Managing Your Apple ID

By Don Mayer

(reprinted with permission)

Too many times when I am helping customers I get a blank stare when I ask for their Apple ID. Some quickly look through scraps of paper while oters just start guessing. You Apple ID is the personal account you use to access Apple services like the App Store, iTunes Store, iCloud, iMessage, the Apple Online Store, FaceTime, and more. It includes the email address and password you use to sign in, as well as all the contact, payment, and security details that you’ll use across Apple services. So, yes it is important and you should remember it.

Setting up an Apple ID

Okay, so you are new to the Mac and want to take advantage of all that iCloud stuff, FaceTime and buy stuff at the App store. You need to set up your Apple ID. Before you run off to create a new Apple ID, consider whether it might be better to continue using one you already have. Remember that you might not be able to move data or purchases from an old Apple ID to a new one.

If you aren’t sure if you already have an Apple ID, Apple can help you find it. If your email address has changed, you can change the address you use for your current Apple ID to continue using it.

You can create your Apple ID when you set up a new device or sign in to iTunes or iCloud for the first time. You can also go to the Apple ID site (!&page=create) and select Create Your Apple ID.

Here’s what you need:

  • A valid email address to use as your Apple ID username.
  • A strong password.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Three security questions and answers to verify your identity and a rescue email address. You can also use this information to reset your password.

It really doesn’t work well to have multiple Apple IDs and they cannot be combined after the fact so be careful to only set up one that you will use for a long time.

Managing your Apple ID

Things change. You may have to change your email address, you may want to change your password or payment method. You can do all this at the Apple ID Account page (!&page=signin). Here you can:

  • Update your Apple ID email address to make sure it’s an address that you use frequently.
  • Change your password to help maintain the security of your account.
  • Manage your payment information to keep your payment method or billing address up to date.
  • Add additional email addresses to help people find and communicate with you on Apple services like FaceTime, iMessage, Game Center, and Find My Friends.
  • See and manage the devices that you’re signed in to with your Apple ID.

Setting up an Apple ID without a Credit Card

If you already have an Apple ID and want to remove your payment method it is easy. You can choose to remove the payment method for your existing Apple ID after you have signed in to the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBooks Store. You won’t be asked for a payment method again until you make a purchase.

If you are just setting up an Apple ID you can do so without a payment method. On a iPhone, iPad or iPod touch follow these steps:

  • Open the App Store app, iTunes Store app, or iBooks app.
  • Choose any free app, song, video, or book.
  • Tap iOS Get button next to the item, then tap again to get it.
  • When you’re asked to sign in with an Apple ID, tap Create New Apple ID.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions. When you’re asked for payment information, choose None.
  • After you enter your information, you’re asked to verify your Apple ID by email. You must verify your Apple ID before you can begin using it.

It is a little bit different if you are setting it up on your Mac.

  • Open iTunes, then go to the iTunes Store.
  • Scroll down and find the country or region flag in the lower-right corner of the window. If it’s not the flag of the country or region where you live, click it and choose your country or region.
  • From the menu in the upper-left corner, choose Music,TV Shows,bApps, or Books.
  • Download a free song, TV episode, app, or book. To find free items, look under Quick Links on the right side of the iTunes Store window for any link that includes the word “free.” When you find a free item, click Get beneath its icon.
  • When you’re asked to sign in with an Apple ID, click Create Apple ID.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions. When you’re asked for payment information, choose None as the payment type.
  • After you enter your information, you’re asked to verify your Apple ID by email. You must verify your Apple ID before you can begin using it.

Protecting your Apple ID

  • Make a strong password, use uppercase and lowercase, numbers and letters and not your dog’s name
  • Reset your security questions to make sure they’re easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess.
  • Add a rescue email address. If you forget your password or the answers to your security questions, your rescue email address will help you regain access to your account.
  • If you haven’t already, set up two-step verification or two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to your account.

Sharing your Apple ID


Your Apple ID should not be shared with anyone else. It provides access to personal information including contacts, photos, device backups, and more. Sharing your Apple ID with someone else means you are giving them access to all your personal content and may lead to confusion over who actually owns the account. To share iTunes & App Store purchases, photos, a calendar, and more with someone else, try Family Sharing, iCloud Photo Sharing, or other easy-to-use sharing features.

How do I add an additional Gmail account?

These instructions will show you how to add a second gmail account to your existing one. You might want a new one to separate personal mail from business mail, or to use for a club or hobby. There are no restrictions on how many accounts you can have.

The simple way is to go directly to the gmail account creation page ( and fill out the form provided by Google. If you choose this method, do not click the sign in button at the top. This will just take you to your existing account.

Another way is to use your existing account to either (1) create a new account, or (2) login to any of your other accounts. The process is not hard, but requires clicking through several screens to get to the end result.

Read More

What to do if Quick Look Doesn’t Work

##### Question

Since upgrading to Mavericks Quick Look is not working. How do I fix this problem?

##### Answer

Apparently, a few people have reported this problem. It’s unclear why this happens and it could be related to specific hardware or computer models. It also could be due to some corrupted files. If this happens to you, here are a few things you can try.

##### Fix Disk Permissions

First, try running a permissions fix on the boot drive using Disk Utility to ensure that the Quick Look plug-ins and other files the Quick Look server needs are properly accessible.

Then force Quick Look to reload the plug-ins and its cache by running the following commands in the Terminal:

qlmanage -r
qlmanage -r cache

After this is done, clear out the Quick Look configuration files.

1. Go to the /username/Library/Preferences folder (press the Option key and select “Library” from the Finder’s Go menu)
2. Remove the files called “,” “,” and “”
3. With these files removed and the Quick Look service reloaded, try previewing your documents again.

##### Change the Finder to 32-bit Mode

If this doesn’t help change the Finder to run in 32-bit mode.

Go to Folder: /System/Library/CoreServices/
Get Info for Finder
Select 32-bit mode
Relaunch Finder

##### Delete the Quick Look Helper File

Another thing to try is to delete this folder:


##### Learn More

* [Fixing Quick Look issues in OS X – CNET](

Question: Is it safe to remove expired certificates from the OS X Keychain?


Yes. But as always you should have a current backup in case something goes wrong. The following article provides some details that should help get rid of some of the clutter in the keychain.

How to manage keychain clutter in OS X

The OS X keychain is useful for storing authentication information, but can get cluttered with unused items that sometimes may prevent it from working properly.

The OS X keychain is a useful and secure way to save passwords, certificates, and other authentication information for applications, Web sites, and various other services. By default these are generally loaded into either the log-in keychain or the System keychain, depending on whether the service is user-oriented or a system setting such as Wi-Fi or VPN passwords.

Though the keychain is convenient, sometimes after extensive use it can become cluttered with numerous items. Generally this clutter does not harm anything, but sometimes it can result in odd problems such as the incorrect password being used for a service even though the current password is saved.

Tidying up the keychain

If you are having troubles with the system constantly asking you to save passwords in the keychain, you might benefit from cleaning it up a bit. Open the “Keychain Access” utility and go through each keychain listed in the Keychains section (in the upper left of the window). If you have multiples of the same item, try first opening them to check which one contains the correct password information, and then delete the ones that are incorrect.

Keep in mind that if you have more than one account for an online service, you will see multiple entries for that service. One area where this will be most prominent is for Email accounts if, for instance, you have multiple Gmail accounts that you access through Apple’s Mail program.

In addition to removing duplicate items, you might as well remove any expired certificates and keys that are in the keychain. While expired and unused items should not affect anything, removing them will keep the keychain relatively tidy.

When removing items from the keychain, do not worry about inadvertent deletions of active and used passwords. If they are missing then the programs using it will prompt you for the password again and create a fresh entry for it.

Starting over

Tidying up the keychain is one option, but some people might consider starting over with a fresh keychain. If so, then one way to do this is to go to the username/Library/Keychains/ folder and remove the “login.keychain” file in that directory. When you do this, upon logging in, the system will create a new log-in keychain and link it to your account so it opens whenever you log into your system. The keychain will be empty, so the system will regularly ask you for various passwords as it repopulates the new keychain.

Instead of deleting the old log-in keychain, another option is to rename it and keep it in your “Keychains” directory. From here, when the system creates a new log-in keychain you can open Keychain Access and choose “Add Keychain” from the “File” menu. Selecting the renamed keychain will make it available, and you can then unlock it and drag desired items from it to the newly created log-in keychain.

Source: CNET

Use SpamSieve to reduce email spam

Question: What can I do to reduce the amount of spam that I get in Apple Mail?

Answer: Email spam is a problem we all face if you use Apple Mail or another desktop email client, rather than a service such as Gmail or iCloud. One way to get a handle on this is to install SpamSieve on your Mac. SpamSieve costs $30, but there is a free trial available

After installing the software and spending a minutes training it, you should be able to reduce the level of junk email to almost zero.