How To Setup Two iCloud Accounts on an iPhone

Update September 2013 for iOS7

The instructions on this page are written specifically for iOS6.  At this time it appears that the ability to use method has been removed from iOS7

 
This How To article will explain how you can configure two iCloud accounts to an iPhone for the purpose of tracking that iPhone with one iCloud account, without affecting the operation of the other iCloud account configured on the iPhone.  An example of how two iCloud accounts on an iPhone would be useful would be a parent that wants to track their child's iPhone.  The child has configured the iPhone with their own iCloud account for making App Store purchases, using iCloud email, iMessages, etc.  The parent wants to track the iPhone using his or her iCloud account without the child knowing.  This requires that both the child's iCloud account and the parent's iCloud account both be configured on the iPhone, however specific steps must be taken to not interfere with the operation of the child's iCloud account.  
Applies to: iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad with iOS 5 or newer.  (Throughout this article we will refer to the devices as an iPhone)
 
  • In order to be tracked or located, the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad must be powered-on and have connectivity to the internet via WiFi or 3G.  
  • You must have a (free) iCloud account
  • Accuracy of location tracking varies from a few feet to a few miles.  Generally, iCloud and Find My iPhone location tracking accuracy is very good.
Find My iPhone Disabled
 

WARNING:  Tracking the location of an iPhone not owned by you may be illegal, is certainly immoral, and will probably get you into trouble

 
 
For simplicity we will refer to your child's iCloud account as "Billy's iCloud account" and your (the parent's) iCloud account as "your iCloud account"
 
 

How to add a second iCloud account to your iPhone:

Presumably the iPhone will already be configured with Billy's iCloud.  The first step is to turn-off Find My iPhone under Billy's account without affecting any of his other iCloud services.
 
1) Tap Settings
2) Tap iCloud
3) Scroll down to "Find My iPhone" and tap it to "Off"
Find My iPhone is now Disabled under Billy's iCloud account
 
Now you can add a new account with your iCloud info, and activate Find My iPhone on that account:
 
1) Tap Settings
2) Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars
3) Tap Add Account
4) Select (tap) iCloud
5) Enter YOUR Apple ID (iCloud username / email address)
6) Enter your iCloud password and tap Next 
on the next screen tap all items EXCEPT for Find my iPhone to OFF
Make sure that Find My iPhone is ON
Tap SAVE
 
Test that tracking and locating is working by going to iCloud.com and signing in with your iCloud account.  Click Find My iPhone, and verify that Billy's phone appears and is trackable. 
 
Your child's iPhone is now trackable via your iCloud account, without conflicting with his or her iCloud account.  
 
 
Now that you can track your child's iPhone, you may want to turn off notifications so that he does not know each time you use Find My iPhone to locate or track him.  By default, when you use Find My iPhone to locate the iPhone, a small arrow appears near the clock indicating that the Location Services are in use:
 
Find My iPhone Notification icon
 

How to turn off the Find My iPhone tracking notification icon:

1) Tap Settings
2) Tap Privacy
2) Tap Location Services
3) Tap Find My iPhone
4) Tap "Status Bar icon" to OFF
 
Now, each time you track the iPhone, the notification arrow will not appear.
 
Now your child's iPhone is trackable, and they will not see the notification icon on the home screen each time you track them. 
 
Finally, you may want to put some restrictions on the iPhone so they can't disable iPhone tracking.

Lock the settings so tracking can't be disabled:

1) Tap Settings
2) General
3) Tap Restrictions
4) Tap "Enable Restrictions"
5) Enter a 4-digit passcode.  This passcode is what you will use to change settings later.  DO NOT LOSE THIS PASSCODE.  IF YOU LOSE THIS PASSCODE A BAG OF HURT WILL SPILL INTO YOUR LAP AS YOU TRY TO EXPLAIN TO YOUR CHILD WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY YOU WERE MUCKING WITH THE IPHONE 
6) On the Restrictions screen scroll down to and tap "Location"
7) On the Location screen, tap "Don't Allow Changes" and then tap "Restrictions" at the upper left to return to the previous Restrictions screen
8 ) From the Restrictions screen, Tap Accounts
9) Tap "Don't Allow Changes"
 
 
If you have followed all of the steps above you can now: Track your child's iPhone using your iCloud account without conflicting with his or her iCloud account, you have turned off the "you are being tracked right now" notification, and you have restricted the iPhone so your child cannot disable tracking.
 
Test everything!  Make sure you can track the iPhone on iCloud.com (or, by using the Find My iPhone app on your iPhone), and make sure that any iCloud services (email, iMessage, App store, iTunes, etc) works as expected with your child's iCloud account.  
 
 

Video Version

You can watch the video version of this How-To below:

 
If you get stuck or if something isn't working as expected, post a question in the comments below - we can help!
 

 

 

Comments

Following the directions above, specifically, #8 and #9 will prevent them from turning on Find My iPhone in their iCloud account..

Hi
Thanks for the great resources on this site.
One comment re setting up two iCloud accounts:
If whoever's phone you are tracking looks at "mail, contacts, calendars" they will see your apple id and the fact that it is used for find my iphone.

Is there anyway round this. My child may not be a techi but could ask a friend who is how come my Dad always seems to know where I am?

Cheers
JimD

You can put a restriction on the phone (as described above) so they can't get to the accounts. You can also name the account something that isnt obvious.

I understand the function but isn't it obvious the other persons phone is locked under icloud and other settings mentioned. Wouldn't they find it fishy not being able to alter certain things and that restrictions are switched on?

Yes, it would be fishy - but you will just have to explain to your child that that's the way it's going to be.

I was able to set up icloud and an Apple ID on my cheating fiances phone after giving him a wireless speaker for Christmas. I turned everything off but Findmyiphone. I went to the icloud website on my laptop and can track his iphone. he cant see i am logging in and tracking him can he? I turned off everyhting on my icloud on my laptop. It is windows based. I am too afraid to log into his account on my ipad or iphone, afraid of merging anything...please advise. thank you

There is no notification when logging-in to the iCloud website, or when using the Find my iPhone app to locate another iPhone. If you did not disabled the location services icon (as indicated above), a notification will show on the iPhone each time Location Services (Find my iPhone) is in use.

If you use the Find my iPhone app from your ipad or iphone, there is no chance of anything 'merging'. However if you configure your iPhone or ipad with that other iCloud account, unless you are extremely careful, all sorts of things will merge and/or all kinds of popups and notifications will be sent to all other devices using that icloud account (ie; his iPhone)..

If you are trying to track him without his permission (probably illegal) remember that you are playing with fire while wearing a gasoline-soaked shirt... In general, unless you are certain of what you are doing, this is a very bad idea. Since you know he's cheating, instead of breaking the law and/or risking being caught which would no-doubt end up with all sorts of additional drama, why not just get a new boyfriend.. Seems so much safer and easier that way, IMHO..

Can it make the 2nd Icloud account be invisible

if you follow the steps on the page above, the account does not really show anywhere. Where do you see it that you would want it to be invisible?

This was brill, I drive my husband mad phoning all the time checking where he is and if he's ok. We fall out if he doesn't keep me posted. I know this obsessive need is annoying but can't help it. It really calms me. However it is not that secret. On the phone that is being tracked - when u go to the mail, contacts, calendar page, the other person's login name is right there with 'find a phone' underneath!!

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