Moving to a new country and retaining purchases
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I currently live and work in Japan, but I will soon retire in the United States. I have purchased music and iBooks for my iPhone 4S and my iPad 2 (owned by my Japanese university). How can I ensure that my music and iBooks will be transferred to my new iPhone and iPad that I plan to purchase in the U.S.?
A: Restrictions on content purchased from the iTunes Store are based on the account with which the content was purchased, and have nothing to do with where your devices were purchased, or your actual physical location.
Apple enforces country-based restrictions for an iTunes Store account when you first setup the account simply by ensuring that you have a billing address in the appropriate country. An iTunes Store account, however, can be setup and used from anywhere in the world; you need to have a credit card with a billing address in the appropriate country in order to purchase new items, but your account can be used for any items you’ve already purchased regardless of where you are physically located.
Note that music you’ve purchased from the iTunes Store after 2009 won’t be DRM-protected anyway, and you can actually use this content on any device that supports the AAC audio file format regardless of iTunes Store authorization. Other content such as iBooks, movies, TV shows and apps, as well as older music purchased from the iTunes Store, require iTunes Store authorization and you will therefore need to ensure that your device is associated with the appropriate iTunes Store account.
Assuming that you have purchased these items yourself, with your own Japanese iTunes Store account, you should have no problem loading them onto your U.S. purchased iPad and iPhone. If you’re using a laptop or desktop computer with iTunes installed and these items are already in your iTunes library, you can simply load them onto your new devices directly from there; the authorization to use the items is added to your device when the items are transferred over.
If the purchased items are only on your existing devices, then we recommend that you transfer them back to your iTunes library on your computer by using the “Transfer Purchases” option found in iTunes. See our iPod 201 article, Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer for more information on how to do this. Once in your library, they will be available for transfer to any new devices that you purchase in the future.
Alternatively, you could rely on simply re-downloading them to your new devices via iTunes in the Cloud, however one limitation to be aware of is that a given iOS device can only re-download previously purchased content from one account per 90 days, so if you plan to setup a new iTunes Store account in the U.S., you may want to avoid tying your iOS device(s) into your Japanese iTunes Store account in this manner. Further, it’s always a good idea to have your own copy of any purchased items as you can only re-download items from the iTunes Store if they are still actually available on the iTunes Store. See Secrets & Features of iCloud for more information on iTunes in the Cloud.
An iPod or iOS device can be authorized to play content from up to five different iTunes Store accounts, so you shouldn’t have any problem using content purchased with your Japanese iTunes Store account alongside any content you purchase with your U.S. iTunes Store account on the same devices.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Report: AirPods delay due to problems with wireless audio synchronization
- Apple offering hands-on demos of Super Mario Run in stores
- Report: Apple pursuing studio agreements for early movie rentals
- Apple releases seventh beta of iOS 10.2 to developers
- Apple makes its picks for best iPhone, iPad and Apple TV apps of 2016
- Apple acknowledges Apple Music now includes ‘all the benefits of iTunes Match’
- Apple Music tops 20 million subscribers
- Apple blames ‘external factors’ for iPhone fires in China
- Rumor: 2017 iPhones won’t include glass chassis or wireless charging; will add red color
- Top Apple supplier Foxconn planning U.S. investment
- Elgato Eve Light Switch
- iHome iPLWBT5 Docking Clock Radio for iPhone and Apple Watch
- Brydge 12.9 iPad Pro Keyboard
- Sen.se GuardPeanut
- iHome iZBT10 Zenergy Bedside Sleep Therapy Speaker
- Twelve South HiRise Duet for Apple Watch and iPhone
- IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor
- JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Heart Rate Headphones
- Edifier e235 Luna E Speaker System
- Clamcase ClamCase+ for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10