other end of the scale, there are reasons like not wanting to be associated with Apple or its products at all, or a person wanting to disengage from technology as a “off the grid” movement.

Regardless of the reason, Apple offers the option to delete your Apple ID account.

The results of the removal

As Apple has a strong track record when it comes to user privacy, removing an Apple ID is fairly easy to accomplish, as is the ability to request all the data you have on file for your account. However, the action of deleting the account can have far-reaching effects.

Obviously, the main change is that you cannot log into an Apple ID once it has been removed. Apple deletes the account details associated with the Apple ID, permanently deleting them and rendering them unusable for all Apple services such as the App Store, iTunes, Apple Pay, iMessage, and any content purchased or downloadable from those services.

This also means that all user data associated with the account stored on Apple’s servers, including photos, videos, documents, and other content stored in iCloud, will be deleted. Even Apple Store appointments and AppleCare support cases are canceled as part of the process, but you do not cancel any Apple Store repairs or orders.

All subscriptions linked to the account will be automatically canceled at the end of their billing cycles, but you will not be able to use your Apple ID to access them. Users enrolled in the iPhone upgrade program will continue to make payments for their devices.

These changes also affect things that you may have purchased from Apple’s digital stores and that you have already downloaded. You won’t be able to view rented items, authorize computers to play previously purchased DRM-protected content, or re-download any purchased items, among other issues.

If you delete the account, Apple advises that it is a permanent event.

“After your account is deleted, Apple cannot reopen or reactivate your account or restore your data,” Apple cautions.

Apple does not delete all data associated with the account, such as transactional information for financial reporting or information necessary to comply with a court agreement. But outside of these exceptions, the Apple ID will be functionally useless to its user once the removal takes place.

Apple recommends taking a few actions before you perform a deletion, to safeguard any personal data that you want to keep.

What to do before deleting your Apple ID account

  1. Make a backup of the data stored in iCloud. This includes data that you have uploaded yourself, as well as data that applications can put into the online storage service.
  2. Download any DRM-free content you have purchased. This includes music, video, and iTunes Match tracks.
  3. Check your active subscriptions. While subscriptions are canceled at the end of your billing cycles, you should still review them in case you discover a service that you want to continue using separate from your Apple ID.
  4. Log out of your devices. Once the account is deleted, you won’t be able to sign out of iCloud or turn off Find My iPhone, and it can even prevent you from using the device once the account is deleted.

The process of elimination

If you’ve decided that deleting your account is the correct course of action, Apple requires users to follow a series of steps. At the end of the process, the user will have made the request to delete the account completely.

How to delete your Apple ID account

  1. Login in Apple data and privacy website with your Apple ID. You may need to perform two-factor authentication to continue.
  2. Under the Delete your account heading, click the link to Request to delete your account.
  3. On the new page, select a reason to remove it from the drop-down box, then click Continue.
  4. After reviewing a checklist of things to consider when deleting the account, click Continue.
  5. Review the Terms and Conditions of Removal, check the box cash registerand click Continue.
  6. Tell Apple how to get status updates on account deletion, then click Continue. This can include a different Apple ID, email address, or phone number.
  7. Make a record of the access code Apple provides and click Continue.
  8. Enter the access code to confirm that what you entered was correct and click Continue.
  9. Check final reminders of the effects of account deletion, then click Delete account.
  10. On the confirmation screen, click disconnect.

The process itself is not an automatic account deletion, but rather a request to Apple to delete the account and associated data. For security reasons, Apple will verify the account deletion request before proceeding, and the entire process could take seven days to complete.

During this verification period, the account will remain active. It is also possible to reactivate the account during this time by contacting Apple Support and providing the access code.

An alternative: account deactivation

If permanently deleting your data isn’t appealing, you can still temporarily close your account while keeping your data and other items intact. Apple calls this account deactivation.

You do not need to delete your Apple ID.  Instead, you could disable it.

You do not need to delete your Apple ID. Instead, you could disable it.

Rather than deleting data, deactivation suspends access to the Apple ID account entirely, including all data associated with it. Processing and access to data is almost completely stopped by Apple, with the exception of items where it is obliged to use it for legal purposes, such as to obtain financial returns.

The end result is pretty much the same as for account deletion, as it has identical results for users, except for the ability to bring the account back online with all data intact.

The process is also nearly identical, with a few small changes required to make.

How to deactivate your Apple ID account

  1. Login in Apple data and privacy website with your Apple ID. You may need to perform two-factor authentication to continue.
  2. Under the Temporarily deactivate your account heading, click the link to Request to deactivate your account.
  3. On the new page, select a reason to disable from the drop-down box, then click Continue.
  4. After reviewing a checklist of things to consider when deactivating your account, click Continue.
  5. Review the Deactivation Terms and Conditions, check the box cash registerand click Continue.
  6. Tell Apple how to get status updates on account deactivation, then click Continue. This can include a different Apple ID, email address, or phone number.
  7. Make a record of the access code Apple provides and click Continue.
  8. Enter the access code to confirm that what you entered was correct and click Continue.
  9. Check final reminders of the effects of account deactivation, then click Deactivate account.
  10. On the confirmation screen, click disconnect.

Again, there is a delay of a few days before Apple deactivates the account, and you could provide the access code to Apple Support to cancel the deactivation. Unlike the removal process, you should keep the passcode for your Apple ID in a safe place, as it must be provided to Apple to restore the account in the future.

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