MobileMe, iCloud and add-on email address

Years ago, when Apple’s MobileMe was new, I created an account for $99. I added two additional email addresses for $10 each. My wife uses one of them to this day.

Today she received an email from Apple prompting her to convert to iCloud. I’d rather not clutter things up around here with two iCloud accounts. If I don’t, will I (she) lose that email address? I’m hoping the answer is no.

Comments are open.


  1. I think she’ll need to convert the account to iCloud. However, don’t confuse an Apple ID with an email address: You say you don’t want “two iCloud accounts” but I don’t really see the harm in this. If you want to use one Apple ID for multiple people (i.e. buying music, videos, apps, etc,) you can continue to do that; it’s just that you and she would have separate email addresses. You’d use your Apple ID to purchase content as you already do.

    The real “pain” is if you start buying stuff on each Apple ID separately, as there is no way to merge everything back to a separate Apple ID.

  2. I don’t know if the email will be lost when the transition period is over, but I did create a separate iCloud account for my wife.

    We share one main account for purchases, music, and apps, but each have a separate account for email. So far, it has worked well and I haven’t experienced any problems.

    I also created two separate accounts for Find My iPhone and Photo Stream using a Google Apps account catch-all email address, so I didn’t have to worry about which account those were tied to.That way, we can always share location and photos on any iOS device, without wondering which account they are tied to.

  3. I can absouletly say yes she will need to “move” it to an icloud account, it will not clutter anything up fortunately. You will add it to mail and ios devices the same as you would a mobileme account but if you have another apple id already handling the syncing stuffs it will only allow you to turn on the mail portion not the others. As a bonus she will get more reilable syncing, a better web interface at, and what I believe to be a better service uptime. More importantly its of note of what she will lose idisk and the assocaited 20 gb of storage, galleries, keychain, dock, and preferences syncing, and finally iweb hosting.

    I am guessing they share an apple id for purchases, same thing me and my wife do, that way if I but it on my device she can download it on hers.


  4. Like the above commenters, we have successfully migrated from one “parent” account with a child email-only mac/ email address to 2 iCloud accounts.

    All app and media purchases continue to be done under the previous parent, which also serves as my email, find-my-device, and iMessage account. The previous child serves as my partner’s email, find-my-device, and iMessage account while she gets all the media and apps from my account.

    It’s not the way an iOS device wants to operate by default, but it’s almost trivial to set it up and assign accounts to the different functions in Settings.

    in OS X, the App Store and the iTunes Store have their own account settings, separate from the iCloud Preference Pane, so Apple certainly doesn’t discourage this kind of setup.

    The thing that puzzles me is why the iCloud Pref Pane wants to be system-wide instead of user-account-specific.

  5. Matt,

    Thanks. And…nice to hear from you. It’s been a while since we were both at Berklee. :)

    1. Hehe – “a while”. Yeah, you could call it that. I was in that neighborhood almost 2 years ago and it was almost unrecognizable to me. Still fun to watch the flyovers on Fringe, though.

      I assume you’ll keep us informed on your transition to iCloud. Always look forward to learning from others’ experiences.

      1. Will do. I only visit Boston a few times a year at this point and yeah, it’s changed quite a bit. I’ll keep you updated for sure.

  6. Like everyone else has mentioned, it’s easy to have multiple iCloud accounts and migrating from MobileMe was painless for me. However, give it some thought before you do it so you end up where you want to.

    For example, when everyone in my family moved to iCloud we realised we’d been each buying our own iPhone apps with different AppleID’s. Fortunately my wife and daughter hadn’t bought that many and there were only a couple that they had and I hadn’t, so we decided to consolidate all purchases (iTunes, App Store, Mac App Store, iBooks) on my old, non MobileMe, AppleID that I had been using all along. We all have the password and it’s set up on all Macs and iOS devices in the house, including the Apple TV. It works great and we all get to share apps, music, etc.

    Then I migrated my MobileMe to iCloud and use it as my personal email, contacts, calendar, etc. account. My wife and daughter also have their own personal iCloud accounts, one of them with a non Apple email.

    Everything works fine. Shared calendars are very easy to set up and manage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *