Whether you are:
- A student moving to a different country for education,
- A person going to a new country for employment,
- A tourist looking to stay for several months in your desired country, or
- Someone wanting to try an app not available in your country;
You can easily change the App Store country or region. However, if you are facing an error, this guide explains why you cannot change the App Store country or region on your iPhone and how to fix it.
- Cancel active subscriptions
- Spend remaining Apple ID balance
- Wait for a refund or pre-order to complete
- Leave existing Family Sharing
- Ensure you have a payment method for your new country
- Contact Apple Support
1. Cancel active subscriptions
If you have an active subscription, you cannot change your App Store country. It does not matter whether the subscription is for an Apple service like Apple Music, TV+, Arcade, iCloud, or a third-party app like Spotify, YouTube Premium, Canva, etc.
So, if you are looking to change App Store country, ensure you cancel any active subscriptions.
Even after canceling the subscription, you may have to wait until the end of the subscription period.
Note: Subscription has to be purchased/billed from the App Store. If you purchased a subscription outside the App Store (for example, Netflix or Prime Video), you do not need to cancel that.
2. Spend remaining Apple ID balance
Do you have any remaining Apple ID balance or store credit? You can learn how to check your balance here.
If you have even one cent of the remaining balance, you cannot change your App Store country. In this case, either precisely add the amount needed to buy an app, song, or add anything and spend it. After that, try changing the country. Or, you may also contact Apple Support, and they will help you in this situation.
3. Wait for a refund or pre-order to complete
Did you pre-order a game, song, album, movie, app, TV show, or such from the App Store or iTunes Store, and are you waiting for this to be made available? If yes, you cannot change your App Store country unless this pre-ordered item is made available to you. Or unless you cancel the pre-order.
Here is how to view or cancel a pre-order on your iPhone and iPad:
- Open the App Store and tap your profile picture at the top right.
- Tap your name.
- Here, if you see a section called Pre-Orders, that means you have some pre-orders. Tap the pre-ordered item and follow along to cancel it.
- If you do not see a section for pre-order in step 3, you do not have any pending pre-orders.
Additionally, did you request a refund for a purchase? If yes, please wait for it to complete. After that, you can change the App Store country.
Plus, have you rented a movie or TV show from iTunes Store? If yes, you can change the App Store country after you have watched the movie. After renting, you have 30 days to start watching. And once you start watching, you have 48 hours to finish it.
4. Leave existing Family Sharing
If you are a part of the Family Sharing group, you cannot change your App Store country unless you leave it. To stop being a part of Family Sharing:
- Open the iPhone Settings app and tap your name from the top.
- Tap Family Sharing.
- Now, tap your name and finally tap Stop Using Family Sharing.
After this, restart your iPhone and try changing the App Store country. It should work.
5. Ensure you have a payment method for your new country
Apple explicitly mentions on its support page that “Make sure that you have a payment method for your new country or region.”
However, I have changed App Store country several times without needing a payment method. This is because I do not have a valid payment method added to my Apple ID even when I am in my country.
So, if you are moving to a different country for a long time, you likely have a credit card or a local payment method that Apple accepts in the country you are trying to switch to.
Or, you can remove your existing payment method (if using one). After that, restart your iPhone and try changing the App Store country. It will work.
6. Contact Apple Support
Finally, if nothing helps, or if you have pending store credit that isn’t enough to buy even a single item, contact Apple Support. Explain your situation, and they will further assist you by providing personalized account-specific support that is beyond the scope of this post.
This is how you can change App Store country on your iPhone or iPad. Please note that this process is specific to your Apple ID and affects all your devices that have your Apple ID – iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, etc.
I often change the App Store country of my office Apple ID to the USA for app testing purposes. One time I did that and forgot. One of my colleagues, who has a separate office iPhone, but the same office Apple ID, could not download a food delivery app famous in our country (as that app is not available in the USA).
In normal circumstances, if you do not have an active subscription, satisfy the conditions mentioned in this article above, and have a valid address and phone number of the new country, changing App Store country is not a big deal. It is quick and effortless.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach me via the comments sections below.
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