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?

  • While this question is tagged with ipad, it's applicable to computers (eg MacBooks) as well. Aug 2, 2015 at 23:16

3 Answers 3


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.

  • Awesome. I didn't know that was possible.
    – wjl
    Apr 11, 2011 at 2:39
  • 5
    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.
    – Tuesday
    Jan 19, 2012 at 3:07

You can use most of iPad's built-in apps without an Apple ID, such as Safari, maps, mail, camera. However, certain ones do require an Apple ID such as Facetime. You can create an Apple ID without a credit card by using an iTunes gift card, or following the URL in vcsjones' answer.

If you want to use the iPad without an Apple ID, select these options at setup:

  1. Don't have an Apple ID or forgot it
  2. Set Up Later in Settings
  3. Don't Use

This is useful because you if enter your Apple ID at setup, it will automatically login you into iCloud and sync all your iCloud data. If you skip the Apple ID at setup, then you can enter it later for App Store downloads without syncing all your iCloud data.


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.

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