Log into my iCloud Account with an Apple ID

In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to easily sign into your iCloud account. We are also going to explain why it is important to sign into your iCloud account on your Apple devices. 

What is iCloud?

iCloud is a service created by Apple that stores and syncs information like your contacts, photos, settings, and backups(ios devices) in the cloud and makes that data available on all your devices that are logged into your Apple ID. iCloud also syncs with iTunes and the App store so you can access and download your purchases on different devices. It also has security protections to protect your data in case of loss or theft. Pretty cool!

Image of some apps that iCloud works with. Apps, iTunes, Messages, Photos and Facetime are shown here.

Examples of some the services that interact with iCloud. App Store, iTunes, Messages, Photos, and Facetime are shown here and all can sync data between different Apple devices.

Why is it Important to Log into an iCloud Account?

With all your devices logged into your Apple ID, and iCloud services are turned on, your data will be the same across each device and when you update an item, it will automatically upload and sync with your devices. iCloud also gives extra security protections like Two-Factor Authentication, the ability to track your Mac or device with GPS if you lose it, and even remotely wipe the device to delete your info if you believe it is stolen. With our digital lives becoming more and more complex and spread across more devices, it is important to have your data at your fingertips, no matter what device you choose to use. iCloud helps you accomplish this so let’s get you logged in with your Apple ID.

Let’s get Started!

Before we begin, make sure you have your Apple ID (email address) and Apple ID password handy and the Mac you would like to sign into. If you don’t have one, you can create on easily in the iCloud options through System Preferences.

Step 1 – Log into Your Computer and Go to System Preferences

  1. Power up your Mac.
  2. Log into your machine using your user account.
  3. Once you reach the desktop, go to the upper left corner and click the Apple Icon in the File Menu Bar to pull down the Apple menu.
  4. Select System Preferences if you use the Apple Icon menu.
  5. You can also click the Gear icon in the Dock to open System Preferences.


image showing where you can find system preferences via the Apple Icon in the File Menu Bar.

System Preferences can be found via the Apple Menu when you click on the Apple Icon in the File Menu Bar.


Image showing the Gear icon in the dock.

The Gear icon in the dock that represents System Preferences.


Step 2 – Go to the iCloud Option in System Preferences

Now we will select the iCloud option in System Preferences.

  1. Go to the iCloud settings option once the System Preferences window once it opens.
  2. The iCloud option is usually in the 3rd row, 1st column in the grid.
  3. Once you log in, you will either see an enter your Apple ID info window or the current Apple ID that is logged into this Mac.
Image showing the iCloud option in System Preferences.

The iCloud settings option in System Preferences.


Image showing the icloud window signed into an Apple ID and not signed in.

Once you log in you will see one of these two windows depending on if an Apple ID is signed in already or not.


Step 3 – Sign out of an existing iCloud account.

(Skip to Step 4 if no account is logged into iCloud)

If an Apple ID is already signed into iCloud on your Mac, and you want to sign out, follow these steps to sign out.

  1. If an account is signed in and you want to log in with your account, hit the Sign Out button in the lower left below your Apple ID info.
  2. The system will ask if you want to save any info attached to this iCloud account.
  3. If you want to save the data, select the items you would like to save the data for and click “Keep a Copy”.
  4. If you don’t want to save the data, uncheck each item and click “Continue”.
Image of the window that asks if you want to keep data when signing out of icloud.

When you sign out of an iCloud account, macOS will ask if you want to save this data.


Step 4 – Sign into iCloud using your Apple ID and password.

Make sure you have your Apple ID (email address) and Apple ID password handy before you continue! You can always reset your password with Apple Support.

  1. If no account is logged in we are ready to log into your iCloud account on this machine.
  2. Enter your Apple ID and then your password.

    Image showing the sign into icloud window.

    The window you should see when you can log into iCloud.

  3. If you have TFA (two-factor authentication) on, the system will then ask for the code that will go to your Apple device you have also set up two-factor authentication on.

    Image showing the TFA on an iPad and iPhone when logging in.

    Two-factor identification helps to ensure it is only you logging into your iCloud account.

  4. Click allow and enter the code on the other device into the fields on the Mac. (could be an iPad, iPhone or another computer if one is detecting you on the system currently)
  5. If you don’t want to use two-factor or don’t have it on, the system may ask for the iCloud PIN or have you create one. If you don’t have the PIN, contact us for help or reset your Key Chain.
  6. SAVE THIS PIN number! It is anyways better to have two-factor authentication on but you can continue to use the iCloud Pin if you choose.
  7. Once you enter the code and login, you will see a window asking about what services to turn on. Select the services you would like to turn on now or you may turn these options on/off later in System Preferences > iCloud.
  8. The system will now ask for the login password (admin account) on the Mac you are signing into iCloud with. Enter your user password for this Mac to continue.

    The window that asks for your user password when signing into icloud.

    The final step to log into iCloud, enter your user password or admin password.

  9. That’s it! You are now using iCloud services on your Mac!


If you are having issues signing into iCloud, you can call Aim High at 303.271.1288 or email us at stanley@aimhigh.com for more assistance.


Step 5 – Create a new Apple ID or reset your Apple ID password

  1. If you forgot your iCloud Password you can reset it in the sign in window for iCloud.
  2. WARNING! – If you reset your iCloud password here you will have to sign in to iCloud again on all your devices. It is best to try and find your old password if possible.
  3. If you need to create an Apple ID you can in the lower left area of the screen.
Image of the window that pops-up when you open iCloud settings.

In the initial iCloud sign in window, there are links to create an Apple ID or reset your current Apple ID if you forget the password.


If you need help signing into your iCloud account, set up an appointment with us and we can get you all set up. We can also help to make sure all your devices are syncing only what you want. If you need additional assistance or have questions, give us a call at 303-271-1288 or email us at stanley@aimhigh.com.

Aim High! is an Apple Authorized Service Provider offering full service IT consulting, device management, and technology planning for small to medium businesses; and hardware repair, software training and support, micro courses, private lessons, and IT plans for everyone. Aim High! is excited to be part of the Stanley Marketplace, serving its community in Aurora, Denver, and surrounding areas.