Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Due to copyright issues, the iTunes Store ‘discriminates’ against users based on their geographical location. While the US and a few other selected iTunes stores have all the goodies – including music, movies and TV shows – other countries can only access the App Store, Podcasts and iTunesU. This arrangement also limits non-US customers from getting US-only content.
To be able to access those goodies, non-US users could try to register for a US account. The problem is, the set up process requires a US credit card. Fortunately, there’s a way around that obstacle.
Setting Up The Stage
If you don’t have any iTunes account, you can skip this part and go on to the next section. But if you already have a non-US iTunes account, there are a few steps that you need to do before creating another one.
First, you need to log into your iTunes Store account to change the country. The reason we need to do this is because we need to pick up US-only freebies in the next part of the process. If we don’t change country before we sign out then we will be stuck with non-US content.
- Open iTunes, click on the Apple ID on the upper right corner of the window, and choose “Account“.
- Fill in your Apple ID and password, then hit “Enter“.
- Scroll down to the lower part of your Account Information and click the “Change Country or Region“.
- Choose US from the drop down list and click “Continue“.
You can see that this change will give you broader content options. Do not click continue to set up the new account yet.
Instead sign out from your account. Now you are ready to start the Sign Up process for your US account.
Creating The Account
The key to creating a US iTunes account without a credit card is by not going through the official sign up process. We should start by downloading a free item from the iTunes Store. It can be anything like a song, a movie, or an app.
- Pick a free item and download it by clicking on the “Free” button. If we download an item when we are not signed in, iTunes will ask us to sign in first.
- Do not sign in using your existing Apple ID, but choose “Create New Account“.
- Fill in the fields with your chosen email and password, and continue.
- You will see that there’s the option to choose “None” in the credit card list. This option will not appear if you choose to sign up without picking a free item to download first.
- This method should be applicable for registering for an iTunes account for any country and you can continue without any problems from here. But there’s another requirement that you still have to fulfill if you are registering for a US account: a US address.
- You could try to fill in the fields with a bogus address, but why would you do that if getting a free US address is free and easy? One way to acquire an address is by registering for a hop.shop.go account. This is a company that will help non-US citizens to shop on US-only online stores. However, a PayPal account is required.
There are other ways to get a free US address, just use a search engine to search for “free US address” or other similar strings.
- The last step is to verify your Apple ID. Just follow the link in your confirmation email, click “Verify Address“, and you are ready to go.
- Now that your US iTunes account is set up, you can enjoy all the free items which are available only to US account holders, without the need to own a US credit card.
From my experiments, I concluded that you can keep more than one iTunes account on one computer, and all of your downloads from all the accounts can be synced with your iDevice(s) without any problem. But please note that if you download apps using different accounts, you will need to use the same account to update the apps.
The method worked like magic in my country, and I assume that it will also work from any other countries. Please try to do the process from your part of the world and share your experience using the comments below.