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Sign In With Apple Is a Quick and Easy Way to Protect Yourself Online. Here's How to Use It

Use your Apple device to verify your credentials instead of your social accounts or yet another password. Here's what to know about the security feature.

Back of an iPhone 14 Pro on a yellow backgrond
Sign in with Apple is one of the easiest and most secure ways to sign into online accounts.
Stephen Shankland/CNET

Do you dread signing up for a new service or logging in to a new website? No one wants more emails in their inbox or to risk their security for using a site one time.

Sign in with Apple can help improve your online security when signing in to third-party apps and websites on your Apple devices with your Apple ID. The privacy tool will then verify your credentials instead of signing in with Facebook, Google or making a brand-new account using your email address on an app or website. You can use Sign in with Apple in any browser and supported app and is available on iOS, MacOS, TVOS and WatchOS.

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Here's everything you need to know about how Sign in with Apple works and how to use it. Plus, here's how to check your iPhone's privacy settings in two easy steps and nine rules for strong passwords

How to use Sign in with Apple

1. When you open an app or website, if it supports Sign in with Apple, simply tap Continue with Apple

2. Accept or deny any permissions the app asks for.

3. Follow the onscreen prompts regarding your Apple ID. You can choose to edit your name or share or hide your email. Choose Continue. 

4. Enter your passcode when prompted. You can also confirm with Face ID or Touch ID. If you don't have any of the three, you can use your Apple ID password. 

As long as you're signed in on your device, you'll be signed in to the app. To sign out, just locate the settings in the app or website and choose Sign Out. You'll need to repeat the process if you want to sign back in.

How does Sign in with Apple work?

Sign in with Apple uses your Apple device to verify your credentials instead of using your social account logins, which could make you vulnerable to being tracked online. With the Hide My Email option, Apple creates a random email address -- you'll recognize it by the unique alphanumeric string followed by @privaterelay.appleid.com.

The random email address can only be used for one specific app. The app or website will use the generated email, but Apple will forward any correspondence to your real email, protecting your identity. You can reply to whichever emails you like without exposing your personal email address. Apple lets you turn off the email forwarding feature at any time as well.

Sign in with Apple says it won't use any of your information aside from what's required to let you sign in and out of an account. The tool also employs two-factor authentication with Face ID or Touch ID. If you don't see the Sign in option, that means the app or website doesn't support it yet. 

iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone Plus

Sign in with Apple also works on the iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone Plus.

James Martin/CNET

Which apps support Sign in with Apple?

1. Open the Settings app on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, and tap your name.

2. Tap Passwords and Security.

3. Choose Apps Using Your Apple ID.

From there -- if you've used Sign in -- you should see a list of apps. You can tap through each app and see what preferences you put in place or change them, as well as read the app or website's privacy policy. You can also toggle off email forwarding here as well as stop using your Apple ID with the app. 

How do I use Sign in with Apple on Mac?

1. When you open an app or website, if it supports Sign in with Apple, click Continue with Apple

2. Follow the onscreen instructions. You should be able to enter a different name if you don't want to use your real name or choose which Apple ID-associated email you'd like to use, as well as the ability to choose Hide My Email.

After you start using Sign in with Apple, you can edit any apps that you've added by choosing the Apple menu > System Settings > click your name. From there, choose Password and Security and click Edit. This will let you turn off forwarding email or remove an app that's using Sign in with Apple.

A laptop open on a table

You can use Sign in with Apple on Mac.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

How do I use Sign in with Apple from a web browser?

1. Sign in to appleid.apple.com.

2. Click Sign In and Security.

3. Click Sign in with Apple.

4. Click any app using Sign in with Apple to remove access.

How do I change my forwarding email address?

If you use Hide My Email and need to make some changes, here's how on mobile:

1. Open Settings

2. Tap your name.

3. Tap Name, Phone Numbers, Email.

4. Tap Forward to under Hide My Email.

5. Choose a new email address to use in forwarding. 

The new address you enter will apply across all the apps you're using the Hide My Email feature with. 

How is Sign in with Apple different from using Facebook or Google login?

Sign in with Apple is only visually similar to the icons that let you use your Google or Facebook credentials. While signing in with Facebook or Google might seem easier, a lot of personal information is attached to those accounts, like your nicknames, hometown and birthday. This data might seem unimportant at first glance, but some of that is prime security question fodder for your bank account and other sensitive information. 

Sign in with Apple also gives you more control over the permissions apps and websites have access to. You can pick and choose which apps have to ask your permission each time it requests your location data from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It's handy if you're trying out a new app or you don't plan on using an app often, for example.

For more, check out how to stop your iPhone apps from tracking you and the best iPhone VPNs.