Best practice to update iTunes ID from 2-Step to 2-Factor while having iCloud ID with 2-Factor


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Nov 15, 2016
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I'll start by saying i've looked everywhere and haven't found a definitive answer, only a workaround provided by Glenn Fleishman here at Macworld.

I have two Apple IDs. The first one (known as my iTunes ID) I've used for years to make purchases (apps, movies, music, etc) and is shared with my wife using Family Sharing. I'm able to access all my purchases from all our devices (iPhones, iPads, Macbook Air and Apple TV). The other Apple ID I use for iCloud (known as iCloud ID) I use for contacts, calendar, email, iPhoto Library, etc. I'm one of many who wishes Apple would let users merge multiple Apple IDs; alas that day has not arrived.

My iTunes ID has 2-Step Authentication (2SA) activated, while my iCloud ID has Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) activated and is linked with my devices.

Before the release of iOS 11, I received an email from Apple related to my iTunes ID indicating:

"When you sign in on any device running iOS 11 or macOS High Sierra this autumn, your Apple ID will automatically be updated to use two-factor authentication. [...] Once updated, you will get the same extra layer of security you enjoy with two-step verification today with an even better user experience. Verification codes will be displayed on your trusted devices automatically whenever you sign in. You will no longer need to keep a printed recovery key to make sure you can reset a forgotten password."

So here's my conundrum: what's the best practice? Just update and hope for the best? My worry is the possibility to lose access to all my purchases. Glenn's article recommends activating 2FA by logging my iTunes ID to a new user account in a Mac (I would imagine I would need to disable 2SA first). It makes the most sense, but I find it baffling that Apple doesn't address this issue in any support document.

In short, what's a guy with two Apple IDs to do if he wishes to upgrade to iOS 11?

Help me Rene, you're my only hope! :nerd: