6 Reasons You Should Use an Apple ID on Your New Mac

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The concept of an Apple ID has its roots as far back as iTunes when Apple introduced a login feature to access its services. However, Apple ID has now become such a core part of the Apple experience that you might get much less value on your Mac without it.


If you have privacy or security concerns about using your Mac with an Apple ID, and you’re thinking that the risk isn’t worth signing in on your new Mac, we’ve compiled reasons why the benefits of using an Apple ID far outweigh the risks.


1. Easier Setup and Configuration

Woman and man setting up iMac together

Apple has designed Apple ID to save certain preferences and sync them across all your devices. If you own an iPad, iPhone, or any other Apple device with access to iCloud, you wouldn’t need to worry about setting up some preferences like your notification settings. Also, thanks to the iCloud Keychain feature, you can have all your passwords and sensitive information synced and safely protected on your Mac.

Your Apple ID also syncs specific app preferences like the layout and arrangement of Mail, Calendar, and Music—it even adds all your contacts from your phone to the Contacts app on your Mac. If you’ve used an Apple ID on another Mac, it can also bring in personalization features like screen savers and wallpapers.

These features can save you a lot of personalization time and get you into using your Mac way faster than manually redoing them, as you would if you don’t use an Apple ID.

2. Access to iCloud and Its Features

MacBook sat on a desk with a screenshot of the iCloud Keychain page on Mac.

iCloud is Apple’s own cloud storage solution for its users. Every user gets 5GB of free data, but you can upgrade your iCloud storage to 50GB at $0.99/month, 200GB at $2.99/month, or 2TB at $9.99/month.

At its core, iCloud’s purpose is for you to back up your data in case of loss or simply for easier access. However, it packs many other key security features like Private Relay and Hide My Email.

With Private Relay, Apple reduces its users’ digital trail by routing internet traffic through two separate servers. The first server randomizes your IP address and the second one encrypts it, making it difficult for third parties to track your online activity.

Hide My Email also improves online security by assigning your iCloud email a random alternative email address which it can use to mask your real email address. This can protect your information while still granting you access to online services kept behind data collectors.

Lastly, iCloud encrypts your data while it’s being transferred and stored, meaning intercepted data cannot even be accessed. It also protects your devices and information with two-factor authentication, confirming your authority through verification codes on your other Apple devices.

So, if security was your concern for not using an Apple ID, this should urge you to rethink that idea.

3. Unlocks App Store Purchases

App Store icon on a blue background
Image Credit: Apple

Your Apple ID also grants you access the Apple’s massive repository of apps on the App Store. Although you can download many of these apps directly from the publisher’s website, some remain exclusive to the App Store.

If you’re also a fan of simple but fun games, you can take advantage of Apple Arcade and enjoy a well-curated selection of interactive entertainment. Jump right into it by checking out our guide on how to get started playing games with Apple Arcade.

However, it doesn’t end there. Thanks to Apple silicon’s ARM-based architecture, you can also download iPad and iPhone apps on your Mac through the App Store. You cannot do this on an Intel Mac; this feature is exclusive to newer Macs with M-series chips.

Now, with your Apple ID, you need only pay for an app once and have access to its features on all your devices that support it. You can also share App Store purchases with your family through Family Sharing, allowing up to six people to enjoy access by paying once.

Lastly, App Store will make updates much easier, saving you the trouble of manually downloading the latest version from the publisher’s website. You can choose to keep all your apps automatically updated through the App Store.

4. Access to Apple’s Continuity Features

Continuity Camera with an iPhone and MacBook
Image Credit: Apple

Another huge sacrifice you could make if you choose to use your Mac without an Apple ID is losing access to Apple’s Continuity features, especially if you own other Apple devices like an iPhone or iPad.

For example, Handoff lets you continue certain tasks exactly how you left them on another Apple device. And thanks to Universal Clipboard, you can copy content on your iPhone or iPad and paste it into your Mac.

Another great example would be Continuity Camera, which lets you seamlessly use your iPhone as a high-quality webcam for your Mac. Likewise, if you wear an Apple Watch, you can use it to log in to your Mac effortlessly.

iPad users can take advantage of Universal Control, which lets them use Mac’s keyboard and trackpad to control the tablet device. Or, they could use Sidecar to extend their Mac’s display with the iPad serving as a second monitor.

Apple offers many more cool Continuity features, and we go on and on about them, but remember that you can unlock everything by simply logging in to your Mac with an Apple ID.

5. Using Find My to Locate Your Mac

Person holding an iPhone in a car with a map on screen

Losing your laptop is scary, but signing into your MacBook with an Apple ID can help to reduce this scare. If you set up Find My on your Mac, you can locate your MacBook with your iPhone, iPad, or even a Windows or Android device, with iCloud on the web.

Apple’s Find My service relies on Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS to identify where your Mac is on the map. And with the Find My app, you can play a sound to help find it if it’s nearby, put it in Lost Mode if it’s nowhere close, or completely erase the Mac to safeguard your personal data.

6. iMessage and FaceTime

iMessage and FaceTime are Apple’s (and arguably one of the world’s) most popular communication apps, thanks to the iPhone. You can now tap into this communication network on your Mac by simply logging in with your Apple ID

Even though non-Apple devices can now join FaceTime calls, you still need an Apple device and an Apple ID to host the calls and generate links. Without an Apple ID, the FaceTime and Messages apps on your Mac would just look empty.

Get the Best Mac Experience With an Apple ID

The sole argument anyone might have had against Apple ID is the potential for your data or information to get stolen. However, Apple, as a company, has prioritized security and privacy so much that this point has become null.

With many privacy, security, productivity, and quality-of-life features tied to an Apple ID, it’s too much of a loss to have a Mac—you use daily for work or play—that’s not connected to Apple’s servers.

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