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What to Know Before Changing iTunes and App Store Country

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We might live in an interconnected world, but international laws and policies can’t always keep up with our jet-setting ways. You’ll discover this first-hand if you ever try to change your iTunes or App Store account from one country to another. Although it is possible to switch your iTunes or App Store country—which we’ll show you how to do below—doing so comes with a fair amount of drawbacks, like losing access to all your previous purchases. Here’s everything you need to know about this process. The Problem With Changing Your iTunes or App Store Country Each country accesses a different…

Read the full article: What to Know Before Changing iTunes and App Store Country

We might live in an interconnected world, but international laws and policies can’t always keep up with our jet-setting ways. You’ll discover this first-hand if you ever try to change your iTunes or App Store account from one country to another.

Although it is possible to switch your iTunes or App Store country—which we’ll show you how to do below—doing so comes with a fair amount of drawbacks, like losing access to all your previous purchases.

Here’s everything you need to know about this process.

The Problem With Changing Your iTunes or App Store Country

App Store purchases not on this iPhone for download

Each country accesses a different version of iTunes or the App Store. Sometimes these stores have different apps, music, movies, and other media available in them. But even if two stores have exactly the same content, you can only access your purchased media from the store you bought it from.

That means you lose access to all your existing iTunes and App Store purchases when you change your Apple ID to a different country.

Anything already on your device is still available to use and apps you’ve already downloaded still get the latest updates. But you’ll need to change the App Store and iTunes settings back to your original country again if you want to access purchases that you hadn’t already downloaded.

The biggest issue with this is that you need a valid payment method for whichever country you want to change iTunes and the App Store to. You can’t use an Australian credit card in the US App Store, for example.

So if you moved from Australia to the US, you’d need to get an American credit card to change to the US App Store. Then, if you ever wanted to access your Australian purchases again, you’d need to use your old Australian card to change back. This might be impossible to do if you moved to America permanently and your Australian payment details have expired.

One way to get around this problem is to create a second Apple ID account, rather than changing the settings for your existing one.

The Benefits of Creating a Second Apple ID Account

Create Your Apple ID website with Country selected

Instead of changing the country or region for your existing iTunes and App Store account, sometimes it’s beneficial to create a second Apple ID to use instead. With two separate accounts—one for Australia and one for the US, for example—you can switch between them at any time without needing to update your payment information.

All you would need to do is sign out of iTunes and the App Store on your device, then sign in again using the second account. After doing so, you get instant access to all the iTunes and App Store content from that country, including your previous purchases.

It’s possible to create a new Apple ID account without attaching any payment information to it, allowing you to download free media from iTunes or the App Store in any country. If you want to buy something from another country, you can either add a payment method from that country or purchase a foreign iTunes gift card to use with that account.

The problem with this method is that it splits your purchases across two separate accounts. You need to associate each of them with a separate email address. And if you lose access to one of the accounts, you also lose all the purchases you made using it.

How to Keep iTunes and App Store Purchases From a Different Country

Downloaded purchased movies from iTunes

If you’ve already downloaded them to your device, you can still use any apps, music, movies, TV shows, books, and other iTunes or App Store purchases regardless of which country or account you purchased them from.

That means you should download all the purchases you want to keep using before changing your iTunes and App Store country, or before creating a separate Apple ID account.

If possible, create another copy of these purchases by making an iPhone backup on a computer. When creating the backup, be sure to select the option to Back up all the data from your device to your computer.

If you lose access to your original Apple ID account or if you’re unable to change the iTunes and App Store back to your original country, you can restore this backup to retrieve your original purchases.

How to Change the iTunes and App Store Country Settings

If you are moving to a different country permanently—meaning you only expect to change the country for iTunes and the App Store once—then you should change the settings for your account.

Otherwise, you should create a second account to make it easier to switch between iTunes and App Store countries multiple times. This second method is particularly useful if you don’t have a payment method for the new country you want to use.

We explain each option below.

Method 1: Change the Country Settings for iTunes and the App Store

There are a few steps you need to take before you can change your iTunes and App Store settings to a different country:

  • Cancel any existing subscriptions on your account, such as Apple Music or Apple TV+.
  • Leave your Family Sharing group, unless you’re the Family Organizer.
  • Spend any remaining credit in your Apple ID account.
  • Download any apps, music, movies, TV shows, books, or other media you might want to access in the future.

You also need to make sure you have a valid payment method and billing address for your new country. You’ll need to add this payment method to your Apple ID account when you change countries.

While you can change the iTunes or App Store country from any device, you only need to do it once. After you change the settings on one device, it affects the same account across all your other Apple devices as well.

On an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to [Your Name] > iTunes & App Store.
  2. Tap your Apple ID username and choose to View Apple ID from the popup.
  3. Tap Country/Region and choose to Change Country or Region, then select the new country you want to change to.
  4. After agreeing to the Terms and Conditions, enter the payment information and billing address for your new country and tap Done.

On a Mac:

  1. Open Apple Music and go to Account > View My Account from the menu bar.
  2. Under the Apple ID Summary section, click the option to Change Country or Region.
  3. Select the new country you want to change to.
  4. After agreeing to the Terms and Conditions, enter the payment information and billing address for your new country and tap Done.

Change Country or Region button in Apple Music app on Mac

Method 2: Create a Second Apple ID Account for Another Country

Creating a second Apple ID account is the best way to switch iTunes and the App Store to a different country temporarily. You don’t need a foreign payment method and it’s easy to switch back and forth between your old account and the new one within the App Store itself.

The easiest way to create a new Apple ID account is directly on your device. When you do so, make sure you select the right country for your new account. You’ll need to confirm this by adding a billing address in that country and verifying your account with an email address (and possibly a phone number as well).

You can use any phone number, even if it’s from a different country. But you need to use a new email address that isn’t linked to an existing Apple ID account.

On an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Go to Settings > [Your Name] > Sign Out.
  2. Choose which iCloud data to save to your device and tap Sign Out.
  3. Open the App Store and tap the Account icon in the top-right corner, then choose to Create New Apple ID.
  4. Select your new country beneath the email address and password fields.
  5. Enter an email address and password to use with your new account. You can’t use an email address associated with another Apple ID account.
  6. Tap Next and fill in every requested Apple ID field. If you don’t have a payment method for this country, choose None. Even without a payment method, you need to find a billing address you can use in this country.
  7. Tap Done when you’re finished to create your new account.

Top Up Your Account With an iTunes Gift Card

After you create a new Apple ID account or change the settings on your existing account, you should be able to access content from iTunes or the App Store in the new country of your choice.

To make purchases, you need to ensure your payment information and billing address matches your new country. Alternatively, buy an international gift card and use it to add credit to your account. Learn all there is to know about iTunes Gift Cards before buying one to make sure you get what you need.

Read the full article: What to Know Before Changing iTunes and App Store Country