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

What occurs if on my child's phone I set up the second iCloud account as you describe including activating the find my phone option for the 2nd iCloud account, and my child goes in and activates the find my phone option for their phone's 1st iCloud account?

You would not longer be able to track the iphone via your iCloud account.. This is why you may want to lock-out the settings as described above.

I followed your directions to setup 2 iclouds on my son's phone. The restrictions step has restricted both his icloud and my icloud. I just want my icloud restricted. Help.....

You did it right!
The only option is to restrict the settings to all accounts - you cannot restrict it by individual account. You must make a choice as to whether or not to allow him to get in and see/change all accounts or not get in/change any accounts.
If you did it right, the only thing that will be restricted is the ability to see the settings for accounts, which once setup there is usually no reason to go into/look at..

I think i did everything correct but how do I hide my iCloud account or switch it back? Right now as soon as you go to the iCloud section under settings it shows my info. Did I miss a step?

If it shows your 2nd account instead of the primary/other account when you tap iCloud settings, it sounds like you missed several steps .. check section two, steps 1-6, on the page above

I followed the instructions and set up 2 iCloud accounts but then "Billy's" phone broke and he got a new one. When I tried to go through the steps again-I am unable to add a second iCloud account-I get a message, "this iCloud account has already been added to your iPhone". I did turn off "Billy's" find my iPhone app. What am I doing wrong??

It sounds like the account is already setup on the phone which would happen automatically if the iPhone was restored from an iCloud backup. Check through all of the account settings and you will see all accounts already configured on the device.

Am I checking through the account settings on "Billy's" phone? I think you are telling me his phone was probably restored and all the settings were saved as before. When I click on "find my iPhone" my devices that come up are my laptop, my iPhone (they both have a green dot and show up on GPS), then i have "Billy's" iPhone and it says it is offline and 2 more pictures of my iPhone with it saying they are offline.

You are checking through the settings on whichever phone is giving you that message - which I assume is Billy's..
Go through all the settings on Billy's phone - assuming it was restored from an iCloud backup, and assuming based on the message you describe, that everything is already setup, you probably only need to re-enter the iCloud passwords (on Billy's phone).

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