How to remove an iCloud account from Mac, iPhone, and iPad

Apple’s iCloud service has become deeply embedded in how we all use Macs and iOS devices. Whether you use all of its services or just email and contacts, an iCloud account that functions properly is a crucial part of the experience of using an Apple device. However, if you need to remove an iCloud account from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, I've got several situations for you. 

Why delete an iCloud account?

• You have been sharing an account with a family member, but it’s no longer convenient.

• You used the Mac or iOS device for business and were logged into the organization’s iCloud account and now want to use your personal account.

• You’ve created a new iCloud account because the email address you used with the original is no longer valid (in this case, you may want to delete the original account altogether. We’ll show you how to do that later) 

Consider a few things first before you delete an iCloud account or remove iCloud from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. 

1. When you sign out of iCloud on any device, you’ll also be signed out of the App Store, Messages, and FaceTime. You’ll have to sign back into them with your Apple ID to use those services again.

2. If you plan to sign out of an iCloud account on all your devices, you should back up the data you use with iCloud. It includes photos, contacts, mail, notes, and other files stored in iCloud Drive.

3. You will also lose access to other services unless you sign in with another iCloud account. These include Apple Pay, iCloud Keychain, Back to my Mac, Find my iPhone, Game Center, and Continuity, among others. You’ll also lose app data from third-party apps that are stored in the iCloud account. 

How to deactivate an iCloud account on Mac 

  1. Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences.
  2. Then click Apple ID > Overview. (If you're using macOS High Sierra or earlier, then click iCloud. Press sign Out).
  3. If you want to keep data from iCloud Drive, Calendar, Contacts, or Reminders on your Mac, make sure the appropriate checkboxes are cheked. Then click on Keep a Copy. 
  4. If you want to keep your Safari passwords on your Mac, press Keep on this Mac.

How to remove an iCloud account from iPhone or iPad

  1. Tap the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom and tap Sign Out.
  3. Type in your Apple ID password and tap Turn Off.
  4. Select the data you want to keep on the device and make sure the switch next to it is in the On position.
  5. Tap Sign Out.
  6. Confirm.

If you plan to give away or sell a Mac or iOS device and want to keep using the iCloud account, you should reset the iPhone or iPad and perform a clean install of macOS on your Mac. Then you should log in to iCloud.com and remove the Mac or iOS device from your iCloud account.

How to remove a device from iCloud

  1. Go to iCloud.com in Safari on your Mac.
  2. Type in your Apple ID and password.
  3. Click on Account Settings.
  4. In the My Devices section, click on the device you want to remove.
  5. Next, click the ‘x’ next to the device you want to remove from iCloud. 

How to change iCloud account on iPad or iPhone

Follow the steps above to sign out of iCloud on the iPad or iPhone.

In iOS 10.3 or later: 

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Sign in to your iPhone.
  3. Type in the Apple ID and password for the iCloud account you want to use.

In iOS 10.2 or earlier: 

  1. Open the Settings app. 
  2. Tap iCloud.
  3. Type in the Apple ID and password for the iCloud account. 
  4. Tap Sign in.

How to delete your iCloud account 

The bad news is that you can’t delete an iCloud account completely. Your iCloud account is associated with your Apple ID so there’s no way to make your Apple ID not exist anymore.

You can, however, do the next best thing and deactivate an iCloud account. In addition, if you’re wondering how to delete an iCloud account without a password, the answer is you can’t. And that’s a good thing — if you were able to delete an iCloud account without a password, it would be very insecure, and anyone could potentially delete yours. 

The first step is to remove all your devices from your iCloud account by following the steps above. Under ‘How to remove a device from iCloud,’ go through each device listed, including your Apple Watch and Apple TV. If you have them, in the My Devices section and remove it. Then, click Sign Out of All Browsers at the bottom of the main Settings screen on iCloud.com

Next, disable Find My iPhone by going to the Settings app and tapping your Apple ID, then iCloud (or for iOS 10.2 or earlier, just iCloud). Scroll down to Find My iPhone, tap it, and switch the toggle to off. Type in your Apple ID password and tap Turn Off. 

Disable Find My Mac

  1. Click on the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
  2. Click Apple ID.
  3. Scroll down to Find My Mac and uncheck the box next to it.
  4. Type in your Apple ID password and click Continue. 

Here’s how to force uninstall anything from Mac with the Uninstaller

If you need to uninstall any other app or software, you can try using a handy tool, CleanMyMac X. It has a specially designed an Uninsrtaller module that allows to remove unused, suspicious apps and their leftovers. Here's how you can do that:

  1. Download, install and launch CleanMyMac X (free version, here).
  2. Go to the Uninstaller tab.
  3. Select anything you wish to remove from your Mac, and press Uninstall. That’s all!

Sign out of iCloud on all your devices

Now, sign out of iCloud on your Mac and iOS devices using the steps described above. If you have an Apple TV, you’ll have to sign out of your Apple ID there as well.

As you can see, deleting an iCloud account can be done in no time and just a few steps. Obviously, the more devices you have connected to it, the longer it will take. Hopefully this short guide has helped you to get it done. 

Laptop with CleanMyMac
CleanMyMac X

Your Mac. As good as new.