When you try to change the account or accounts associated with an iPhone, iPad, or Mac that has Screen Time enabled with a passcode, ostensibly for a child, you will notice that the Sign Out option is grayed out. That’s true in System Preferences in macOS and individual apps, and in Settings > Account Name > Sign Out and Settings > Media & Purchases on iOS and iPadOS.
The simple solution can be a bit hard to find as there is no prompt or information as to why it is greyed out. It is not available to prevent a device locked by Screen Time restrictions from evading it by signing out of its associated Apple ID.
This may not seem obvious if you’re trying to change the account associated with media and purchases – as many people use a secondary account for that – rather than the Apple ID used for iCloud associated with a Family Sharing group or for which you’ve set up controls that sync between a child’s devices.
In either case, or if there is a single Apple ID, turn off Screen Time for the person in question. For example, with Family Sharing and an iPhone, go to Settings > Account Name > Family Sharing > Screen Time > Child Name and tap Turn off screen time. Then sign out of the Apple ID, make any changes, and sign in again or with a different account. Now re-enable Screen Time for that person.
This is a tedious way to fix the problem as it disables all Screen Time settings, which have to be re-created when re-enabled. It would be nice if Apple would allow you to save a screen time settings template or create a profile that can be loaded.
This Mac 911 article answers a question from Macworld reader Benjamin.
Ask Mac 911
We’ve put together a list of the most frequently asked questions, along with answers and links to columns: read our super frequently asked questions to see if your question is there. If not, we are always looking for new problems to solve! Email yours to [email protected] including screenshots where needed, and if you’d like to use your full name. Not every question is answered, we don’t answer email and we can’t provide direct advice to solve problems.