I lived in Canada for several years, but now I live in Norway (again).

In Canada, I have purchased many apps on both the iOS and Mac OS X app stores. Some of these apps I have uninstalled over the years for different reasons.

I have now switched my Apple ID account country setting back to Norway, in order to get better app suggestions, etc. I have also changed my address and credit card.

The problem is that, now I can no longer see the apps that I purchased in Canada in my "Purchases" tab in the App Store, so I cannot re-download/reinstall any of them. When I go to one of these apps in the Norwegian App Store, it's as if I never purchased the app; I have to pay for it again if I want to download it. This goes for both iOS and OS X App Stores.

Does anyone know of a way to download the apps I purchased while my Apple ID account country setting was set to Canada, after having changed the country setting to Norway?

Note that I only have one Apple ID; I simply changed the country setting once to Canada when I moved there, and then back to Norway when I moved back.

Changing my settings back to Canada while living in Norway is not an option, since I no longer have a Canadian address or credit card and, even if I did, I would not want the hassle of switching the country setting back and forth all the time.

  • What hassle?, you only have to do it one time to get your stuff ?
    – user44516
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 23:28
  • 1
    I would have to change it back every time I want to download/re-install an app purchased while my account was set to Canada. I don't want to have them all installed (there are way too many).
    – leifericf
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 9:44
  • You can un istall (deactivate) app but leave a copy in the download folder.
    – user44516
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 10:22
  • I have a no-to-huge SSD drive, and I don't want to keep unnecessary files laying around. Another issue is that I have another MacBook at work, and I would like to install and manage apps that I have purchased in the App Store on both laptops.
    – leifericf
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 11:17
  • 1
    Could you consider changing the accepted answer, please?
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Aug 8, 2022 at 12:13

10 Answers 10


I was pretty much in the same situation as you and got the same answers from iTunes support. Like you, I did not want to manage two Apple IDs. So finally I just switched countries.

Here is what I did:

  • I went to my purchased history before changing the stores and made a screenshot of everything I own (10 pages for iOS and two for OS X).
  • After switching countries, all the apps that I purchased are gone from the purchased list and if I search for an app that I previously bought, instead of getting the cloud icon I just get the price tag.
  • However if you click Buy it will ask you for your password, think for a few seconds and you will get a message, something like "you previously bought this app so now it's free" and you won't be charged.

As long as you know what you have purchased in the past, you can get in now for free.

  • 3
    Oh! Really? I was not aware of this, and I'm surprised Apple support didn't tell me about it. I'll try it.
    – leifericf
    Commented Oct 20, 2013 at 14:06
  • but these newly downloaded apps are not automatically updated, are they? and to update them, do you manually go to the app's page and click update or do you have to delete the app and re-"Buy" it?
    – lhunath
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 15:34
  • 1
    If you have already changed countries and don't want to keep switching back and forth, you can also go to iTunes to find your purchased history, regardless of which country you're currently in: support.apple.com/en-ap/HT204088
    – cregox
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 9:28
  • This should be the correct answer! worked like a charm!
    – yorch
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 1:22
  • 1
    July of 2016, it's working. I'm really happy I found your answer, this should be marked as correct. Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 6:16

Another solution I've seen proposed is the following:

Create separate Apple IDs, one for each country whose store you have apps in. Eg.

  1. [email protected]
  2. [email protected]

On your Mac, create separate user accounts, one for each of your Apple IDs. Eg.

  1. Bob US
  2. Bob CA

Make sure each account is set up with iCloud enabled on their respective Apple IDs. This should enable updates of your Mac apps.

Move your iTunes library to a common location on your computer, out of your home directory. Eg. /Users. Make sure that all of your user accounts have full access permissions to the moved iTunes library (eg. by doing Get Info on the library and setting its permissions to Read & Write for Everyone).

Log into each of your user accounts, start iTunes while holding Option (Alt). This will allow you to select an alternative location for your iTunes library. Find the library you just moved. Do this for each of your user accounts, linking them to the same iTunes library. Make sure each of your user accounts has iTunes started and logged into the store with its respective Apple ID.

For convenience, make sure "Fast user switching" is enabled in System Preferences, this will allow you to quickly switch between your accounts from the menu bar.

Now, to sync your apps, switch to each of your accounts and open iTunes. Finally, sync iTunes to your devices. Note however that you must close iTunes in each account before you switch to the next; you should only have one iTunes open on this shared library at a time.

It's still a bit cludgy, but updates do work and it's much better than logging in and out of all your Apple IDs all the time or switching Billing Address all the time (which often isn't even possible).

Here's to hoping Apple will at some point in the near future become marginally sensible and join the community of global thinkers.


You can not transfer your Canadian account purchases (credentials) to a new account in Norway.

You have to log in to your Canadian account to retrieve your purchases. Your credit card is not relevant since you will not be purchasing new stuff.

You can create new (additional) account in Norway for new purchases.

I would not want the hassle of switching the country setting back and forth all the time.

If it is hassle for you switching the Store ID's then I have no solution for you.

  • 1
    Thanks for the answer, Borderline. I'm not looking to transfer purchases to another account (I don't want two accounts to maintain). I just want to be able to re-download my purchases with the same account without switching countries back and forth, but I guess that's not possible then.
    – leifericf
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 14:18
  • I actually tried doing this today, but it wouldn't allow me to change the country, because I need a valid Canadian credit card to switch back (which I don't have anymore). You need a valid credit card for the country you are switching to, even if you don't make any purchases.
    – leifericf
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 18:04
  • 1
    strange, I am connected to Apple Store without valid card ?
    – user44516
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 19:36
  • Yeah, it's a bit odd. I thought it would be possible, but it seems like it's not. When I enter my Norwegian credit card, I get an "Sorry, this credit card is not valid in Canada" message. Think I will try to call Apple support and ask then what to do about this and update this thread for other readers.
    – leifericf
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 17:46
  • 1
    you can simply choose "None" as a method of payment now Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 11:41

In the same situation: Bought an app in a country and now I'm living in a different country where I have the same apple ID but the credit card details (and hence the iTunes store) are set for the country in which I reside now.

I've contacted Apple Support and they basically said that an app purchased in one country is not available in the cloud in another country. Pretty disappointing.

  • Yes, this is the same answer I got as well. Support said that I basically need to switch country if I want to access apps I purchased previously, which is a pain after having lived in several countries and you don't remember which country you had chosen at the time you purchased a particular application.
    – leifericf
    Commented Oct 4, 2013 at 8:43

I just had this issue recently i wanted to download a few apps from my previous country... and the apple consultants emailed me saying that I can just go ahead and re-purchase the apps and he'll redeem those (provided you hv proof of receipts).

It's a hassle & yes Apple should hv just allow us to merge apps no matter where on earth we buy the apps from. After all it's the same iTunes account & it's under Apple Store.

  • Apple support gave me the same info; to repurchase. However, when I did, they didn't actually charge me for it. I got a message like: "Since you've already purchased this app, it will be downloaded for free." But the app actually shows a price until you "buy" it, which is confusing.
    – leifericf
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 8:53

News: up to 2017-10-05, iTunes in iOS can show past purchases after switching account region. Tested under US region (previously CHINA).

I switched my account from CHINA to US at 2017-07-29, and was also very depressed by the fact that purchased became empty. But today I found all my purchased apps are back, I also confirmed with my friend who has the same problem with me, it seems Apple has finally fixed this after so many years. I didn't find a official announcement, but I still want to inform this news to the community, let's see if it really works globally.

NOTE: try log out and log in before checking purchased.


I have checked today (12 October 2017) on macOs High Sierra and iOS 11.0.3 and all my purchases from previous country store are back! Try yourself!

I cannot however see apps that are not available in Polish store, which is understandable.

Background: I have switched US iTunes store to a Polish around 6 months ago. As I expected my past purchases were not listed in "Purchased" but if an app was available in US and Polish store than I could re-download without paying. But even then, items were not added to my purchased list. Now I can see everything. Even purchases from my family members who also switched country from US to Polish and we have connected as a family after that switch. It looks like Apple have changed their mind.

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    – fsb
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 19:40

After numerous phone-calls and emails back and forth with Apple, there is no ideal solution to this problem. Their solution is to change your account's country (which means that you'll need to provide a different credit card, etc.), if you wish to re-download an application which was purchased while you account was set to a different country.


Instead of trying to update the apps through your computer, try updating all of them directly on your iPhone/iPad. For me it worked and then I transferred those purchases to my PC as well.


In 2015, you just have to scroll into applestore the software you already purchased in other countries. Normally you will see the button with its current price. Then click on it, enter your iTunes password and you will see another textbook saying that you already purchased this article so you can download it for free. Very easy !!!!

  • Yeah, I just noticed this last week actually. I wish they had made it even easier to spot, though, by making the button which normally shows the price just show "Download" instead if already purchased in the past. As it is, one needs to click the button with the price, not being sure if already purchased in the past, before one gets the popup saying that the download will be free. Not an optimal user experience.
    – leifericf
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 10:42

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