How to Sign Up for a Free Apple ID for the iTunes Store

Want to buy or stream music and movies from Apple? You need an Apple ID

AppleID sign in option for OS X Yosemite
Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.

If you're just getting into the world of digital music and streaming movies or want to start purchasing a range of other digital products too like audiobooks and apps, then the iTunes Store is a great resource. Having an iTunes account is essential if you want to buy or redeem iTunes Gift Cards or access the free downloads that you'll find at the iTunes Store.

You don't need an iPhone, iPad, or iPod to use Apple's online store—although owning one makes it a more seamless experience.

Here's How to Sign Up for an Apple ID and iTunes Account Using iTunes

If you use a computer, here's how you create your free iTunes account at the iTunes Store:

  1. Launch the iTunes software. If you don't already have it installed on your computer, download the latest version from the iTunes website.

  2. At the top of the iTunes screen, click the Store option.

  3. Click Sign In near the top of the iTunes Store screen.

  4. Click the Create New Account button on the dialog screen that appears.

  5. On the welcome screen that appears, click Continue.

  6. Read Apple's terms and conditions. If you agree with them and want to create an account, click the check box next to I have read and agree to these terms and conditions. Click Continue to proceed.

  7. On the Provide Apple ID Details screen, enter all the information that is required to set up an Apple ID. This includes your email address, password, birthdate, and a secret question and answer in case you forget your security credentials. If you don't want to receive communications from Apple via email, clear one or both check boxes depending on your requirements. Click Continue.

  8. If you're going to pay for iTunes purchases by credit card, choose your credit card type by clicking one of the radio buttons and entering your card's details in the relevant fields. Next, enter your billing address details that are registered to your credit card, followed by the Continue button.

  9. If you choose PayPal instead of a credit card, you'll be asked to click Continue to verify your PayPal details. This takes you to another screen in your internet browser where you can sign into your PayPal account and then click the displayed Agree and Continue button.

  10. Your iTunes account is now created, and you should see a congratulations screen that verifies you now have an iTunes account. Click the Done button to finish.

Browse iTunes to see all the content it contains. If you decide to buy something, just click the Buy button and the price is charged to the payment method you chose during registration. If you click an item with a Free button, it downloads, and you are not charged a fee. The Apple ID you created to use in iTunes can also be used on other devices to sign into the service. You don't need more than one Apple ID.

How to Sign Up at Apple's Website

You can also create an Apple ID directly on the Apple website. This method has the fewest steps. 

  1. Go to the Create Your Apple ID webpage.

  2. Enter your name, birthdate, and a password. Select and answer three security questions, which will be used to recover your password if you ever forget it.

  3. Enter the captcha code at the bottom of the screen and click Continue.

  4. Enter your payment option—either a credit card or PayPal account. Follow the instructions for the method you choose.

  5. Agree to Apple's terms and conditions.

  6. Click Create Apple ID.

You should still download iTunes to see everything it offers and to take advantage of the free material, which changes regularly. ITunes is available for Windows and Mac computers and Apple iOS mobile devices.