If you don't have a credit card, or don't like to put your cards on file in company databases, are you locked out of the iTunes fun? Even though there's lots of free content to download there, is there any way to create an iTunes account with no credit card?
Last Updated: Sept. 20, 2011
For quite a long time, the answer was no. You had to have a credit card on file in your iTunes account in order to be able to download from iTunes, no matter whether you were downloading a free item or not. But, with the introduction of the App Store, that changed. With so many apps being free, it made sense that you should be able to create an iTunes account even if you don't put a credit card on file with Apple.
Doing this, though, isn't the same as creating a regular iTunes account. Here's what you need to do:
- Begin by going to the App Store in iTunes (it has to be the App Store; this won't work if you're trying to download music) or the App Store app on your iOS device (make sure you're signed out of any account that might exist on the computer or device)
- Find a free app and download it
- When you do this, a window pops up asking you to either create an account or sign into an existing one. Choose Create New Account
- Agree to the iTunes Terms and Conditions
- Fill out the basic account info, including email address and the password you want to use
- On the payment info page, choose None
- Fill out the other requested information (address, phone, etc.) and click Create Account
- This creates your new iTunes account. An email will be sent to the address you used to confirm the account
- You're now able to download free content--apps, music, video, etc.--from the iTunes Store whenever you want. Of course, if you want something that has a price attached to it, you'll still need to provide a means of payment--which takes us to our next point.
Two Other Ways: Gift Cards and PayPal
If you are buying something that's not free, you'll need to provide some way two pay Apple. If you still don't want to put a credit card on file, you have to options: a gift card or PayPal. Follow these instructions on how to redeem a gift card to add those funds to your account, or choose PayPal instead of none in step 6 above.
You can also use a gift card to create an account without a credit card. To do that, make sure you're signed out of any accounts on that computer, redeem the card, and then create an account when the create/sign in window pops up. Once the funds from that gift card have expired, though, you'll need to have some other way to pay for non-free content.
Got a tech support question? Ask it in the discussion forums.
Want tips like this delivered to your email every week? Subscribe to the free weekly email.