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 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
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
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:
- Open the Settings app and go to [Your Name] > iTunes & App Store.
- Tap your Apple ID username and choose to View Apple ID from the popup.
- Tap Country/Region and choose to Change Country or Region, then select the new country you want to change to.
- After agreeing to the Terms and Conditions, enter the payment information and billing address for your new country and tap Done.
On a Mac:
- Open Apple Music and go to Account > View My Account from the menu bar.
- Under the Apple ID Summary section, click the option to Change Country or Region.
- Select the new country you want to change to.
- After agreeing to the Terms and Conditions, enter the payment information and billing address for your new country and tap Done.
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:
- Go to Settings > [Your Name] > Sign Out.
- Choose which iCloud data to save to your device and tap Sign Out.
- Open the App Store and tap the Account icon in the top-right corner, then choose to Create New Apple ID.
- Select your new country beneath the email address and password fields.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
iTunes is Apple’s marketplace for all sorts of media, software, and entertainment. If you’ve been given an iTunes gift card, you can use it to purchase apps, books, music, movies, and more.
If you’re not familiar with iTunes or have never received an iTunes gift card before, you might have a few questions about how to use it and what to buy. Let’s address some of the most common iTunes gift card questions.
Note that with the release of macOS Catalina, Apple has removed iTunes in favor of individual apps, such as Apple Music and Apple Books. iTunes is still available on Windows, as well as individual apps on iOS.
What Is an iTunes Gift Card?
An iTunes gift card (usually labeled as an App Store & iTunes card) is pre-purchased credit for Apple’s various digital services. This includes the iTunes Store—Apple’s media and software marketplace where you can buy music, movies, apps, and more. You can also use iTunes gift cards to subscribe to Apple Music and other Apple services.
Be aware that iTunes gift cards are different than Apple Store gift cards. Apple Store gift cards let you purchase physical Apple products, like an iPhone or MacBook, at Apple’s physical or online stores.
iTunes gift cards are available as physical cards, as well as digital codes delivered via email. The gift card don’t expire, and once the credit is applied to your account, it won’t expire either.
You can only redeem your card in the same iTunes Store from which it was purchased. Thus, a US gift card is only good in the US App Store.
How to Buy an iTunes Gift Card
You can buy an iTunes gift card in the following ways:
- At the Apple Store online.
- On an iPhone or iPad: Launch the App Store app, tap your user icon, then choose Send Gift Card by Email.
- Using a Mac running macOS Catalina or higher: open the Music app, click iTunes Store in the sidebar, and choose Send Gift.
- On older versions of macOS or a Windows PC with iTunes: Click the Store tab, then choose Send Gift.
- At physical retail locations like the Apple Store, supermarkets, and convenience stores.
iTunes gift cards are a good way to pay for items if you don’t have a credit card, or are traveling and want to make a purchase on another country’s iTunes Store. When needed, you can often find these online from secondary sellers.
If you’re lucky, you can find discounted iTunes gift cards for cheap. Just be cautious when browsing gift card deals, as scams are prominent in this area. Review some important tips on how to recognize free gift card scams to keep yourself safe.
Speaking of safety, you should know that many common phone scams demand gift cards as payment for outlandish claims, such as overdue taxes or ransom payments. These are never legitimate, so if a caller demands that you buy thousands of dollars of iTunes gift cards for some reason, just hang up.
How to Redeem iTunes Gift Cards
To redeem your iTunes gift card on an iPhone or iPad:
- Launch the App Store.
- On the Today tab, tap your user icon in the top-right corner.
- Choose Redeem Gift Card or Code.
- Use your device’s camera to scan your gift card, or enter the code manually.
To redeem your iTunes gift card on macOS Catalina and later:
- Launch the Mac App Store and click on your name in the left sidebar.
- Choose Redeem Gift Card at the top-right.
- Login with your Apple ID and password if needed.
- Use your webcam to scan the card or enter the code manually.
To redeem your iTunes gift card on a Mac or Windows PC running iTunes:
- Launch iTunes.
- At the top of the screen, choose Account > Redeem.
- Sign in with your Apple ID and password if needed.
- Enter your gift card code to redeem it.
How to Check Your iTunes Gift Card Balance
Your iTunes gift card balance is also known as Apple ID credit, since you can use it for many Apple services.
To check your iTunes gift card balance from an iPhone:
- Launch the App Store.
- On the Today tab, tap your user icon in the top-right corner.
- If you have iTunes credit, it displays below your name.
To check your iTunes gift card balance on macOS Catalina and later:
- Launch the Mac App Store and click on your name at the bottom of the left sidebar.
- If you have credit tied to your Apple ID, it will show below your name.
To check your iTunes gift card balance on a Mac or Windows PC running iTunes:
- Launch iTunes and ensure you’re signed in under Account > Sign in. You’ll see your Apple ID at the top of the dropdown list if you’re signed in.
- Click on the Store tab and look for your balance in the top-right corner.
If you don’t have a balance, you won’t see a value in any of these places.
When you redeem your iTunes gift card, the balance is transferred to your Apple ID account. If you’re not sure if you’ve used a gift card already, try redeeming it.
What Can You Buy With an iTunes Gift Card?
Once redeemed, you can spend iTunes credit on these services:
- Apps and games from the iOS App Store and Mac App Store, including Apple Arcade subscriptions.
- Music, TV shows, and movies from iTunes or the Apple TV app.
- Books from Apple Books.
- Subscriptions that normally charge your iTunes account, such as Apple TV+ or Apple News+.
- iCloud storage space upgrades.
Can You Use iTunes Gift Cards for Apple Music?
You can use your iTunes gift card to pay for an Apple Music subscription. Redeem your card as described above, then start an Apple Music subscription using the Music app on your iPhone, Mac, or Android phone. On a Windows PC, you can subscribe to Apple Music using iTunes.
As long as you have credit on your Apple ID, your subscription will deduct from that balance. Once it runs out, you’ll be charged on your primary payment method instead.
Can You Use iTunes Gift Cards for In-App Purchases?
Yes. As mentioned above, all digital purchases you make with your Apple account will automatically use your Apple ID balance first. This means you can use your iTunes balance for in-app purchases, including both subscriptions and one-time purchases.
Beware of any in-app purchases that charge a payment method directly (like ride-sharing apps or food delivery services) since they will charge the credit card you have on file for that particular merchant instead.
How to Use iTunes Gift Cards Instead of Credit Cards
When you sign up for an Apple ID, you’re given the opportunity to add a payment method. However, you don’t have to add a credit card to your account. If you prefer, skip the step of adding a payment method, then redeem gift cards to add credit to your account instead.
Remember that iTunes and Apple services will always use your iTunes balance before charging your credit card. There’s no way to buy an app or pay for a subscription with a credit card to preserve your iTunes balance.
For example, if you get $100 iTunes gift card as a present and you have an ongoing Apple Music subscription, your subscription will use that balance over time until it’s all gone. Once you’re out of credit, your subscription will use your default payment method again.
Can You Use iTunes Gift Cards in the Apple Store?
No. iTunes gift cards must be redeemed for digital Apple services on the App Store, iTunes, Apple Books, and similar. Apple Store gift cards are a separate product used for Apple hardware. They are usable at physical Apple Store locations, as well as Apple’s online store.
How to Add Funds to Your Apple ID Without Gift Cards
If you have a credit card attached to your Apple ID, you don’t need to buy gift cards for yourself. You can add funds to your Apple ID account by charging your payment method.
To do this on your iPhone:
- Open the App Store.
- Tap the Today tab, followed by your profile picture in the top-right.
- Select Add Funds to Apple ID, choose an amount, and complete your purchase.
On a Mac or Windows PC:
- Open the App Store on macOS Catalina. Launch iTunes on an older Mac or a Windows PC.
- On a Mac, choose Store > View My Account. On Windows, select Account > View My Account. Sign in again if needed.
- Scroll down to the Apple ID Account section and choose Add Funds to Apple ID.
- Choose the amount you want to add and walk through the steps to complete payment.
How to Use the iTunes Pass
If you don’t have a payment method on file with your Apple ID but don’t want to buy gift cards for yourself, Apple also offers a service called the iTunes Pass. This lets you add credit to your Apple ID by visiting an Apple Store or other participating retailer.
To create an iTunes Pass:
- Open the iTunes Store app on your iPhone.
- Scroll to the bottom of the Music page and tap your Apple ID. Sign in if you’re not already.
- Choose View Apple ID.
- Select Add iTunes Pass to Wallet.
- You’ll see a preview of the pass. Tap Add in the top-right to send it to your Wallet app.
Now, you can open the Wallet app to view your iTunes Pass. When it’s open, show it to a store employee and let them know how much you’d like to add to your balance. They’ll complete your purchase in the store and you’ll have access to the credit right away.
A World of iTunes Entertainment Awaits
Now you know what iTunes gift cards let you buy, how to use them, and where to check your balance. In short, since iTunes gift cards add credit to your Apple ID, they’re good for pretty much any digital service Apple offers. Whether you want to buy paid apps, subscribe to Apple Music or Apple News+, or get more iCloud storage, iTunes gift cards let you pay for it.
If you’re not sure what to buy, we have you covered. Check out great uses for your iTunes or Apple gift card, including some hardware ideas if you have an Apple Store card.
Read the full article: Apple iTunes Gift Cards FAQ: 7 Common Questions, Answered
Apple’s Family Sharing is a way to make your apps, movies, subscriptions, and more available to all the people in your family. You can also use it to control the screen time or content restrictions for your children’s devices. What’s more, it can even let you keep an eye on the location of all your loved ones.
We’ve written this guide to explain everything you need to know about setting up and using Apple’s Family Sharing service. Let’s take a look at how it works.
What Is Family Sharing?
Family Sharing lets you connect up to six different Apple ID accounts together. These accounts form your Family Sharing group, which you can use to save money by sharing various Apple purchases and services, including:
- Apps, movies, TV shows, songs, and books
- Apple Music family plan subscriptions
- Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and Apple TV channel subscriptions
- iCloud storage
Since everybody has their own account, you don’t need to share your password with other people. You can also access content in your Family Sharing group from any device you use with your Apple ID: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, or even a Windows PC.
Alongside shared purchases and services, Family Sharing automatically creates a shared reminders list, shared calendar, and shared photo album for you all to use. With permission, you can even use Family sharing to see the location of everyone in your group, as well as all their Apple devices.
Finally, with Family Sharing, parents or guardians can manage the Screen Time or Content & Privacy Restrictions for any children under 18 in the group. With Ask to Buy turned on, they can also approve or deny App Store and iTunes purchases their kids want to make.
You Can’t Share Everything
Unfortunately, not everything is available to share with Family Sharing. Before purchasing an app, scroll down to the Information section in the App Store to check that it supports Family Sharing.
Notably, you also can’t share in-app purchases or subscriptions for non-Apple services.
How to Set Up Family Sharing
Whoever creates the Family Sharing group becomes the Family Organizer. This person chooses who is and isn’t allowed in the group, and also chooses which services or purchases you share with Family Sharing.
If the Family Organizer chooses to share App Store and iTunes purchases, they must also agree to pay for new purchases that anyone in the Family Sharing group makes.
It’s easy to set up Family Sharing from an iPhone or Mac, provided it’s running at least iOS 8 or OS X Yosemite, respectively.
Set Up Family Sharing on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
- Go to Settings and tap [Your Name] at the top of the screen. If you don’t see your name, choose to Sign in to your [device] using your Apple ID account.
- Tap Set Up Family Sharing, then choose Get Started and choose the first feature you want to use with Family Sharing. You may need to add a payment method to your Apple ID account if you don’t already have one.
- Follow the onscreen prompts to complete the setup and Invite Family Members, which you can do using iMessage or by asking them to sign in on your device.
- After creating your group, the Family Sharing settings appear beneath your name. You can also tap Add Family Member to add more people to your family.
Set Up Family Sharing on a Mac
- Open the Apple menu and go to System Preferences > Family Sharing.
- You should see instructions to Set up Family Sharing; click Next and follow the onscreen prompts to complete the setup. You may need to add a payment method to your Apple ID account if you don’t already have one.
- Once the setup is complete, click Add Family Member and enter the name, email address, or Game Center nickname of the first family member you want to add.
- Use the sidebar in System Preferences to edit the various Family Sharing settings. Go to Family to add more people to your Family Sharing group.
Set Up a Child’s Account in Family Sharing
Children under 13 cannot create their own Apple ID accounts. However, with Family Sharing, the Family Organizer can create a child’s account for them. Apple limits the apps and media based on your child’s age and automatically turns on Ask to Buy. This means they can’t download or purchase anything without permission, even if it’s free.
To create a child’s account, open the Family Sharing settings on your device and follow the prompts to add a new family member. Select the option to Create a Child Account. Then create an iCloud email address, a password, and security answers for your child.
As a Family Organizer or parent/guardian in the Family Sharing group, you can remotely approve or deny App Store and iTunes purchases, track your child’s Screen Time, or edit the Content & Privacy Restrictions for your child’s device.
Apple’s Family Sharing Features Explained
After creating your Family Sharing group, you will see a lot of different features and services you can choose to use with it. This many options can seem a little overwhelming at first, so we’ve explained each Family Sharing feature below.
If you want to share apps, movies, TV shows, songs, and books in your Family Sharing group, you need to turn on Purchase Sharing. When doing this, the Family Organizer must agree to pay for any future purchases people in your Family Sharing group make.
Family members get to keep their purchases after leaving the Family Sharing group, even if the Family Organizer paid for that purchase originally.
To view another person’s purchases, open the App Store or iTunes Store app and go to the Purchases page. You should see each of your family members’ names; tap one to view or download their purchases.
Purchase Sharing lets your family access everything you’ve ever bought or downloaded, even if you did so before joining the Family Sharing group. If you want to hide a particular purchase from your family, swipe on that purchase and choose to Hide it.
Apple gives everybody 5GB of free storage to use with their Apple ID account. Each family member can decide to expand their storage for a small monthly fee, or you can choose to share a single storage plan across your Family Sharing group.
To share iCloud storage with Family Sharing, you either need the 200GB or the 2TB plan. When a family member chooses to share iCloud storage, Apple doesn’t add their free 5GB to the shared plan.
With Location Sharing turned on in Family Sharing, you can use the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to check where your other family members are. You can also use Find My to locate your family members’ missing Apple devices.
Each family member can choose whether they want to share their location from the Family Sharing settings on their device.
You should be careful with this setting. When Location Sharing is turned on, anyone in your Family Sharing group can use the Find My app to mark your devices as lost or remotely erase them.
Turn on Screen Time to monitor any children in your Family Sharing group under the age of 18. You can choose to set App Limits, Communication Limits, Downtime, and Content & Privacy Restrictions on your children’s devices.
Family Sharing also gives you regular usage reports so you can keep an eye on how much your children use their devices.
Apple Music, TV Channels, Apple Arcade, and Apple News+
Apple now offers a lot of different subscription services. And except for Apple Music (which requires a family plan), you can share any of these subscriptions with your Family Sharing group at no extra cost.
For example, if you subscribe to Apple Arcade, everyone else in your Family Sharing group can also access Apple Arcade games without needing to sign up for their own subscription.
To share Apple Music, you need to pay a little bit more to get a Family Sharing plan. It still works out cheaper than paying individually, though.
Apple Isn’t the Only Company to Offer Family Sharing
Plenty of other companies offer sharing services similar to Apple’s setup. Now that we’ve explained how to use Apple’s Family Sharing service, it’s worth taking a moment to learn what’s on offer elsewhere as well.
That way, you can be certain you’re getting the best service for your particular needs. For instance, if you use more Google apps than Apple ones, you might have a lot more to gain from setting up a Google Play Family Sharing group instead. Don’t forget that many streaming services have family plans, too.
Read the full article: Apple Family Sharing Explained: What You Need to Know and How to Use It