The district has had their freeapps account for a long period of time so teachers and staff could have access to iOS/Apple apps on district devices and not have to use any personal accounts.

The Problem

The freeapps account is a popular account across the district, and therefore many hands are into one account; including students.  Some issues to consider with this account:

  • The account is frequently locked due to users not entering the correct password.
  • Many apps tied to the account are not instructional based.
  •  There are slight delays on resetting the password when it gets locked.
  • Users have to deal with the anticipation of when the account will be locked again.  It can happen multiple times a week.
  • The majority of the apps tied to the freeapps account are already existing as free apps in the app store.

The Response

The account will soon be shut down.  Campuses can create new accounts that act as their own freeapps account. Any apps already installed on iPads or other Apple devices using the freeapps account will be able to keep those apps on those devices.  However, the devices may get frequent prompts to install updates and will not be able to do so.

The Solution

Users can create new accounts.  Apple manages two different types of accounts, an iCloud account and an iTunes account.  Both are driven by an email address.  On personal devices, most people use the same email address for both types of accounts.  This works great.  For devices that are shared on a campus level this can be a different case. Below are general account differences:

  • iCloud account – can help manage and handle the device specifically.  It works with backups, restrictions, and even device location if lost.
  • iTunes account – Deals with what goes on the device; essentially an account tied to the app store.  This is the account used to make purchases in the app store.

Moving forward, determine how you would like your devices managed.  If you’re not sure, talk to your CITS about your given situation.  Below are some suggestions to a couple of popular scenarios.


If you’re responsible for the device and it is shared among the campus, department, or team, then you can make sure on the device the iCloud account and iTunes account are used with two different email accounts.  Benefits:

  • You can mange the iPad with the iCloud Account.  You do not need to share this password.
  • Others can still download apps with the iTunes account.  This password can be shared with selected individuals.  Otherwise you’ll need to pre-install requested apps.


If you are responsible for the device and it’s not shared among others, the you can use the same email address for both the iTunes account and iCloud account.  Benefits:

  • You don’t have to keep up with different email addresses and passwords.
  • Individualized content will not be at risk to accidentally showing up on other devices using different accounts.

Go to our iCafe Apple Resource for more information on creating iTunes accounts (especially without a credit card) and other great device management ideas.