How to Change iTunes Store Countries and Still Update Your App’s

UPDATE: It seems that Apple has fixed this issue, as all my apps are now appearing and updating via iTunes, so hopefully this is the same for everyone else. About time Apple !

UPDATE 2: So it seems I was premature in my praise of Apple and the issue is not actually fixed (see comments). At this stage my feeling is that I can now update my app’s by taking advantage of the “bug” that allows the iPhone/iPad to still update app’s I purchase from the old country store. Looking back my Mac started updating these apps about the time I enabled wi-fi sync on those devices, so perhaps this is a possible work around ?

Are you moving country?

Did you buy a whole heap of apps in your old countries iTunes store ?
Then you probably know the pain that many others are suffering.
Due to some crazy “un-apple” like reason you cannot update those app’s in your new country. The most frustrating thing is that iTunes will recognize when there is an update and tell you, but when you hit the update button, you get a nice screen telling you that all your apps are unto date… yet a notification badge will appear on you app’s menu bar, telling you other wise.
The most frustrating thing is that you have no idea which app needs updating.
You like most will then contact Apple support, which will then give you the silly work around of login back into your original country, changing all your credit card details and information back to exactly how they were before you moved, and then updating. Lets not even mention the fact that this may not be possible if you cancelled your old bank account.

So what do you do ?

Here is the work around (which still kinda sucks but its better than nothing)

1) Delete all your old apps from iTunes (but keep a list of those before you do that)
2) Switch your country in you iTunes account to your new country, and then make sure you are in the new country store.
3) Start re-downloading all those apps again. Don’t worry if they are paid apps, iTunes will recognize that you previously purchased them and not charge you. You will get a popup after clicking the buy icon, telling you that its free.
4) You now have all your app’s from you new country ! BUT
5) this still doesn’t seem to 100% fix the problem. For some reason some app’s fail to update. BUT
6) Updating via you iDevice does now work, so in future always update via your iPhone/Pad and then transfer those purchases back to your desktop next time you sync.

NB: make sure you keep a copy of all those original apps, just in case some of them are no available in your new place. You might not be able to easily update them but at least you can still use them.

Its beyond me that Apple can recognize that you have previously purchased an item from another country, allow you to re-download that app as many times as you like, but not update it… absolutely crazy. They need to fix this


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7 responses to “How to Change iTunes Store Countries and Still Update Your App’s”

  1. Hass Chapman says :

    Actually it’s not fixed. And I have moved from Sweden to Germany and all my Swedish apps aren’t actually available in the German store. This sucks.

    • ScienceTechBlog says :

      Ah thats bad news. I have a feeling that perhaps the reason why its “fixed” for me is that I have enabled wifi-sync on my iPhone/iPad and that perhaps they have somehow in parted their ability to download updates from the other store to my mac.

  2. Rodrigo Ruiz says :

    I deleted all apps and still, when I download them, the ones I had on my old country still shows as not downloaded (“Free” or “Their Price”).

    Have anyone found a work around for this?

    Thanks in advance.

    • ScienceTechBlog says :

      You can go ahead and re-download all of those apps. ITunes will recognize that you previously purchased that app after you hit the buy button. It’s a bit scary but it works.

      • Rodrigo Ruiz says :

        Maybe, I haven’t tried with a paid app, but when I re-download a Free app, it still shows Free instead of Downloaded, and does not automatically update with itunes.

  3. anonym says :

    There’s a workaround:

    You have to go to your account details and then change to the store where you bought your apps. Then just click on the “apps” icon in iTunes and search for updates. Last step, press update all free apps (Top right).

    Hope it helps.

  4. ashfdc says :

    Bit late to this party I know, but thought I’d add my experience. I moved UK to Netherlands, and like others lost my purchase history. I just went to pay again for Pixelmator, and when I clicked it told me this update was free as I had previously purchased the app, and it installed with no charge. Time will tell if there is a problem later when a new update appears.

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