How to Buy an App for Mac and iOS (Even Those Not in Your Country)

“There’s an app for that.” This phrase is so quintessentially Apple that the brand literally trademarked the phrase back in 2010.

However, knowing that there’s an app for something and being able to find said app and buy it from the app store are two different things. Not sure how to buy an app on your Apple devices? Never fear! Our guide will show you how to find, buy, and download any app you may need, even those locked to different countries!

How to Buy an App on iOS or Mac

The process for buying an app on iOS and Mac follows almost the exact same steps. This is due to their high degree of compatibility, even before the advent of the Apple M1 chip that lets most recent Macs use apps programmed for iOS. So, to download and purchase an app for these devices, you must:

Navigate to the App Store

Figure out where you last left the App Store app on your iPhone or Mac. It’s one of the few apps that you can’t delete by accident, thankfully. So, scroll through your existing or pre-installed apps until you find the A-shaped logo on a blue background. Then, tap or click on it.

If you removed the App Store from your taskbar somehow, you can search in Launchpad on Macs to locate it.

Search for the App You Want

Once you’ve opened the App Store, you can search for the app you need. You can either search by name by tapping on the search bar or go through the categories to find something in a specific field. Once you’ve found the app that you need, tap or click on it to get to its page.

Tap on the Price or the Get Button

Once you’re on the app page, you should see either the “Get” button or a price button. That’s what you need to tap to buy an Apple app on your phone or Mac.

However, keep in mind that even if you only see the “Get” button, the app may have a subscription or other in-app purchases. These can lead to unexpected or unwanted charges on your Apple account. Check out this guide to learn how to check Apple charges.

Enter Your Apple ID When Prompted

After tapping the Get button, you may be prompted to log in to your Apple ID or confirm the purchase. When this happens, simply enter your password or confirmation code.

Enter Your Payment Information

Once your Apple ID has been confirmed, you’ll be asked to enter payment information. Here’s where you break out your credit or debit card in order to pay for your purchases. If you already have cards linked to your Apple Pay or a gift card redeemed to your account, you can use that information instead.

Once the payment processes, congratulations! You just purchased and downloaded your first app!

How to Buy an App That’s Not Available in Your Country

Now, let’s get into the technical side of things. Let’s say that you’re a huge fan of gacha mobile games. While most of the popular ones have received US ports to resounding success, a vast majority of them remain JP exclusive. Or worse, they release content on a staggered schedule with the EN version of the app.

So, how are you to get an app that isn’t available in your country? You follow the steps below:

Log Out of Your Apple ID

First things first, you need to log out of your current Apple ID. Your Apple ID shows your current region, which means that any apps region-locked for you won’t show up if you stay logged in. 

So, log all the way out of your account on all devices, just to be safe.

Create a New Apple ID Account

Next, you need to create a new Apple ID account. This Apple ID will serve as your dummy account for the region from which you want to download apps and other content. Enter all the required fields, including the country/region where your desired app resides.

Tap continue, enter the verification code from your email, and activate your new Apple ID.

Find the App You Want and Download It

With that done, you can open the App Store and search for the formerly region-locked app that you wanted to download. You remember how to download an app from the store from earlier, right? The same steps apply here, though you might need assistance searching for the right app in your new region’s language.

Log In With This New Account

Once you click on the price or Get button, you’ll be prompted to log in to this new account. Enter your new Apple ID’s login and password, then click ahead.

Fill Out Your Billing Information

From here, you’ll receive a prompt to choose a payment method. You have to choose None in order for this trick to work. From there, enter your US billing information and confirm it. And now, you know how to buy an app, even if it’s region-locked for a different country!

Looking for More Tech Tips and How-Tos?

We hope that this guide on how to buy an app on Mac and iOS helped you understand the process a bit better. You might have learned of a way to access content you never thought you could see before due to region locking! However, this is far from the only thing you can do with your Apple ID.

If you’d like to learn more about the cool things your Apple account enables you to do, then check out our blog! We update each day with more handy tech how-tos like this one.