Mac App store – creating an Apple ID without needing a credit card

It looks like Apple would like everyone on the planet to have at least one Apple ID.

If you’ve received a new Mac recently, it will have come with the iLife suite, iMovie, iPhoto and Garageband.

Chances are at some stage you’ll run software update (normally I end up doing this to update iTunes), and find an update to one of these apps.

They’re not paid apps, but when you try to update them you’ll most likely be asked for an Apple ID.

Trying to create an Apple ID through Apple’s website, or through the Mac App Store (by clicking the Create Apple ID button on the sign-in screen) takes you through a process which, when you get to the Provide a Payment Method screen, only gives you options for credit cards (this is the case in New Zealand – I assume the same in the rest of the world). To update a free app it doesn’t seem fair to have to enter credit card details,

There is a way round this, and it’s similar to creating an Apple ID to download free apps.

In the Mac App Store, find a free app (Google Earth, Evernote are apps I use). Go through the process of obtaining these apps;

  1. Click the button to install the app
  2. You’ll be asked to sign-in
  3. Click the Create Apple ID button
  4. Complete the fields required to create an Apple ID, but, because you’re trying to obtain a free app, there will be a “None” payment option available.
  5. Select this option, then download the free app. (You’ll need to verify the new Apple ID in your email).

Now that you have your Apple ID with no payment details saved, you should be able to go ahead and update your free apps from Apple.


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