IBM Cloud Docs
FAQs about accounts

FAQs about accounts

FAQs for your IBM Cloud® account might include questions about upgrading an account, reassigning users, resolving account errors, or tagging resources in an account. To find all FAQs for IBM Cloud, see our FAQ library.

How do I create an IBM Cloud account?

You can create an account by registering your email address. For identity verification, a credit card is required when you create a new account. New accounts are created as Pay-As-You-Go accounts, except purchased subscriptions and temporary educational accounts. To verify your identity with a code, you can apply a purchased subscription code for a Subscription account, or a feature code for a temporary educational account. For more information, see Account types.

Feature codes aren't supported in some countries. For more information, see personal use availability.

How is my credit card authorized?

A credit card is required to create a new IBM Cloud account unless you have a subscription or feature code. As part of the authorization process, you might see a temporary hold on your credit card for verification and security when creating an account. This credit card hold is reversed within 24 to 72 hours. In many cases, a credit card isn't accepted because your credit card issuer didn't authorize it. For more information about issues with credit card authorization, see Credit Card error messages.

How do I get help with issues with creating an account?

If you are able to log in to an IBM Cloud account, go to the Support Center and choose one of the following options.

  • If you have advanced or premium support, click Chat with IBM to talk to an IBM Cloud support representative.

  • Create a support case by clicking Create a case from the "Need more help?" section.

    After you open the case, an email notification is sent to you. Follow the instructions for further communication.

If you can't log in to an IBM Cloud account, create an account request.

Why is a VAT ID required when I create an account?

A tax identification number, such as a VAT ID, GST number, or TIN, is required to create a new personal use account with an address in specific countries or regions. For information about these requirements or where personal use accounts are not permitted, see Personal use availability. A tax identification number is also required for company accounts, depending on your location. Some countries where the local government requires it, taxes are charged directly instead.

How do I update my credit card?

If you have a Pay-As-You-Go account type that is billed in US Dollars, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to the Payments page.
  2. Click Update card, enter the new credit card information, and click Save.

To switch to a different payment method, select Pay with Other and then click Submit change request. A support case to change your payment method is created for you.

Based on your account type, you might manage your credit card outside of the console. To manage your credit card outside of the console, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to and log in with the same IBMid and password that you use to log in to IBM Cloud.
  2. Click the Avatar icon Avatar icon, and select Billing.
  3. Click Manage payment method.
  4. Enter your credit card information, and click Register.

If your credit card requires a MasterCard SecureCode that is sent to a mobile phone, you might see an unexpected error message after you submit the code. Refresh the "Manage my wallet" page to verify that your new credit card information is saved.

How do I upgrade my account?

To upgrade your Lite account, go to your account settings. In the Account Upgrade section, click Add credit card to upgrade to a Pay-As-You-Go account, or click Upgrade for a Subscription account.

See Upgrading your account for more information.

If I upgrade my Lite account, can I continue to use my existing instances?

Yes, when you upgrade to a Pay-As-You-Go or Subscription account, you can continue to use the instances that you created with your Lite account. However, if you want to use the capabilities that are not available in a service's Lite plan, you must upgrade the plan for the specific service. After you change a service plan, it might be necessary to restage your application.

Can I convert my account?

Yes, the following options are available depending on your account type:

  • If you have a feature code from an online course or educational event, you can use it to convert your Lite account to a trial account. Go to the Account settings page in the console to apply the code to your account.
  • To convert your Pay-As-You-Go account to a Subscription account, contact IBM Cloud Sales.

Can I convert my Pay-As-You-Go account to a trial account?

If you upgrade your trial account to a Pay-As-You-Go account by entering a credit card, it can't be converted back to a trial account. If you want to continue exploring IBM Cloud at no cost, you can use a service's Lite plan to build an app without incurring any charges. For more information, see Try out IBM Cloud, for free.

Can I add an educational feature code to an account after I added a credit card?

When you add a credit card to your trial account, your account is upgraded to a Pay-As-You-Go account. Educational feature codes can't be used in a Pay-As-You-Go account. In addition, a Pay-As-You-Go account can't be converted back to a trial account. For more information about educational trial accounts, see the IBM SkillsBuild Software Downloads FAQs.

Can I sign up for a trial at no cost?

IBM Cloud trial accounts are available for faculty and students at accredited academic institutions. To qualify for a trial account, go to Harness the Power of IBM and validate your institution credentials. Trial accounts expire after 30 days.

How can I close my account?

If there's any way that we can assist you before you decide to close your account, reach out to us.

To close a Pay-As-You-Go or Subscription account, you need to cancel all services, devices, and billing items. A support case is required to close a Subscription account for account security and documentation purposes. You can close a Pay-As-You-Go account in the IBM Cloud console. For steps and more information, see Closing an account.

To close a Lite account, go to the Account settings page, and click Close account. After an account is closed for 30 days, all data is deleted and all services are removed.

Can I log in to the console with my SoftLayer ID?

Yes, you can use your SoftLayer ID to log in to the console. Go to the login page, and click Log in with SoftLayer ID.

What's a Lite pricing plan for services?

A Lite plan is a free quota-based service plan. You can use a service's Lite plan to build an app without incurring any charges. A Lite plan might be offered on a monthly cycle that is renewed each month or on a one-off usage basis. Lite pricing plans are available with all account types. You can have one instance of a Lite plan for each service. For more information about Lite accounts, see Account types.

How many apps can I build?

There's no limit to the number of apps that you can build in a Pay-As-You-Go or Subscription account.

If you created a Lite account before 12 August 2021, you can build and deploy apps with 256 MB of instantaneous runtime memory. To get 512 MB of free instantaneous runtime memory, upgrade to a Pay-As-You-Go or Subscription account and pay only for what you use over that limit.

What happens when my Lite plan instance reaches the monthly quota?

Reaching any quota limit for Lite plan instances suspends the service for that month. Quota limits are per org, not instance. New instances that you create in the same org reflect any usage from previous instances. The quota limits reset on the first of every month.

You can check your usage by going to Manage > Billing and usage in the IBM Cloud console, and selecting Usage. For more information, see Viewing your usage.

How many resource groups, orgs, or spaces can I create?

If you have a Pay-As-You-Go or Subscription account, there's no limit to the number of resource groups, orgs, or spaces that you can create. However, if you have a Lite account, you're limited to one org and one resource group.

Can I change which notifications I receive?

Yes, you can update your email preferences for receiving notifications from the Email preferences page in the console. Click the Avatar icon Avatar icon > Profile > Email preferences.

For more information, see Setting email preferences.

Can I reset my password?

To reset your account password, click the Avatar icon Avatar icon > Profile in the console. Then, click Edit in the Account user information widget.

To reset your VPN password, complete the following steps:

  1. In the IBM Cloud console, go to Manage > Access (IAM), and select Users.
  2. Select the user.
  3. From the VPN subnets section, click the Edit icon Edit icon to enter a new VPN password.
  4. Click Apply.

What can I do if I forget my password?

If you don't remember your password for your IBMid and can't log in to IBM Cloud, you can reset your password by using our automated system.

Can I remove my personal data from IBM Cloud?

To understand how IBM handles your personal information, see the IBM Privacy Statement. In the Your Rights section, review the information about what you can request to remove. Click the link in the section to submit a request to remove your personal information.

Why is my account deactivated?

Your account might be deactivated for the following reasons:

  • For trial accounts, the trial period ended. To reactivate your account, log in to your account and upgrade it to a Pay-As-You-Go account.
  • An authorized user closed the account.
  • An account has past due invoices and several contact attempts have been made by IBM Cloud Support to make payment arrangements.
  • At the discretion of IBM, accounts that violate the acceptable usage behavior of the IBM Cloud services can be disabled without notice. Some services can be restored if users correct their usage behaviors after they're notified of the offensive action. For more information, see Acceptable Internet use policy for IBM services.

If you believe that your account was deactivated in error, contact support by calling 1-866-325-0045 and selecting the third option.

How can I reactivate my account?

To make a payment and reactivate your account, contact support by calling 1-866-325-0045 and selecting the third option.

What are my options for contacting IBM Cloud Support?

From the IBM Cloud console menu bar, click the Help icon Help icon > Support center. The options that are available to you depend on your support plan. For more information, see Getting support.

To contact support, you can use the following methods:

  • If you have a valid Pay-As-You-Go or Subscription account, you can click Live chat with support to chat with a support engineer.
  • Lite and Trial account support is limited to nontechnical support issues that are related to account access and billing. Users with Lite or Trial accounts can view the IBM Cloud documentation, Chat with Watson, and use Stack Overflow.

Can I view a list of accounts that I own?

The IBM Cloud console menu bar lists all of the accounts that are affiliated with your IBMid, including the accounts that you own. Click the account listing in the console menu bar to see the other accounts that you own or are a member. The account name begins with the account number for Pay-As-You-Go and Subscription accounts.

A screen capture of the account selector in the console menu bar. The account selector displays the account name and account number, and you select the current account to display a list of other accounts that you can access.
Figure 1. Account selector

You can view your role in each account on the Users page. The 'owner' tag next to a username indicates the account owner. If you are the owner of the account, the 'self' tag is also listed next to your name. If you see only your name that is listed and you are not the account owner, the account owner has restricted the user list. For more information, see [Controlling user visibility. Contact IBM Cloud Support to determine the account owner.

You can also find your accounts from the CLI by running the ibmcloud account list command. This command lists the accounts that you own and any other accounts that are affiliated with your IBMid.

Can I view my account ID, account type, and account number?

Go to the Account settings page in the console to view your account ID and type. The account ID is a 32 character, unique account identifier. The IBM Cloud console menu bar lists all of the accounts that are affiliated with your IBMid, including the accounts that you own. The account selector displays the account name and account number.

How can I join accounts?

The account owner, organization manager, or a user with the correct permissions can invite you to join their account.

  • If you're new to IBM Cloud®, you receive an email that contains all the information you need.
  • As an existing member of IBM Cloud®, you can accept the invitation in your notifications, by email, or by using the CLI to onboard to the new account. To accept invitations in the CLI, use the ibmcloud login command.

Can I switch between multiple accounts?

If you have access to more than one account, you can click your account name in the console menu bar to switch to another account.

A screen capture of the account selector in the console menu bar. The account selector displays the account name and account number, and you select the current account to display a list of other accounts that you can access.
Figure 2. Account selector displays all accounts to which you have access

Can I move data between IBM Cloud accounts?

Data can't be directly migrated from one IBM Cloud account to another. But, you might be able to re-create configurations and add them to another account. Consider the following approaches:

  • Save your applications and replicate them in different accounts by using GitHub or another code repository.
  • Review the applicable documentation to determine whether your infrastructure services can be backed up and re-created in different accounts.
  • Use manifests and other documented methods to rebuild your applications and services by using documented methods to back up and restore your data.

Users with a Basic, Advanced, or Premium support plan can open a [Support case for assistance with data migration questions.

Can I bookmark a console page for a specific account?

You can target URLs for any IBM Cloud console page to a specific account. If you have multiple accounts, you can bookmark the account-specific URLs to easily access resources in different accounts without having to manually switch between them.

  1. Switch to the account that you want to target, and go to the Account settings page in the console. In the Account section, find the account ID, such as a1b2c3d4e5f61234567890fedcba4321.

  2. Go to the console page that you want to bookmark, and add ?bss_account=<account-id> to the URL, replacing <account-id> with the ID from your account. For example:

  3. Bookmark the URL in your browser.

Can I make someone else the account owner?

You can transfer ownership of your entire account, create a support case that requests to make another user in the account the new owner. For more information, see Transferring ownership of your account.

When you change account ownership, the previous owner is removed. The new owner determines whether to invite the previous owner as a new user and determines their account permissions. To ensure the security of the account, IBM Cloud Support cannot modify the user list in your account.

Can I change the name or IBMid in my profile?

You can change your personal information, such as name, email, or phone number, by going to the Avatar icon Avatar icon > Profile and settings in the console. You can't change your IBMid, but you can create a new one if appropriate. The IBMid worldwide help desk is available to help with general ID questions that aren't specific to your IBM Cloud account.

Can I change my account language?

The language that is used is based on your web browser settings. To view content in your native language, update your browser's language settings. The language for specific pages must be the same language that is selected for the browser's settings.

Does IBM Cloud support batch registration of users?

When you register users for IBM Cloud, you must register each user individually. IBM Cloud doesn't support batch registration of users.

What are tags?

Tags are key:value pairs that you use to organize your resources and service IDs or control access to them.

  • You can use user tags to organize and view resources and service IDs across your account and help you track usage costs.
  • You can limit access to specific resources and service IDs in your account by using access management tags.

For more information, see Working with tags.

What access is required to create access management tags?

You must be the account owner or have the following roles:

  • Administrator on all account management services
  • Administrator on the tagging service

For more information, see Granting users access to tag resources.

What access is required to attach or detach tags?

  • To manage user tags on a resource, you must have at least the editor role for IAM-enabled resources.
  • To manage user tags on a service ID, you must have at least the editor role on the IAM Identity service.
  • To manage access management tags, you must have the administrator role on the targeted resource.
  • To manage access management tags on service IDs, you must have the administrator role on the IAM Identity service.

For more information, see Granting users access to tag resources.

Can users in my account view my tags?

Yes, tags are visible throughout your account. If your account users have permission to view a resource, they can also view all tags that are attached to those resources. For more information, see Granting users access to tag resources.

Can I delete my tags?

Before you can delete a tag, you must detach it from all resources. The tag might be attached to a resource that you don't have permission to view. The same tag can be attached to several resources by different users in the same billing account. Users don't have the same visibility on all resources on the account. Contact the account owner who can resolve the problem by detaching the tag from the blocking resource.

If you still can't delete it, the tag might be attached to a reclaimed resource. You can use the IBM Cloud CLI to manage the reclamation process of specific resources. For more information, see Using resource reclamations.

When you delete an access management tag from the account, any associated IAM policies are also deleted with it.

How do I view my dashboard role?

You can view the role that you are assigned on a dashboard by going to Manage > Account > Dashboards in the IBM Cloud console. All users that are not the dashboard owner have the viewer role on the dashboard.

Can I edit the default dashboard?

You can't edit the default dashboard directly. However, you can create a duplicate version that you can edit and personalize however you want by clicking the Actions icon Actions icon > Edit in IBM Cloud console.

By maintaining the original version of the default dashboard, you can discover the latest widgets and functions, which get built and added over time. This way, you can always bring out the most of your workflow.

You can also switch between the duplicate and original versions by selecting each one from your list of dashboards that's displayed on your active dashboard.

Why do I get logged out of my account?

The administrator of your account has customized the duration of active and inactive accounts, which requires users to enter their credentials after a specific time. For more information, see Managing user's login session durations.

Why can't I create a Lite account?

Based on an update to our account registration that released starting 25 October 2021, new accounts are created as Pay-As-You-Go. As part of this update, you're asked to provide credit card information for identity verification. After you register and create your new account, you can access the full IBM Cloud catalog, including all Free and Lite plans. And, you get a $200 credit that you can use on products in the first 30 days. You pay only for billable services that you use, with no long-term contracts or commitments.

If you created a Lite account before 25 October 2021, you can continue working as you always have. However, you can go ahead and upgrade to a Pay-As-You-Go account by adding your credit card information. This way, you can gain access to all Free service plans in the catalog.

How do I see who created a service instance and when?

From the Resource list, expand the appropriate section, and click the row for the instance that you want more details about. You can find more details about the resource display including when the resource was created and by whom.

For classic infrastructure services, you can get similar information by using the Audit log.