Although we live in an interconnected universe, international laws and policies aren’t always up to speed with jet-setting lifestyles. This is what you’ll find out if your iTunes or App store account is ever transferred from one country into the other.
It is possible to change your iTunes or App store country. We’ll show how to do it below. However, there are some drawbacks. For example, you may lose access to your past purchases.
This is everything you need to know about the process.
The Problem with Changing Your iTunes Country or App Store Country
Every country has its own version of iTunes and the App Store. These stores may have different apps, music and movies. Even if the content is identical, you can only access the media purchased from the store where it was purchased.
This means that you will lose all of your iTunes and App Store purchases if you change your Apple ID country.
Everything on your device remains available. Apps you have already downloaded are still updated. To access any purchases you haven’t downloaded, you will need to reset your iTunes and App Store settings.
This is the biggest problem. You need to have a valid payment method for any country that you wish to update iTunes or the App Store. For example, you can’t use your Australian credit card in the US App Store.
To change to the US App store, you would need an American credit card if you move from Australia to America. To access your Australian purchases, you would need to use your Australian card. If you have lost your Australian payment information and moved permanently to America, this might not be possible.
This problem can be solved by creating a second Apple ID account rather than changing your settings for the existing one.
A Second Apple ID Account: The Benefits
Sometimes it is better to create another Apple ID and change the country or region of your existing iTunes and App store accounts. You can switch between the two accounts at will, one for Australia and one to the US.
Sign out of iTunes and App Store on your device. Then sign back in using the second account. You will have instant access to all iTunes and App Store content in that country, including any previous purchases.
You can create an Apple ID account and download media from iTunes or App Store anywhere in the world without having to attach any payment information. You can add a payment method or buy a gift card from another country to purchase something.
This method splits your purchases between two accounts. Each account must be associated with a different email address. You also risk losing all purchases made with the account you have lost access to.
How to keep iTunes and App Store purchases from a different country
You can still use the apps, music and movies you have already downloaded to your device regardless of where they were purchased from.
This means that you need to download all purchases before you change your iTunes or App Store country, or create a separate Apple ID account.
Make another copy of your purchases by creating an iPhone backup. Make sure you select the Backup option when creating the backup.
You can restore your backup to retrieve original purchases if you lose your Apple ID account access or are unable to change iTunes or App Store settings back to your country.
How to change the iTunes and App store Country Settings
If you’re moving to a new country permanently, meaning you expect to only change the country for iTunes or the App Store once, then you need to modify the settings.
To make it easier to switch between iTunes or App Store countries multiple times, create another account. This is especially useful if your country doesn’t have a payment option.
Below, we’ll discuss each option.
Method 1: Modify the country settings for iTunes and the App Store
Before you can change the country settings in iTunes or App Store, there are some steps that you should follow:
- You can cancel any subscriptions you have, such as Apple Music and Apple TV+.
- If you are the Family Organizer, leave your Family sharing group.
- Spend the remaining credit in your Apple ID Account.
- You can download any app, music, movies or TV shows you want, as well as books and other media.
Also, ensure you have a valid billing address and payment method for your new country. This payment method must be added to your Apple ID account to allow you to change countries.
You can only change the iTunes country or App Store country on any device. Once you have changed the settings on one device it will affect all other Apple devices.
An iPhone, iPad or iPod touch?
- Open the Setting app. Next, go to [Your name] > Media and Purchases.
- Select View Account in the popup, and then enter your Apple ID password.
- Tap Region to select Change Country/Region. Next, choose the country that you wish to change.
- After accepting the terms and conditions, enter your payment information and billing address and then tap Done.
- Open Apple Music, and then go to Account > View My Account in the menu bar.
- Click the link to Change Region under the Apple ID Summary section.
- Choose the country that you wish to move to.
- After accepting the terms and conditions, enter your payment information and billing address, and then tap Done.
Method 2: Create an additional Apple ID account for another country
A second Apple ID account can be used to temporarily switch between the App Store and iTunes countries. It’s not necessary to use a foreign payment method. You can easily switch between the old and new accounts.
It is easiest to create an Apple ID account directly from your device. Make sure to choose the correct country for your account when you create it. This will be done by adding a billing address to that country and verifying your account using an email address (or possibly a telephone number).
Any phone number can be used, even if it is from another country. You will need to create a new email address, which is not linked to any existing Apple ID account.
An iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch?
- Go to Settings > Your Name > Sign Out.
- Select the iCloud data you wish to save to your device, then tap Sign out.
- To open the App Store, tap the account icon at the top-right corner. Next, choose to Create a New Apple ID.
- Below the email address and password fields, select your new country.
- To create a new account, enter an email address and a password. An email address that is associated with an Apple ID account cannot be used.
- Tap Next to fill out every required Apple ID field. Choose None if you don’t have any payment method for this country. You will need to locate a billing address that you can use in this particular country, even if you don’t have a payment method.
- When you are done, tap Done to create a new account.
Get an iTunes gift card to top up your account
You should be able to access content from iTunes and the App Store in your new country after you have created an Apple ID account.
You will need to verify that your billing address and payment information match the country you are purchasing from in order to make purchases. You can also buy an international gift certificate and add credit to your account. To ensure you receive what you want, learn all you can about iTunes Gift cards before you buy one.