I'm so frustrated....anybody know how transferring a device in-family works with AppleCare?

I have an iPad Mini 6. My girlfriend wants it. I signed out on it and signed her in, and she’s playing with it for a few days to make sure.

PROBLEM: I have AppleCare on the device. I can’t transfer the AppleCare plan to her, because that’s not a thing. It’s a month-to-month plan. So I called Apple to see whether I can just keep paying the plan in perpetuity and have her signed in on it.

According to the CSR the plan’s term expires at the end of January. Spoiler: it doesn’t. The next expiration date is December 24th, and the iPad was ordered with AppleCare in September of 2021, so we’re beyond the 2 years. It “may or may not be eligible for renewal” according to the CSR, and I have to supposedly do something in January to confirm that I want to renew it. She sent me an email with directions, and the directions require me to be signed into my account.

I can’t believe this is this hard. Other than calling back and trying to get a CSR who knows what’s going on, does anybody have any experience with this? Can you just keep paying the month-to-month on an agreement and have it be okay, even if you’re not signed into the device?

HELP! :slight_smile:

This site is so confusing (“you might”, “you can”, “you can’t”) that it’s no wonder the CSR is lost.

Maybe if you two went to an Apple Store they would help?


The thing is, I’m not really trying to “transfer the AppleCare.” I’m just giving the device to somebody else in my Apple Family. We share purchases. She’s just using her Apple ID on the device instead of mine. This would be no different from, say, David giving a 1-year-old iPhone to his wife who has a different Apple ID.

If I have to, I’ll go into an Apple Store. I just can’t believe this is this insane.

Parents must do this all the time when they hand off an older device to family members. I bet @MacSparky knows.

Obviously not an Apple Care expert here, but thinking about this logically, it shouldn’t matter who is signed into the device. You own it (yes, I know you’re gifting it to her, but Apple certainly doesn’t know that), you pay for Apple Care, she just happens to be using it.

To me, it’s the same as a car warranty. If I own a car, and it has a warranty, that warranty covers what it covers whether the car breaks on my watch or someone else’s. In other words, the coverage isn’t tied to the person, but to the device.

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I was always told apple care is on the device. So if you sell it, apple care going with the device.

And some Apple customer service reps are great and others are so so.

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That’s true if it’s paid in advance, from what I know. This is month-to-month payments though. And as @KVZ’s link notes:

If you make monthly or annual payments* for your AppleCare plan, and your plan is already linked to an Apple ID, then it can’t be transferred to a new owner.

I would like to hope so - especially since she’s in my Apple Family. That said, Apple has that list of “my devices” when I sign in - and as soon as I signed out it disappeared from that list.

So they know that I’m not signed into it. And they know that they’re billing me for the AppleCare on the device. My concern is whether or not their knowledge of the former is going to affect the status of the latter at renewal time, and that’s the issue at hand.

It’s just a weird UI/experience for something that I would think should be very simple.

I did finally speak to a second CSR who indicated that she THINKS the coverage should continue (and continue to be billed), but that if my girlfriend has a problem with the device I need to bring it in for service as it’s my AppleCare. I would be incredibly happy with that being true. I asked her to put something to that effect in an email so I could document that we’d had this conversation, and she promised to do so. Then the email came, and it contained a bunch of verbiage about how pleased she was that she could help me, and that I should contact Apple Support if I needed further help - but no mention whatsoever of what we’d discussed.

So I’m still in limbo.

I gifted an Apple Watch to my daughter and I carried on paying the Apple care for a while with no issues.
Didn’t claim though.


I thought @ismh Was a genius at one point. Maybe he can provide you insight. I would love to know the answer.

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I am paying for the monthly AppleCare for my daughters iPhone XR and my oldest sons iPhone 14. AppleCare doesn’t care who foots the bill or what AppleID is logged in on the device. AppleCare is tied to the device Serial number.

Don’t bother asking at an Apple Store… you will be advised to contact 1-800-APL-CARE.

Just keep making the monthly payments and the coverage will stay in place until you decide to cancel it.


All the new AppleCare plans came way after me but back in my day, warranty stayed with the device no matter the owner. We’re planning an “All About AppleCare” episode for early next year though and will be digging in!