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My iCloud Nightmare...

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#1 insalted42


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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:46 PM

I have a problem with Apple's iCloud.


It all started a few months ago when a friend recommended my mom to activate the iCloud Sync on her iPhone. The friend, trying to be helpful, activated the automatic iCloud Sync to the existing iTunes account she used on her phone. The problem was, and is, that my mom does not have her own iTunes account but instead had been using mine because she has an aversion and general distrust of technology. This set-up of sharing an iTunes account with her was never a problem until I got a new 4S the following month, activated iCloud (which I had never used on my previous 3G because I had been avoiding that software update), and received all of her contacts, calendar dates, pictures, etc. I was annoyed and, being the oldest child of a generally technologically-challenged family, I was expected to solve the problem. My first thought was to make my mom her own iTunes account and change her over to that iCloud account. What I didn't know was changing iCloud accounts causes all information synced with the previous account to be erased off of the device, so my brilliant Plan A effectively blew up in my face. Two very stressful, scream-filled hours later I gave up trying to route her information from my iTunes/iCloud/iPhone to hers and just reactivated my iCloud on her phone to restore all of her info. I then relegated myself to deactivating iCloud sync on my own, new device and (manually!) deleted all of her stuff from my phone. 


Fast-forward to today: My phone has been acting up, i would like to Restore it but I now have several months worth of information I don't want to lose. iCloud seems like the easiest way to back up my stuff, and in general I would like to be able to use my own iTunes account to store my own information. My mom is still technically the sole user of my iCloud and she now has an iTunes account that has not been used since my failed attempt to separate our siamese-synced iPhones. My mom is also a particularly high-strung neurotic who refuses to lose any information on her phone (she won't even let me touch her phone anymore since the iCloud fiasco, she thinks I'll "break the cloud" again). 


Please help me separate my mother's information from my own so we can resume our own lives. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated, I've spent many hours on the phone and at the store with Apple Techs who are generally confused about this problem and how to solve it without my mom losing a good chunk of information. 

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#2 Grinler


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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:59 PM

I feel your pain. I did this to a friend as well and then when trying to fix it, did it with my wife. All in all its a nightmare when you have two separate phones and inadvertently merge your contacts via iCloud.

Before doing anything, plug your iPhone into your computer and perform a local backup. That way if anything happens you can easily restore your phone and all its data.

As you are not using iCloud on your phone, the easiest solution is to just create a new apple id with another email address and use that on your iPhone for iCloud. That way your mom continues to use your apple ID and you use the new one.

The other option is to disable iCloud on your mom's phone and create a new apple id for her to use in iCloud. Just make sure when you disable iCloud that you specify you wish to keep all the data on the iPhone if it prompts you. Otherwise it will delete it.

Please note that those items that are shared between various iDevices that use the same iCloud id (Photostream, docs, calendars) will be deleted from the iPhone when you disable iCloud. Any locally created content though (your own calendar entries, docs, photos, etc) will still remain on the iPhone. You will just no longer be able to see the other devices contents that linked the apple id.

Let me know if you have any questions or if this is confusing.

#3 smax013


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Posted 20 May 2013 - 10:15 PM

Before doing anything, plug your iPhone into your computer and perform a local backup. That way if anything happens you can easily restore your phone and all its data.

This part is the key part.

If it were me, I would first and foremost sync the iPhone(s) to a computer. This will allow you to get ALL the contacts onto a computer and then be able to more easily manage/edit those contacts and backup those contacts.

The other option is to log into your iCloud account by way of a web browser. You can then go into the Contacts "app" in your iCloud account and export any/all contacts as a VCard file that can be imported into a contact/addressbook program on the computer or even back into iCloud. I will note that you can select multiple contacts in your iCloud account by way of a browser by "shift" clicking contacts.

Once you have a backup/duplicate of all the contacts (yours and your mother's), then you can get to editing the contact list.

Since you now have two iCloud accounts, you will want to import your full contact list (both yours and your mother's) into each iCloud account by way of the web browser (or using a computer contact/addressbook program). Then edit each iCloud account to remove the contacts that are not needed (i.e. your contacts for the iCloud account you will use for your mother's iPhone and your mother's contacts for the iCloud account for your iPhone). Then you just setup each phone to the appropriate specific iCloud account.

And as long as you first backed up your contacts to a VCard file/computer, even if you "screw up" somewhere along the way, you can always just re-import them back into iCloud.

Does that make sense?

I will also note that you both can still use the same AppleID for iTunes purchases (music, videos, apps, etc) while using different iCloud accounts for each phones. So, you could setup your mom's iPhone to use the "new" AppleID/iCloud account while you set your phone to use the "original" AppleID/iCloud account...but leave BOTH iPhones using the "original" account for iTunes purchases.

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