How to Fix Can’t Use Your Apple ID on This Device

Do you see a ‘can’t use your Apple ID on this device’ message when signing in to your Apple ID?

Apple ID is supposed to simplify Apple’s ecosystem by providing you with a universal account to use on all your devices. 

However, it defeats its purpose if you can’t add your Apple ID to your device. 

If you are seeing a ‘cant use your Apple ID on this device’ message, we got you covered. 

Today, we’ll show you everything you need to know about this problem.

Let’s get started! 

Why Are You Seeing This Error? 

There are a few reasons why you can’t use your Apple ID. However, it is likely that you have any of these enabled for your account: 

Account Recovery Contact

If the error message mentions macOS 12.0 or iOS 15.0, the issue lies with your account recovery contact. 

This is used to recover your Apple account when you forget your password or device passcode. 

You won’t be able to sign in with your Apple ID if your device doesn’t meet the following:

  • Two-factor authentication is enabled on your device
  • You are 13 years old or older 
  • Your device must be running iOS 15 or later, watchOS 8 or later, or macOS Monterey or later

Advanced Data Protection

If you see iOS 16.2 or macOS 13.1 in the error message, it means that the problem is caused by advanced data protection for your Apple ID. 

Advanced Data Protection is a security feature on iCloud that protects your files using end-to-end encryption. 

The following conditions must be true to use your Apple ID on your device:

  • Two-factor authentication is enabled for your Apple ID and trusted devices
  • Your device must be running at least iOS 16.2, macOS 13.1, tvOS 16.2, and watchOS 9.2. 

How to Fix ‘Can’t Use Your Apple ID’ Error on iPhone? 

1. Check Apple’s Servers. 

If you can’t add your Apple ID to your iPhone, there’s a chance that Apple’s servers are experiencing problems. 

To confirm this, head to their system status page to check if there are reported problems with the service. 

can't use your apple id on this device

Unfortunately, server-related issues can’t be solved on your end. If the servers are offline, the best thing to do is wait for their team to fix the problem. 

Related: How to Fix Apple Watch Keeps Asking Apple ID Password


2. Restart Your Device. 

Try restarting your device if you keep seeing the ‘can’t use your Apple ID’ error message. This should reload your system resources, resolving temporary errors in the process. 

Restarting your device also clears corrupted and unused data from the system memory. 

If you are using an iPhone X, 11, 12, 13, 14, or later, here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Hold down the Volume Down button and Side button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt appears. 
  2. Now, drag the slider to the right and wait for 30 seconds. 
  3. Press the Side button afterward to turn on your device. 
Restart iPhone

For older models, follow the steps below: 

  1. Locate the Power button on your device. 
  2. Now, hold the button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt shows up.
  3. Drag the slider to the right and wait 30 seconds before turning on your device. 
can't use your apple id on this device

For Mac users, follow the guide below: 

  1. Click on the Apple Menu in the upper left corner of your screen. 
  2. Next, choose Restart from the drop-down menu. 
  3. When prompted, click Restart to confirm your action. 
Restart Mac

Try adding your Apple ID again to check if the problem is solved. 

3. Check Your Network Connection. 

Slow or unstable internet connection could also cause problems with Apple ID verification. 

To rule this out, run a speed test on your network using Fast.com to measure its current bandwidth. 

Fast.com

If the result indicates a problem with your connection, power cycle your modem or router to re-establish the connection with your ISP. 

  1. Disconnect your router’s power cable from the outlet. 
  2. Wait for at least five seconds. 
  3. Reconnect the power cable and wait for your modem/router to initialize. 
Restart Router

Rerun the test afterward to check if the problem is solved. If the issue persists, contact your provider and ask them to fix their service. 

4. Update Your Device. 

As mentioned above, your iPhone or Mac must be running compatible versions of iOS for security features to work. 

If your device is using an old OS, you won’t be able to use your Apple ID with advanced data protection or active recovery contact. 

Follow the steps below to update your iPhone: 

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone. 
  2. Navigate to General > Software Update
  3. If there’s a new iOS version available, tap Download and Install
  4. Once the new software is ready, follow the prompts to install the update. 
can't use your apple id on this device

Note

  • Your device can restart several times while installing the update. 
  • Make sure that your iPhone has at least 50% battery before installing updates. It’s best to keep your device plugged into the wall charger to avoid interruptions. 
  • Allow at least 15 minutes for the update to install, especially if it’s a major update (iOS 14 to iOS 15).

Here’s how you can update your Mac: 

  1. In the upper left corner of your screen, click the Apple icon to open the Apple Menu
  2. Now, click on System Settings
  3. Inside settings, navigate to General > Software Update
  4. If a new version was detected, follow the prompts to install the update. 
Software Update

Note

  • Your Mac can restart several times while installing the update.
  • The update progress bar might also appear to be stuck. When this happens, don’t do anything. Software updates can take several minutes to complete.

Once done, sign in with your Apple ID to check if the problem is solved.

5. Disable Advanced Data Protection. 

If you don’t want to update your device, you can simply disable advanced data protection on your Apple ID. 

Here’s how you can do that: 

  1. Go to your iPhone or iPad, where your Apple ID is currently signed in. 
  2. Now, open Settings
  3. Tap on your Profile and go to iCloud
  4. Find Advanced Data Protection and disable it. 

Return to your other device and try logging in to your Apple ID again. 

Related: How to Fix When Apple ID is Disabled


6. Remove Account Recovery Contact. 

Another feature that could be preventing you from using your Apple ID on a device with older software versions is account recovery contact. 

Here’s how you can remove recovery contacts on your Apple ID: 

  1. Grab your iPhone or iPad where your Apple ID is signed in. 
  2. Next, go to the home screen and launch Settings
  3. Tap on your Profile
  4. Navigate to Password & Security > Account Recovery
  5. Select the name of the person you want to remove and tap Remove Contact
can't use your apple id on this device

Once done, try to use your Apple ID on your other device. 

7. Reset All Settings (iOS Users). 

For your last option, try resetting your iPhone’s settings if you still can’t sign in to your Apple account. This will ensure that your device configurations are correctly set. 

See the steps below to reset your iPhone’s settings: 

  1. On your iPhone, go to the main menu and open Settings
  2. Now, tap on General
  3. Look for Transfer or Reset iPhone and tap on it. 
  4. Tap the Reset option and select Reset All Settings
can't use your apple id on this device
  1. Follow the prompts to continue. 

Note

  • Your iPhone will immediately restart upon resetting your network configurations. 
  • It may appear to be stuck in the Apple logo. Wait for the process to complete, which usually takes around 5 to 10 minutes. 

Afterward, sign in with your Apple ID to check if the problem is solved. 

That ends our guide for fixing the ‘can’t use your Apple ID on this device’ error. 

For your questions and other concerns, leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them. 

If this guide helped you, please share it.

Author

  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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