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How to create a US iTunes App Store account when you're not in the US

US App Store

Anyone that writes about iPhone applications that isn't based in the United States has it rough; iTunes promo codes only work for US App Store accounts. That can make it tough to review iPhone and iPod touch software if you're not based in the US.

Creating an account for the US App Store when you're not based in the US is against Apple's terms and conditions, so I'm not recommending that you do it. But if, for journalistic reasons, you want or need to know how to do it, here's the scoop.

First of all, there are a few ways it can be done. If you're looking to download both free and paid apps, you'll need to create a new iTunes account and associate it with a US-based credit card. Many users report success doing this using PayPal even when they are based outside the US and their PayPal account is linked to a non-US bank, as long as their PayPal credit/debit card is set to US currency. Without testing this approach, it's hard to comment, but if you've tried please let us know how it went in the comments. Another option is to purchase a pre-paid Mastercard gift card as outlined by Smart Canucks.

If you're just looking to download free apps and have the ability to redeem promo codes, then matters get significantly more simple. In fact, Apple has instructions for you, but before you follow them you need to make sure you are not logged into your existing iTunes account, and you are on the US App Store. The following instructions are how to do it in iTunes on a Mac; Windows should be similar:

  1. In the menu in iTunes, click Store > Sign Out
  2. Click on the App Store link in the left sidebar of iTunes to open an App Store page
  3. Scroll to the bottom, and click on the icon of your country's flag at the bottom right
  4. On the following page, scroll to the bottom and choose United States
  5. Follow Apple's instructions to create an iTunes App Store account without a credit card

Be aware that you will not be able to download updates to any apps you install while logged in to your US account unless you are logged in with that account. It's a bit of a hassle to have to switch back and forth between your native country login and your US one.


Tags: App Store, apple, AppStore, free apps, FreeApps, howtos, iphone, ipod touch, IpodTouch, itunes, mastercard gi, MastercardGi