If you’re not from the US and have already started an iTunes account based in your own country, you probably know you’re treated as a second rate iTunes citizen. Some applications, podcasts, etc… are just not allowed simple because we’re not “based in the US of A”. I was really, really annoyed that I couldn’t download the FREE Photoshop App or the Kindle for iPhone and resolved to “fix it somehow”.
Here’s the typical “You’re not American” error that you may encounter. It actually says, “Your account is only valid for purchases in the Malaysian (or wherever you’re from) iTunes Store. Clicking OK will take you to this store.” But I am not PURCHASING anything! The app is FREEEEE! Gaah…
The requirements to start a US based iTunes account are a US based snail mail address and a US based payment mode (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover or a US based PayPal account). If you don’t have one of the above, you can’t start up an account, unless you follow the steps given below.
Before we begin, all you need is to “borrow” a US based snail mail address (don’t ask me where to borrow it from!) and have an alternative email account. Then, you’re set to proceed. After all, in this day and age, who doesn’t have access to yet-another-email-account! Here’s the cheat sheet with detailed instructions to follow.
#1: Start up iTunes. Sign out of your existing account, if you’re currently logged in.
#2: Scroll to the bottom of the iTunes Store.
#3: Set My Store to United States.
#4: Go to the search bar at the top right hand corner of iTunes. Key the name of a free application – Skype, TweetDeck or Photoshop will work.
#5: Click on the Get App button that should appear next to the free application you just searched for.
#6: A dialog box will pop up asking you to sign in or create a new account. Click on Create a New Account.
#7: Click on Continue at the next introduction screen.
#8: In the Terms & Conditions, make sure it states, “If the billing address of your payment information is not in the United States, click here“. If it does not say that, go back to Step #3. Accept the terms and proceed.
#9: On the next screen, enter the alternative email address of yours (make sure you have not signed up for an iTunes account with this address before), a secure password, security question & answer and date of birth.
#10: The next section presents you with payment options. Click on None.
(I know I’m going to get questions on why there is no option for None, so I’d better answer it here. You MUST go through steps #4 and #5 before you get this option).
#11: You’re almost done! An email has been dispatched to the email address you provided earlier, and you need to verify you have access to that account.
#12: Check your email and click on the link that is sent to you.
#13: When you click on it, your browser will redirect you to return to iTunes again.
#14: You will be asked to sign into your iTunes account. Use the new credentials you just created to login.
#15: And you’re done! Give yourself a pat on the back as you go to the comments section to tell me about your success.