Activating Apple ID 2FA and adding separate dev accounts to an iOS device

The starting point

I registered my Apple ID before iCloud existed. It is the Apple ID I use for App Store purchases, Apple Music, and, because I registered as a developer before iOS existed, it is also my developer account.

So all my devices are setup with two Apple IDs: the one I just mentioned, let’s call it my primary Apple ID, and my iCloud account, which was registered back in the days of .Mac.

The primary account did not have 2FA turned on, but the iCloud account did.

Activating 2FA and adding separate developer accounts

Apple is now requiring Developer accounts have 2FA turned on as a security measure. So I needed to:

  1. Activate 2FA for my primary Apple ID (the one I don’t use for iCloud)
  2. Add a separate developer account to my primary device, so that I can get 2FA codes when needed.

Activating 2FA for my primary Apple ID

Just to recap, this is the Apple ID that I don’t use for iCloud.

I thought activating 2FA for this account would be just a matter of logging in to, and enabling it. It turns out, there was no way to enable it, and there was no way to add a phone number to the account (which I guess might be the ultimate reason why it was not possible to activate 2FA)

And when I say it was not possible, I mean there was a button to do so, that when clicked, showed a popup advising to activate 2FA from an iOS device, in Settings.

But again as this account is not an iCloud account, there is no way to do that from an iOS device. Dead end.

What I ended up doing was a second iOS device, log into iCloud on that second device using my primary Apple ID, add a trusted phone number, and finally activate 2FA.

First problem solved. My primary Apple ID is 2FA enabled now.

Adding separate developer accounts to my primary device.

This turned out a two step process that is perfectly described in these two posts: first, activating 2FA for the second account and then adding the second account to my primary device.

The first step is simple. To activate 2FA for the second developer account, I added a second user to my Mac, switched to that second user, logged into iCloud using my second developer account, added a phone number (to receive the validation codes), and activated 2FA.

After that, on my primary device, add the second developer account as an iCloud account, sign into it turning off all data (email, contacts, iCloud Drive) validating the log in with my Mac.

Good to go

Now I can receive 2FA codes for three developer accounts on my main device.

The process was not very intuitive, to say the least. Having one device with three iCloud accounts setup in it does not make me feel particularly safe, and I think I am going to try to setup a separate device, without any personal data, just for 2FA codes for my developer accounts.

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