Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I bought my mother an iPad 2 as a gift for her birthday, hoping that it would enable my toddler son to do Facetime with his grandmother.

I tried to walk her through the activation process (over email) by having her download iTunes to her Windows laptop, etc. She managed to do that much, but when the activation process asked her to create an Apple ID and give a credit card number, she refused to proceed.

I can't imagine that she would even buy an app, or music, or a book. I thought the device would be worth it just for mobile Safari, Facetime, and the other built in apps.

Is it possible to activate the device without creating an Apple ID? If not, is it possible to get around the credit-card number field?

share|improve this question
While this question is tagged with ipad, it's applicable to computers (eg MacBooks) as well. – Andrew Grimm Aug 2 '15 at 23:16
up vote 12 down vote accepted

I think you are going to need an iTunes account, but you can get around the need of a credit card. You can follow Apple's support documentation on how to setup an iTunes account without a credit card. You can use a Mac to make a free account that works on iOS and iOS to make a free account that works on Mac. Once your iTunes store account is set up once, you might want to avoid creating a second one since they cannot be merged later.

share|improve this answer
Awesome. I didn't know that was possible. – wjl Apr 11 '11 at 2:39
Also, it is possible to set up an account with an iTunes gift card alone. That's the way I have mine set up, and if I want to add to its balance, I purchase another "gift" card. – timothymh Jan 19 '12 at 3:07

Open iTunes without account and try to download a free app. Then create a new id and click on non credit card option and fill the all details. Make sure your password has at least one upper case letter.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.