7 years ago, I got a shiny, black MacBook. I was super (un)lucky enough to buy it right before the switch to Unibody everything. It came with OS X Leopard, iLife 08, and a free iPod touch because of a school promotion.
Oh, and it didn’t have any of this weird iCloud or Apple ID shenanigans.
Along with my MacBook, before the (super fun) times of iMessage, iChat was a thing. With awesome AIM support built right in, and video chat and more. So, along with it, Apple gave you a free AIM account. Exciting right?
That is, until, you find out that it came with a MobileMe trial, that ended, which resulted in a lot of weird glitches and errors over the years. Especially after the migration to iCloud.
Fast forward 7 years, and I’m stuck in a ridiculous situation. That original Apple ID was an @mac.com email address. Foolishly, when iCloud came around and an Apple ID became essential to using your Mac as a whole, I thought I would be fine using this Apple ID for my main iTunes account, (separate from my parents), and my iCloud account.
But it Turns Out™, that you can't change any @me.com or @mac.com Apple ID's:
Note: @mac.com and @me.com Apple IDs can not be renamed. If you no longer use the .mac or .me email address be sure to add your valid email address as an additional email address.
This led to a few things:
1. I don’t have access to that primary @mac.com address. I can't check the inbox at all. And if you send an email to it, it just bounces. I believe this is due to the original address being either a MobileMe Trial, or even worse, a dot Mac trial. (In writing this, I actually just found this kbase article explaining why I no longer have access to it. Third bullet)
2. For a while, all my iTunes receipts were going to this defunct address, vanishing into the blackhole MobileMe once was. Thankfully Apple has made http://reportaproblem.apple.com which makes seeing purchases easier.
3. Errors from my Apple ID not being able to be a ‘receive FaceTime/iMessage at this address’, which recently caused trouble with Continuity
And if I try to change my Apple ID even over to my @me iCloud address, or the actual email that I use, I get this wonderful error:
The best part about all this is the fact that I’ve called AppleCare, trying to see if there’s any possible way for them to switch over the Apple ID. But their advice is basically “Just start a new one, and make all your purchases on there from now on.”
But then I would have to deal with the 90 day limit for switching between accounts if I wanted to download any music/movies from my current account, juggle more passwords, and any resulting pain from trying to receive iMessages, switching iCloud accounts, or transferring over my iCloud photo library.
Maybe there’s some huge technical hurdle that Apple can’t cross to change a simple email address, but it sure is a pain having to deal with some of these glitches. And frustrating that I can’t change it at all. I hope Apple fixes this in the future.