Changing the country/region on my Apple ID. How should I go about it?

I moved back to India from the US 8 years ago but held on to my US Apple ID as the iTunes and App Stores didn’t have a presence in India at the time. For a number of reasons (difficulty with payment methods and lack of local apps being the prime ones) I am thinking of changing the country on my Apple ID from the US to India. Like any member of the Mac Power User community, I have bought a sizeable number of apps over the years and would hate to lose access to them.

My aunt had made the same change on her Apple ID in 2014 and had lost access to her apps as a result (she couldn’t redownload them without having to buy them again.) At the time a support representative of Apple had said the following:

“If the App is not giving you an option to re-download it without a cost, you may have to repurchase the app as it is a completely different registration code and price when in a different country. You could attempt to re-download it and see if it tells you its already been purchased and allows you to download it for free, but I cannot guarantee this would be the case. “

I don’t want to land in a similar situation. From some reading I have done on the Internet about the issue (here and here) it seems as if it is possible to redownload past purchases after changing countries but that they do not show up on the Purchased list and that the app is shown with a price instead of the cloud icon but that the amount is not actually charged.

I have listed some specific questions I have below but would love to hear from all of you about best practices you recommend and pitfalls I should avoid.

  1. Will I be able to download the apps that I bought in the US App Store in the Indian App Store?
  2. What about in-app purchases? It seems like this is a bit of a gray area.
  3. Apparently past music purchases are not available upon changing the country. Is this true?
  4. Apple mentions downgrading iCloud storage before changing countries. Are the contents of my iCloud Drive likely to get adversely affected because of the change?

Thanks as always!

I did this once, I called support and they migrated all the purchases over that they could. The in app purchases caused problems but as I only cared about 1Password I just bought it again. Not all purchases transfer, but support can give you more details.


Hey @RosemaryOrchard, so I just got around to talking to Apple Support about this. They didn’t offer to migrate everything over but said that I should be able to get all my apps to work in the future (including getting updates) except for in-app purchases and content that’s not available in the Indian iTunes Store by simply switching over.

Could you please elaborate on how it was that Apple Support migrated your purchases over? Also, do you think I ought to nuke and pave my devices or should simply switching countries suffice? Thanks as always, Rose :slight_smile:

An update to my own question in case it is of use to anyone else contemplating a similar move. I went ahead with changing countries (US to India) and, a month or so down the line, am happy to note that everything went extremely smoothly. I am able to access and install all the apps that I had purchased on the US store and they get updated without any issues as well. Here is what I did:

  1. I backed up all my iTunes purchases; apps, music, movies and books. Since iTunes 12 doesn’t allow you to back up apps I did so on a spare Mac on which I installed iTunes 11 (there is still a supported version that is available from Apple.)

  2. I called Apple Support as @RosemaryOrchard had said that they had helped her transfer purchases over. They weren’t able to do so for me but told me that I should have access to all my purchases as long as they were available on the Indian iTunes Store.

  3. I downgraded my iCloud storage plan to the free 5 GB tier (I was on the monthly plan and had to call Apple Support to have the plan end earlier than it originally would have) and cancelled my only subscription, which was an annual subscription to Overcast Premium. Interestingly, I continue to have access to Overcast Premium and expect to have it until my annual plan ends in April 2019.

  4. I had a fair bit of store credit, which I used up with the kind help of the folks here.

That was it really and luckily everything works just fine. I found this article by Jordan Merrick to be extremely helpful.