How to fix the “Update Apple ID Settings” bug in MacOS Catalina

If you’ve upgraded your Mac to MacOS Catalina, you may be experiencing a frustrating bug in System Preferences where you are repeatedly asked to update your Apple ID settings. No matter how many times you try, that little red “1” icon in the Dock just won’t go away, and you keep getting pestered to update your settings.

Thankfully, there are a few things you can try, ranging from the simple (sign out of iCloud) to the slightly more complex (remove corrupted Keychain items). But don’t fear, as all of the steps are easy to follow and aren’t particularly taxing. We’ll take you through them in this article, and you should have this bug fixed sooner rather than later.

First, try the standard approach

When you first see this bug, Apple will tell you to follow its on-screen instructions to fix it. You may find this works for you, and it’s always worth trying first. If it doesn’t work, try the steps further down this article.

Step 1: Open System Preferences, click Apple ID, then click Overview in the left-hand column.

Step 2: You’ll see a yellow warning triangle with “Update Apple ID Settings” next to it. Click Continue.

Step 3: A window will appear telling you that “some account services will not be available until you sign in again.” Click Continue.

Step 4: In the next window, enter your Apple ID password and click OK.

Step 5: Wait a few seconds — the next window can take a little while to appear. When it does, you’ll be prompted for your Mac password. Enter it and click OK.

Step 6: Finally, if you have an iPhone or iPad, you may be asked for its password. If you are, enter it and click OK.

Step 7: If all went according to plan, you Apple ID settings should now be updated.

Sign out of iCloud

You may find that the above walkthrough only provides a temporary fix, and that the bug returns before too long. If you’re still experiencing this problem, signing out of iCloud may help.

Step 1: Open System Preferences, then click Apple ID.

Step 2: At the bottom of the window, click Sign Out…

Step 3: You will be asked if you want to keep a copy of your iCloud data on your Mac. Make sure the checkboxes are ticked next to all of the entries in this list, then click Keep a Copy. If you use iCloud Photos, you may also be prompted that it needs to finish uploading your pictures; click Continue Updating and wait for it to finish.

Step 4: Next, you’ll be asked for your Apple ID password in order to turn off Find My Mac. Enter it, then click Continue.

Step 5: Once you’ve signed out, you’ll see a screen explaining what an Apple ID is and allowing you to sign back in. Instead, restart your Mac.

Step 6: Once your Mac has restarted, open System Preferences again and click Sign In where the Apple ID button used to be.

Step 7: Enter your Apple ID and click Next, then enter your password and click Next again. When prompted, enter your Mac password as well.

Step 8: You’ll be asked if you want to merge the information on your Mac with that stored in iCloud. Click Merge.

Step 9: Finally, your Mac will prompt you to re-enable Find My Mac. Click Allow.

Step 10: You’ll now be signed back in to iCloud, and you should no longer get alerts telling you to update your Apple ID settings.

Clear corrupted Keychain files

If you’re still getting pestered to update your Apple ID settings, it’s possible your Keychain has become corrupted. Fortunately, you won’t need to lose your active logins to solve this issue.

Step 1: Open System Preferences, then click Apple ID.

Step 2: Click iCloud in the left-hand column, then scroll down to Keychain. Untick the checkbox to its left to disable it.

Step 3: You’ll be asked if you want to keep a copy of your passwords and cards on your Mac. Click Keep on This Mac.

Step 4: Open a Finder window and click Go > Go to Folder. In the window that appears, type “~/Library/Keychains” and click Go.

Step 5: In this folder, you’ll see a folder with a long string of random numbers and letters, plus a number of loose files. Move the folder with the random name to your desktop, but keep everything else in place.

Step 6: Now go back to where you previously deactivated Keychain in System Preferences and re-enable it.

Step 7: Restart your Mac and the bug should be resolved. If you no longer get the bug, you can delete the folder you moved to your desktop.