Transferring iTunes Account to Another Country

So my main iTunes account was created on the US store. I have been using it since 2008. I have to refill the credit with gift card every once in a while. It was inconvenience but back then TH store was not as “full-featured” (a lot less choices than the US store). So I did not think about transferring the account.

Tidbits: According to Wikipedia, the App Store initially released on July 10, 2008. And according to my email record, my first purchase on App Store was Twitterrific (free) on July 11, 2008.

App Store initial release date (Wikipedia) and my first App Store purchase.App Store initial release date (Wikipedia) and my first App Store purchase.

Things have changed significantly. TH store has grown up quiet a lot. Its content almost matches those in the US store. One of the advantage of transferring is that I will not have to buy gift card periodically to refill1 the credit. But the most important is the price of Apple Music subscription. TH store (฿129, approximately $3.99) is cheaper than the US store ($9.99). But there is also a disadvantage, I will have to link a credit card to the account. Dangerous, in term of spending limit. ;)

In order to transfer account to another country:

  1. You must not have any ongoing subscription, membership, rental or season-pass. All subscriptions must be cancelled and ended.
  2. You must not have any remaining store credit. The amount must be 0.002.
  3. You must not have any  store credit refund pending. You will need to wait until the refund goes through and spend that remaining amount.
  4. You must not be part of a Family Sharing group.

For more detail, please refer to this support article from Apple.

By the way, there is one catch if you have to spend the remaining store credit. You can buy anything as long as the price is lower than but not equals to the credit that you have. Say, I had $4.99 store credit, I had to buy thing or things that sum to less than $4.98. I cannot buy a $4.99 app. (And then I ended up having to contact iTunes Store support to ask them to clear out that $0.xx balance.)

Suppose you have cleared all of the above items. There are some housecleaning you will have to do before you start the transfer. Your Purchased list3 will not follow you after the transfer, so you will need to download and copy all of your purchased items and keep them safely somewhere else. Make another copy of the files on a thumb drive just to make sure. You should be able to find the downloaded items in Music > iTunes > iTunes Media folder.

The Purchased list will be empty once you have finished the transfer.The Purchased list will be empty once you have finished the transfer.

OK. Now you are ready. The transfer process can be done from either iOS or macOS. I did this on my iPhone so here is what I have done.

Open App Store app and scroll all the way down to the bottom. Click on the Apple ID button. A dialog will pop up, select View Apple ID. It will ask for your password.

Once logged in, you will see Country/Region option. From there, you can enter your local address and credit card information.

The instruction is also available at this support article from Apple.

If everything went well, you should end up in the App Store of another country of your choice.

And that is how you transfer your iTunes account from one country to another.

  1. I subscribe to Apple Music and also iCloud storage so I need to keep the credit available for payment. 

  2. If you happened to have remaining credit that is not enough to make purchase (say, less than or equal to $.99), you will have to contact iTunes Store support and have them clear out the balance. 

  3. The purchased items are still linked to your account but they will not show up in the Purchased list. You will be able to download them later. The items will show up in the Store as if you have not paid for it. But when you click Buy, the Store will say you have already purchased this item.