How do I change the payment information attached to my Apple ID account? And is it possible to use an Apple ID without any payment info at all - no credit or debit card or whatever?

It's tricky to own and use an iPhone or iPad without an Apple ID; your Apple identity is a critical element in the company's efforts to unify your experience across multiple apps and even devices. (It's so fundamental a part of the package that iOS will urge you to sign into or create an Apple ID while you're setting it up for the first time.)

More importantly for many users, your Apple ID is tied to payment information; with Apple acting as a trusted financial gatekeeper, users feel confident buying apps, books and other media through iOS's various portals, and those portals are able to be frictionless because they don't all have to ask for your payment details separately.

If the payment information associated with your Apple ID is out of date or mistaken, you'll want to correct it, which is what we'll be looking at in this tutorial. Read on to find out how to change Apple ID payment information associated with an Apple ID.

Read next: How to change or reset Apple ID | How to unlock a disabled Apple ID

How to change Apple ID payment information: On iPad, iPhone & iPod touch

You can easily change your Apple ID account's payment details on an iOS device. Open the Settings apps and select iTunes & App Store. Tap your Apple ID (which will be listed at the top), and then View Apple ID. At this point it is likely that you'll be asked to verify your identity by entering a password or Touch ID.

Next, select Payment Information, and review the details stored here. Select and edit any information that is wrong or needs to be changed. When you've finished, tap Done.

A quick warning: changes to the associated card may result in a temporary delay to payments - Apple states that changing your payment method to a credit card will result in the iTunes Store, App Store and so on putting "a temporary authorisation hold on your credit card to verify your updated account information".

How to remove payment details from your Apple ID account

If you want to remove payment details from the Apple ID entirely, instead of just switching to a different card, select None under Payment Type. You can continue to use an Apple ID with no payment details attached to it, as we explain below.

How to change Apple ID payment information: On Mac (and PC)

On Mac and PC alike, Apple ID account information and settings are handled through iTunes. 

Open iTunes and sign into the correct account, then select Account (from the menu along the top) and View My Account. You'll be asked for your password; enter this and hit Return.

How to change Apple ID payment info on Mac

You'll now see your Account Information. Look for an entry titled Payment Type or Payment Information; just to the right of this there will be an Edit button. Click this, then remove the information by selecting None.

How to change Apple ID payment info on Mac

Hit Done.

Read next: How to get someone else's Apple ID off your iPhone | How to sign into a different Apple ID

How to change Apple ID payment information: How to use an Apple ID without a debit or credit card

Apple is a widely trusted company - its reputation is part of the reason why Apple users are so happy to purchase apps and media through its portals via stored debit and credit cards - but some people aren't happy with the idea of a company having their payment details. Fortunately, it's entirely possible to create an Apple ID with no payment method attached, and to only download free apps and media.

If you've already set up an Apple ID, you can simply remove the payment method, as we explained above - make sure you do so after signing into the App Store or similar for the first time. Apple's portals won't trouble you for a payment method until and unless you try to buy something (that isn't free).

If you haven't got an Apple ID but just want to download free apps, things are slightly more complicated. You will have to create an Apple ID account - the App Store will insist that you do this when you try to make the download, even though it's free - but it's easy to create a new Apple ID with no payment information associated.

In the next couple of sections we explain the simple steps required to get round this stumbling block.

How to create an Apple ID with no debit or credit card: iPhone/iPad

Assuming you're doing this in order to download free apps and media, you just need to carry on as you were. Visit the App Store or whatever, then tap 'Get' next to the free app, book, song or other media. (Paid-for apps have the price here. 'Get' is a compromise term for free apps.)

At this point you will be asked to sign in with an Apple ID. Instead, select Create New Apple ID, then follow the instructions to generate your Apple ID. This is generally simple and self-explanatory, until we get to the section for payment methods. You need to select None.

There's a final email verification stage before you can use the Apple ID for downloading apps and media.

How to create an Apple ID with no debit or credit card: Mac (and PC)

The procedure is roughly the same on Mac as on iPhone: as before, the easiest method is to try to download a free app or song, then create an Apple ID when prompted (and remember to select None as the payment method).

We'll use iTunes for this process (although on Mac you could also use the Mac App Store app). Open iTunes. Whether you've selected Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts or Apps in the dropdown menu at the top left, there will be a link to a store on the right of the options below the Now Playing window. But because we need to find something free to download, and this is much easier on the App Store - where there are more freebies than paid-for apps - let's select Apps from the dropdown menu, then App Store on the right of the menu of options.

Before we find that freebie, we need to make sure we're in the right store. Scroll down to the very bottom of the store, and look for a little circular flag at the bottom right corner. This should correspond to the country you're in, and will dictate the country that your Apple ID will be connected to. If you want to change this, click the flag and select a different country.

Now to find something free. Any app listed on the App Store front page that doesn't have a price underneath is free - see what we mean about there being a lot of freebies? Alternatively, just select something from the TOP FREE APPS chart on the righthand side, and click Get. Or download Super Mario Run - that's free.

How to use Apple ID without a debit or credit card

As on the iDevices, you'll be prompted to sign in with an Apple ID as soon as you click Get. Choose Create Apple ID instead, follow the instructions to make a new ID, and select None as the payment type when prompted.

Family Sharing

The exception to all this is Family Sharing. Organisers of Family Sharing groups do have to set up a payment method and cannot select None.

Read next: Protect your Apple ID: two-factor authentication vs two-step verification

How to remove card from iTunes & App Store: Delete credit card or debit card details associated with Apple ID

How do I remove my credit card details from iTunes?

When you sign up with iTunes Store (or the App Store), you have to give Apple your bank card or credit card details. Many users ask us how to get rid of these card details so that Apple cannot access them any more.

Maybe you want to replace your credit card with a different one, or you just want to make sure you don't end up spending money with Apple. (Or that nobody you pass the iPhone to, such as children or grandchildren, can spend money.)

Either way, it's reasonably easy to remove your card details from iTunes. Your card details are linked to your Apple ID, and you can change or remove your Apple ID payment information directly on your iPhone or iPad, or by using iTunes on your Mac.

Read next: How to change/reset/delete Apple ID

How to remove card details from iTunes: iPhone or iPad

You remove your bank card from iTunes on an iOS device in Settings:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Open iTunes & App Store.
  3. Tap your Apple ID (typically your email address at the top of the screen).
  4. Tap View Apple ID.
  5. Tap Payment Information.
  6. Tap None under Payment Type. 
  7. Tap Done.

This will rmove your card details from your Apple ID. Note that you won't be able to make purchases, download apps or make in-app purchases until you repeat the process but choose a card type under Payment Type (and enter your card details.)

How to remove card details from iTunes: Mac

If you're using an Apple Mac computer, you remove your card details from iTunes using the iTunes app:

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID (if you aren't signed in already, then choose Account > Sign In).
  3. Choose Account > View My Account.
  4. Enter your Apple ID and Password and press Return.
  5. Click Edit to the right of Payment Type.
  6. Select None next to Payment Method.
  7. Click Done.

You will no longer be able to make purchases from iTunes, download Mac or iOS paid-for apps, and won't be able to make in-app purchases.

If you're planning to sell your iPhone, iPad or Mac (see How to sell an iPhone and How to sell a Mac), you should remove your Apple ID account from the device, and reset it (rather than removing your card details.) For instructions, see: How to reset an iPhone | How to reset a Mac.

Additional reporting by Lucy Hattersley