FaceTime and iMessage not accepting Apple ID password | iLounge Article


FaceTime and iMessage not accepting Apple ID password

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Q: I am having problems getting onto FaceTime and iMessage as neither service will accept my password. The password works fine for purchasing apps and I have even tried resetting my password, but still FaceTime says it is incorrect. Any help would be appreciated.

- Michael

A: If you’ve had an Apple ID for a long time, chances are that it is still formatted in the older, username-style format (e.g. “jhollington”). Back in 2010 Apple began requiring e-mail addresses to be used for creating new Apple ID’s, although users with the older style were permitted to keep their existing Apple IDs rather than being automatically required to change them.

Unfortunately, however, both FaceTime and iMessage require an Apple ID that is in the new format—an e-mail address. Although Apple has been trying to encourage users to convert to the newer e-mail address usernames, it has not chosen to force the issue outright for anything other than newer services. As a result, many long-time iTunes users don’t encounter this issue until the first time they attempt to log into a newer service like iCloud, FaceTime or iMessage.

If you’re still using a username as your Apple ID rather than your e-mail address, you can easily change it by going to http://appleid.apple.com. Changing your username to an e-mail address will not affect any existing content you have purchased or downloaded from iTunes with the Apple ID—only the login name changes, which is what you will need to use in the future with iTunes or any other Apple online services. Note that your actual iTunes purchases stored in your library will still show your older username, rather than the new e-mail address, however this is entirely a cosmetic issue and does not affect your ability to use any protected content in your iTunes library.

Alternatively, if there is some reason you do not want to change your existing Apple ID, you can just as easily sign up for a new Apple ID exclusively for FaceTime and iMessage. There is no requirement that you use the same Apple ID for these services as you do for your iTunes Store account, and in fact you could even use completely different Apple IDs between FaceTime and iMessage. Keep in mind, however, that a given e-mail address can only be associated with one Apple ID at a time, so if you’re already using your preferred FaceTime/iMessage e-mail address on your original Apple ID, you will not be able to assign it to a new one without removing it from the original one first.

Note, however, that changing your username to an e-mail address is the recommended approach, as it is relatively transparent and will ensure compatibility with other Apple services going forward.

For more information be sure to check out our Guide to FaceTime + iMessage Setup, Use, and Troubleshooting.

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This doesn’t seem quite right… my wife does have one of these old non-email style addresses and we couldn’t setup Message on our iPad with her account.

But she set it up without issue on her iPhone4 and her Macbook.

Any clarity on this?

Posted by Zathrus in Toronto on November 27, 2012 at 11:28 PM (CST)


iMessage and FaceTime on an iPhone do not require an Apple ID, as it will happily configure itself using only your phone number. You only need to sign in with an Apple ID on an iPhone if you want to receive messages/calls at an e-mail address or want to share your iPhone’s phone number with other devices such as an iPad or Mac.

Messages on OS X also doesn’t seem to have the email-address-only restriction that it does on iOS.  FaceTime, however, continues to require this both on iOS and OS X.  Apple even highlights this in several support documents, such as http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4319

Bottom line is that it’s not consistently implemented, but it seems clear that Apple prefers an e-mail address by used as an Apple ID.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on November 28, 2012 at 2:41 PM (CST)


I have apple ID in email form, just got my Ipad 4 however the password is not working for facetime & imessage, however works for downloading apps

Posted by shekira in Toronto on December 25, 2012 at 11:44 AM (CST)


I also have an IPad 4 w/wifi & cellular and cannot connect to facetime or imessages.  Tried everything: reverify apple id (email format), change apple id, make sure date is set to automatic, checked facetime restrictions, did a hard reset, reset network connections, even reset all and still no luck. Any advice to fix this would be appreciated, dont want to have to call apple for a fix.

Posted by bcallen in Toronto on December 26, 2012 at 9:16 AM (CST)


I have the new AppleId and it still doesn’t allow me to sign in. I also did everything bcallen did. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by bahatrey in Toronto on January 6, 2013 at 1:07 PM (CST)


I have a new e.mail ID formate and still can not activate facetime or i message
And even can not ceate or change apple ID for these programmes there is something wrong please help

Posted by Islam ibrahim in Toronto on January 9, 2013 at 2:40 PM (CST)


I went into the account id section of apps/istore and filled in all the fields with an actual UK address and changed the country to UK and accepted the terms and Viola!

Posted by Russell in Toronto on January 10, 2013 at 5:50 PM (CST)


I have apple ID in email form, just got my Ipad 4 however the password is not working for facetime & imessage, however works for downloading apps

Actually is not working either in iPhone5 or iPad4.

Posted by Osama Shawky in Toronto on January 11, 2013 at 12:40 AM (CST)


I figured this out! My friend had the same problem on his new iPad 4 and after trying everything above it didn’t work. However when I changed his own contact details on his iPad (contacts app) to match his Apple ID details with street address etc, it actually worked:) 
Hope this helps!

Posted by BelleAppleGeek in Toronto on January 11, 2013 at 5:01 PM (CST)


I tried everything - changing apple id, resetting password, etc, on my daughter’s ipod touch - nothing worked.  I checked her contact details and she had her email address wrong in there - once corrected we could then log into messages and facetime!!

thank goodness I read this before rocking up to the Apple store to get that “you are a techidiot” look from the apple staff!!

Posted by Fi in Toronto on August 31, 2013 at 8:03 PM (CDT)

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