There are a few reasons why Apple users sometimes must use a pair of Apple IDs on the same Mac. Here’s how to make it work.
Image: Farknot Architect / Adobe Stock
In a previous TechRepublic article, I wrote about how you can customize and maintain an Apple ID across multiple devices; But, what about using multiple Apple IDs on the same Mac with the same user account? This comes in handy when using two Apple IDs: one for personal use and the other for business purposes.
Why would you want to use two Apple IDs?
There are many reasons why you might want to use two Apple IDs on the same Mac.
Employers often prohibit the use of business equipment for personal reasons.
Businesses routinely use keylogging and monitoring software on work machines, and you probably don’t intend for your personal finances, private email, and exchanges with partners and friends to be available to your boss.
There are other reasons involving legal and liability issues that justify maintaining two Apple IDs.
Keep personal and business Apple IDs separate
Hopefully, you are already using a different Apple ID, right? Follow a best practice endorsed by many: Don’t use your business machine for personal use.
Look: Ensure the security of your business’s devices with this sample mobile device security policy from TechRepublic Premium.
Within the Apple ecosystem, avoid using a personal Apple ID for business. It’s all too easy for your work and personal life to become confused, resulting in personal information becoming available to your work colleagues or employer. If you don’t already have two Apple IDs, one for work and one for your personal life, make a resolution to make it your practice soon.
Use your personal Apple ID to avoid duplicate app purchases
There’s one reason you might occasionally need to take advantage of your personal Apple ID on your work Mac: to load apps you’ve already purchased. This is possible if:
- You must carefully observe and complete the required steps.
- Your organization allows and does not allow you to log in and out of the App Store and install software.
That way, you can use previously purchased programs in your personal account on your work Mac without duplicating purchases.
How to use a personal Apple ID to load purchased apps onto a work device
Let’s say you purchased an application from the App Store using your personal Apple ID, but you want to use that program on the Mac you use for work as well. If you want to use your work Apple ID (Figure A,
The Apple ID you’re logged in to in the Mac App Store appears in the lower-left corner of the screen.
You can confirm this by clicking on your Apple ID name in the lower left corner of the screen and viewing the programs you’ve previously purchased (Figure B,
When your Apple ID is logged into the Mac App Store, any software you’ve previously purchased will appear in your account.
Instead, you can log out of the Apple ID you created for work from the App Store screen. Then, you can log back in using your Personal ID, only using that account to download and install the software programs you previously purchased. After you download and install an app from the App Store screen, log out of your personal Apple ID, and log back in using the Apple ID you maintain for business use.
Because you’re only briefly linking your personal Apple account with the App Store on a work Mac, your photos, files, and other iCloud-powered services won’t be affected. This is why it’s important to log in and out of the App Store screen, not using the Mac’s iCloud settings, found within System Settings.
Logging in and out of the App Store using macOS Ventura
With macOS Ventura it’s easy to use your Apple ID to sign in to the App Store. Click on the Sign in option of App Store which appears at the bottom left corner (Figure C) whenever you are signed out.
The Sign In option appears whenever there is no Apple ID logged into the Mac App Store.
To log out of the App Store with an Apple ID, with the App Store open, click Store in the Mac’s menu bar. Then, click on Sign Out. Apps you purchased using your personal Apple ID will continue to work and update, even after you sign back into the App Store using the Apple ID you created for work.