Why Is My iPhone Asking For The Wrong Apple ID? Here’s The Fix!

You’re setting up your new iPhone or you’ve restored from a backup, and all of a sudden your iPhone begins asking for passwords for other people’s Apple IDs. You don’t even know who these Apple IDs belong to, so why are they showing up on your iPhone? In this article, I’ll explain why other people’s Apple IDs are showing up on your iPhone and explain how to stop your iPhone from asking for the wrong Apple ID.

Why Is My iPhone Asking For Passwords For Apple IDs I Don’t Recognize?

Your iPhone will ask for the wrong Apple ID and password when there are apps, songs, movies, TV shows, or books that were purchased with someone else’s Apple ID. Your iPhone is asking for their Apple ID and password as part of the Apple authorization process.

In other words, there are purchased items on your iPhone that are linked to that person’s Apple ID, and your iPhone won’t let you access them without permission from the person who originally purchased them.

How Do I Know Which Apps, Music, Movies, TV Shows, and Books Have Been Purchased With Someone Else’s Apple ID?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to list which items are linked to which Apple IDs. The rule of thumb is that if an app won’t download or a song, movie, or TV show won’t play, it’s most likely linked to another Apple ID. You’ll need to get that person’s password to be able to download it.

How To Stop Your iPhone From Asking For The Wrong Apple ID

If you’ve just restored your iPhone and you’re being prompted for Apple ID passwords that belong to people you don’t know, it’s often easier to set up your iPhone as new instead of going through and trying to weed out every purchase that wasn’t made with your Apple ID. It might seem a bit drastic, but starting fresh might save a serious headache.

To set up your iPhone as new, head to Settings -> General -> Reset and choose ‘Erase All Content and Settings’.

After your iPhone reboots, choose to set up your iPhone as new instead of restoring from an iCloud or iTunes backup. From then on, make sure that you use your personal Apple ID for all purchases.

How To Share Your Apps, Music, Movies, TV Shows, and Books

With the release of iOS 8, Apple introduced a new feature called Family Sharing that allows up to 6 people to share purchases made from iTunes, the App Store, and from iBooks. Apple has created a section about Family Sharing on their website, and their article called “Start or join a family group using Family Sharing” is a great place to start.

Thanks so much for reading and I look forward to hearing your questions and comments below. I’ll do my best to help you out along the way.

All the best,
David P.

About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.

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2 months ago

My phone has been acting crazy for a while now, it’s an iphone13, anyways I can’t stop sharing with the home app and my iPhone will not let me delete the home app either, so when I try to sign in or sign out of home app, the app shows me my Apple ID and tells me that home app is using a different Apple ID but won’t show me the id name, so does this mean that my phone has been messed up because of this and how can I get rid of the app all together?

Bernard Gariépy Strobl
5 years ago

If this may help, I’ve had the same issue over and over again on every new iPhone that I’ve had. Again today after replacing my iPhone 8. It seems very frustrating, but in my case, it lasted only until the telephone had finished downloading all items (music video app…). DO NOT Erase phone as suggested or you will loose all photos avec videos… Either you locate the missing music, app and videos and delete them or just hang on through the frustration of cancelling all those demands for the time the iPhone updates everything. After, it’s done and it won’t… Read more »

Nana Øager Petersen
5 years ago

My new iPhone asks for the password to a Apple ID I dont know. Every apple product I have had has been new and no one by that Apple ID has been logged on to any of my devices. What can this mean? Is there any chance I bought a used iPhone?

Cheang Lee
6 years ago

The author of this article didn’t warn people when you choose erase content it deletes all your pictures and documents you saved. There was no mention of it at all. I lost 5 years of my life because of it. Thousands of pictures of friends and family.

I am so angered and so pissed right now.

Vicky Williams
6 years ago

my sister set up my apple Id and i didnt realize she entered the email incorrectly. I have alot of contacts and messages I dont want to remove. do i have to wipe out everything to reset the apple id correctly? obviously i dont have the password of the email she set up, as its not mine 🙁

Yusef Raw-sea
6 years ago

Did not solve my problem

Yehuda Harmor
6 years ago

I haven’t just restored my phone and there are no apps or songs or movies on my phone that were purchased on another account. some of my apps that won’t update were bought years before my partner even had an apple account, but I am still asked for her password whenever I try to update them. I can’t even delete them and try to repurchase, because it automtically asks me for her password when I have previously had them installed. I could get her password, but I don’t want to go down the route of having to use her credentials… Read more »

Cory Corleone
6 years ago

Great. But how do you restore from iCloud if the only email presented isnt yours?

Caitlyn Leggat
6 years ago

Honestly. How is apple this s*** yet it costs so much ??

Spectra Blue
6 years ago

I have a slightly similar problem.. except the apple ID it is asking for is an old one of mine, which I changed due to changing my email address. I unfortunately restored a brand new phone to an old back up, and the phone now has the old settings. At this stage.. To set up your iPhone as new, head to Settings -> General -> Reset and choose Erase All Content and Settings, it then says I have to turn off ‘find my iPhone. Which.. I cant do because I don’t have the password, (because it is so long ago..… Read more »

Ammar Rashid
6 years ago

i have wrong apple id hotmai.com instead of hotmail.com plz help me what i do??

Pauline Evans
6 years ago

My problem is slightly different. When I got my new iPhone I decided to sell my old one, so I followed all the steps to reset it and erase all content and settings, but something went wrong. I switched it back on later to check that everything had been erased and that it was now ready to be set-up for a new user ID, but instead of showing the set-up page it asked me to sign in with an ID that I didn’t recognise. I’ve tried switching it off and trying again but the same thing happens every time. I’m… Read more »

Alex Riplee
6 years ago

wow all the purchases that are linked to the wrong apple id were made with MY credit card and it is asking for the password for an account that is no longer used! Additionally it is asking for credit card info that is from a different card than the purchases were made on. Your telling me “well s*** you might as well just start fresh” I had so much content on my old device that is down the drain now because of your asinine security policies. THANKS APPLE OVER $100 OF PURCHASED APPS UNUSABLE.

Kathy Krueger
7 years ago

i found a work around that seemed to have worked for me. I deleted the apps that needed updates and reinstalled them. We’ll see what happens next time they need updates.

Fauz Heri
7 years ago

when i do erase all contents will i loose everything

Marie Møller
7 years ago

It’s cool that you suggest that a reset might be easier than finding a solution, but an actual solution would also be nice.

Matthew Schmidt
7 years ago

Worst article ever! So your “fix” is to reset the entire phone? Genius. Thank you so much for your insight.

Jos Gielkens
7 years ago

The Iphone restore programme seems to ask you to confirm with email addressess related to ‘free’ apps you’ve installed. Just “Skip” those confirmation requests consistently and the phone will allow you to restore your profile from cloud.

Jake Worms
7 years ago

Is anybody on here right now?

Mark Jaffa
7 years ago

Should this only be happening on replaced iPhones? I’ve got a brand new phone from my local mobile retailer and it’s doing it.

Dan Dan Arumpac
7 years ago

Thanks bro

Amy Luis
7 years ago


Anne Reuter
7 years ago

What happens if I put the Apple ID password of the person it is asking me for, in the phone? Will it give me all of his apps and data? Will it mess up his Apple device?

8 years ago

It didn’t work. Still can’t access the AppStore. Still shows an email that’s not mine.

Patrik Nordlund
8 years ago

Lame, that’s not a fix.

Craig Stubbs
8 years ago

Hi David, i purchased an iphone 6s a few months ago which turned out to be stolen. I posted on numerous sites to try return it to the owner with no such luck. Iv tried to use the phone now as my own, iv restored the whole phone back to basics but on switching the phone on im getting asked for the old users apple id and pass before i even get to home screen. Is there anyway round this?

Daniel Wuor Thonker
8 years ago

Help me reset the whole phone an apple Iphone 5s

Daniel Wuor Thonker
8 years ago

Help me delete an account in iCloud from apple Iphone 5s

Daniel Wuor Thonker
8 years ago

Help me reset and change my apple Iphone 5s user id and password, I am unable to delete it

9 years ago

Apple developers are always much more interested in what THEY think is cool than what the customer wants. The trick is to simply accept that your Apple device now does something completely different from what you want it to do. Just get used to doing what APPLE wants you to do- life will be do much easier.

Tim Lester
9 years ago

So apple developers making you put in the password for the purchasing account of a copyrighted app is something they just do because they think it’s cool? Im pretty sure its just so that they can protect the app developers copyrighted content. Way to make yourself look stupid while trying to bash apple. Google play store wont let me download apps that i didn’t pay for either is that also because they think its cool?

Sent from my fully customized jailbroken iphone. I also have an acer tablet fully rooted on cyanogenmod. And guess which one has more customized software?