As a longtime Mac user, I’ve had an account on file with Apple dating back to when iTools was available. Only recently has the Apple ID become much more important as a personal identifier. Back then, Apple IDs were mostly a means for me to identify myself to Apple. Now, people find me using my Apple ID for FaceTime, iMessage, Game Center, and more.
Not so long ago, I decided that I wasn’t happy with this Apple ID and created a new one to do everything with. It was, however, long enough ago that Apple IDs weren’t yet required to be in the form of an email address. So, this new one was just a new name.
More recently, I decided that I should switch my new Apple ID to be in the form of an email address like they now encourage, and verify the matching email address with it. Only, the Apple ID management system would not let me do this, reporting that:
Email address is already verified for another Apple ID
I didn’t recall verifying this email address with any other Apple ID. Even using the “Forgot my Apple ID” tool, which searches for Apple IDs given an email address, produced no Apple IDs that had a record of that email address. Even my old Apple ID didn’t list this email address as one of its verified emails.
As it turns out — and this is after trying many different things including contacting Apple ID Support — MobileMe requires a backup email address in the event you forget your MobileMe password. The email address I wanted to verify with my new Apple ID was set as my MobileMe backup email address for my old Apple ID. This counts as a verify, even though it’s not listed as a verified email address on the Apple ID site for my MobileMe account.
Simply setting up a new email account with my provider dedicated to MobileMe — one I’ll probably never check unless I need to — and using that as my MobileMe backup email address freed up the desired email address I wanted to associate with my new Apple ID.
Hopefully this will help someone who may be running into the same issue. Figuring all this out was wildly confusing at times, and even more difficult to explain to Apple ID Support, which is probably why we never got the issue resolved until now!