I want to download and install an app on my iPhone, that is available in the US iTunes App Store - but not in my country's iTunes App Store.

Is that possible without creating a US iTunes account or jailbreaking my phone?

  • @Kjensen Purchase a US iTunes gift card online jerrycards.com
    – Simon
    Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 13:35

7 Answers 7


A common way to work around the cross-border restrictions of the iTunes store is by using pre-paid iTunes cards. These are often available on eBay and you can redeem them in the iTunes store for the country of origin (assuming you want US items, you need to buy a pre-paid card from the US.)

  • Can I switch to US App Store, from existing non US account?
    – rraallvv
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 22:07

It is not possible.

The author of the app selects where the app will sell, and would not be available in other countries.

  • The answer saying it is the app author who decides which countries it is sold in, is a misleading fabrication by someone who simply does not know what they are talking about. I live in Hong Kong and can install Google Earth on my iPad, Desktop - anything - EXCEPT my iPhone. This is a restriction based on Apple "grouping" countries together - Hong Kong is part of China - and satellite imagery is restricted to the entire country group. The correct answer is that is it Apple themselves who decide for whatever undisclosed reason they feel appropriate. Applies to both free and paid apps.
    – user13723
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 4:54
  • 1
    As an app developer, I can assure you that we absolutely do get to decide which countries we want to distribute to. By default all countries are selected, but you have the option of disabling any as you choose. I believe the most common reason to disable specific countries is due to an app containing copyrighted content that is licensed only for use within a single country. Another common reason is where an app isn't useful in a country because it hasn't been localized, and the developer doesn't want it to sit there and get bad reviews. Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 5:01

It IS possible. I have done this. I can't imagine why an app developer wouldn't want everyone to buy their app.

This whole situation seems to be born out of some aspect of international distribution rights, it's archaic but can be legitimately navigated.

The way you have to do it is to change your iTunes billing information to use an account that is billed in a country where that app is "available". Then you'll be able to buy that content just fine and your existing content will function fine too. I operated this way for about a year. I had a friend open a bank account and I gave him money through paypal. He then let me use that account for iTunes access. I don't know of an easier way....


There are OTHER ways too, but I'm pretty sure such discourse is not permitted here. And actually, I haven't explored those as I fear big brother will have a temper tantrum.


It's possible. I kept my SIM card issued by a US telco and have that in my iPhone when I need to download and install app from iTunes US AppStore. I switch back to my Lebanese telco issued SIM card to use my phone where I am now.


Have you tried going to iTunes on a computer and just changing the store to the US App store? It's a long shot, but there is functionality to shop another countries store simply by clicking the flag at the bottom of your main iTunes store page. Scroll to the bottom and try switching to US.

If you wanted to switch permanently, see here for a self service solution:

  • That does not work. You can see the shop, but you cant buy anything.
    – Kjensen
    Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 18:21
  • Hmm - the last link should work, but I think there are some checks to make sure you actually have a presence in the new country before you can switch.
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 18:33

I live in Canada and use an alternate account for US only apps. My alternate account just has a fake address/zip code from the US, and as such, is tied to the US App Store instead of Canada's

However, when updating apps it's necessary to enter passwords for both accounts, since both accounts might have apps to be updated.


Use a VPN for either your phone or computer should work. Just my 2 cents

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