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

How can I see my son's messages? I can track him via icloud.com and I have his gmail passwords, what I need is to see his text messages. Making sure rehab sticks. We both have iphones with different apple id/icloud accounts. Tell me this is possible, please! Thank you!

The only way to read txt/sms messages is by holding the (non-jailbroke) iPhone in your hands and reading them directly.

You can configure your iPhone with his iCloud account to receive iMessages sent and received to/from his iCloud account/iPhone, but you would not longer be able to send your own iMessages. Also, when adding your device to his iCloud account to do this, he will receive a notification.

Thank you, I thought I would have to lose mine to see his. Is it possible to switch my ipad between our two icloud accounts for messages when I want to check on him? If so, is his phone notified each time I turn mine off and turn his on?

Sure, you can change/reconfigure your iPad as often as you'd like, but yes, each time you add his account info, a notification will be sent.

Thank you, I really appreciate your help. Even though it's not what I wanted to hear, I appreciate being able to ask and get an accurate answer. Your service is appreciated!

I have followed all the steps and tracking the iPhone
Using the second account works fine.
But now this new account is listed under all other accounts
Is there a way to have it not shown at all?
I understand changes to the account can be disabled
But can I not have it shown on that list?
Thank you

Your only option is to give the account a name that does not attract attention or lock out access to all settings.

can you still track it, it they turn off location service ????

Find My iPhone uses location services. So if Location Services is disabled, Find My iPhone can't work.

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