Apple - Do I need to repurchase apps if I moved countries?

So... unfortunately the answer is...

Yes, but there are ways around it...

All the apps you bought in country A are permanently assigned to your AppleID. Once you move to country B and you updated your details (billing address) you:

  • still can use them
  • you cannot re-download them
  • you cannot update them
  • you cannot convert your music to iTunes Plus (but still can listen, obviously)

There are two solutions to this:

  1. Switch Store's country and update your billing details each time you want to get your apps up to date (or re-download them). But this is a rather painful process, so a better solution is to...
  2. Create a new AppleID with the billing details for the country B. Switching between AppleIDs is much easier and quicker than switching Store's country and updating your billing address.

Let me quote why it has to be this way:

[...] this how iTunes has been designed.

So. It's gonna be problematic, but nothing can be done really. :(

In the past you couldn't do this without contacting support. I don't know when Apple changed iTunes on the computers, but you can simply sign in to your account and switch countries as long as you are not enrolled in iTunes Match or carrying a balance on your current store. Cancel or spend down as needed and then you can start the process of switching.

I do not recommend anyone switch countries lightly - there are serious downsides like no longer getting re-downloads, app updates, and general confusion from support since an account that started in one country and migrated to another is an edge case that breaks many assumptions about how the app store works (and doesn't work).

iTunes screen to change your country or region for purchases

Also, I feel the need to reiterate, I do not recommend most people to ever switch an account with any apps you are not ready to simply repurchase to another country.

Losing app updates in the future is hard to guess and this switch is quite disruptive - moreso than juggling two accounts on one device in my experience.

There is no problem with switching the billing country as of November 2016 in terms of purchases.

Except, the only problem I had (after completely switching countries, in fact with different currencies) was that my purchase list in the App Store app was empty. It was an all new computer with no previous installations.

Here is how it worked: once I find an app via Search, click BUY, the App Store app says something along the lines of "there is no need to purchase this app because you already own it" and then it downloads it without any problems.

So I suppose Apple fixed it with the only issue being the purchases list.


Apple Id