How to set up an Apple ID in any country without payment information

Is Apple blocking you from getting a particular app? We have just the trick.

One of the primary reasons I switched to the iPhone 6S when it came out, after years of using Android (and, very briefly, Windows Phone), is the App Store. And while Apple’s home for apps serves as a great host for first-to-market downloads and higher-quality content than its Android counterpart, geographical restrictions have kept some apps out of reach for non-stateside residents.

Take Google’s iOS keyboard, Gboard, as an example; it’s a worthy alternative to sticking to the status quo. Unfortunately, it’s only available in the U.S. App Store. Ditto for Microsoft’s equally compelling Word Flow keyboard. Mind you, there are other cases where having a U.S.-based Apple ID means more and better options.

That said, unless you have a payment option tied to a U.S. address, switching regions isn’t an option. What you can do, however, is create a new ID, this time choosing the U.S. (or any other country) over your country of residence. Again, that method requires a mode of payment in your region of choice. Or does it? Turns out, you can make an Apple ID without keying in a payment option. You just have to know how to do it.

But before we get to the good part, do note the instructions below are for iPhone and iPad owners, though you might achieve the same results using iTunes.

1. Launch the App Store.

2. Scroll down to the bottom of the Featured tab.

3. Select your Apple ID, and then sign out.

4. Make a new ID by choosing Create New Apple ID from the dialog box.

#TBT: The first iPhone will forever be the greatest of all time

5. Select your preferred proxy country or region (again, we recommend the U.S.), then tap Next.

6. Agree to Apple’s Term and Conditions.

7. Don’t fill out the boxes under New Account. Instead, hit Cancel. You’re now in the App Store of your country or region of choice.

8. Use the search bar to find an app to install and get the app.

9. Select Create New Apple ID and repeat the abovementioned steps. Don’t hit Cancel this time.

10. Fill out the required fields. Choose None under Billing Information, then key in a phone number and an address to complete the account-creation process.

11. You’ll receive a verification email from Apple shortly afterwards. Click the link in that email.

High-five yourself; you now have an Apple ID in your desired locale.

There are other advantages to creating an Apple ID that isn’t linked to a payment system, such as not worrying about accidentally spending anything on content and not having to watch your child like a hawk each time he or she borrows your phone or tablet. That said, regardless of reason, it’s probably better to have one than not.

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