How to fix “This Apple ID is only valid for use in the U.S. Store”

While googling a Japanese musician recently, I followed an Apple Music link, which opened the Music app on my iPad with this message:

Item Not Available: The item you've requested is not currently available in the U.S. Store, but it is available in the Japanese Store. Tap Change Store to view this item.​
Item Not Available: The item you’ve requested is not currently available in the U.S. Store, but it is available in the Japanese Store. Tap Change Store to view this item.

This dialog makes the Change Store option seem pretty innocent, and you might assume (like I did) that changing back to your home store would be easy and obvious.

But I found the iOS/iPadOS Music app was “stuck” in the Japanese store after this. My “Browse” suggestions were all from that store, and when I tried to actually play any music in the app, I got this message:

This​ Apple ID is only valid for use in the U.S. Store.
This Apple ID is only valid for use in the U.S. Store.

At this point the problem is that if you go searching for how to change what iTunes / App / Apple Music store you are using, all of the results are long, inconvenient processes that involve cancelling all of your subscriptions and backing up all of your purchased media. If you are permanently emmigrating from one country to another and want your account associated with your new home nation’s store, then you really do have to do all that stuff. But if, like I did, you just ended up stuck in the wrong store through viewing an artist or album from a different country, then you haven’t actually changed what country your Apple ID is connected to, so you don’t have to do all of that!

The Fix

In short: you just have to sign out of the App Store in the iOS Settings app. When you sign back in, it will use the correct stores for whatever country your Apple ID is associated with. To do this, open Settings and select your Apple ID settings. Then tap “Media & Purchases”:

Media & Purchases

Rather than opening a panel, that will just open a small dialog box that includes a Sign Out option. Tap Sign Out:

Sign Out

It will ask if you’re sure you want to do this—you are. Note that this only signs your account out of the App Store and the media stores; it doesn’t affect anything else on your device using your Apple ID, so it won’t force you to later reload your entire iCloud Photo Library, for example.

Now tap Media & Purchases again. This time it will open a dialog asking if you want to setup Media & Purchases using the Apple ID you’re otherwise using on your device.

Just tap “Continue”, and you’re done! When you sign back in, you’ll be setup to use the stores for whatever country your Apple ID is associated with. I quit the Music app to force it to reload, but I don’t know if that’s necessary. When I opened it again, I was back (for better and for worse) in the U.S. store, and I was once again able to play my music.

I was very relieved that I didn’t have to go through the entire “so you’re migrating to a new country” process outlined in the help documents, but this still seems like a lot of completely unnecessary stress. If Apple wants to let people switch stores easily in order to view music from other countries, they need to have an equally easy and obvious way to switch back. Or better yet, just automatically switch users back to their home country rather that displaying the useless and misleading “This Apple ID is only valid for use in the U.S. Store” message.

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