If you need help with an iPhone, iPad, Mac or other Apple product - whether it's broken or faulty, or you just can't figure out how to do something with it - the company will help you solve the issue. Apple says many problems can be solved over the phone or by chat or email, but one thing that sets it aside from other companies is its willingness to offer hands-on support from in-store Apple Geniuses.
You can speak to a Genius at the Genius Bar in an Apple Store. But in order to do so you will need to book an appointment with Apple in advance - you can't just turn up. (Well, there are a limited number of walk-in appointments available and they might be able to squeeze you in, but it's likely you would have to wait for hours and you might have a wasted journey.)
In this article we show you how to set up an appointment with a Genius at an Apple Store. But note that many questions can be answered using Apple's online tools here, by phoning Apple Support, by asking in the Apple Support Communities, or by tweeting at @AppleSupport.
How to book an Apple Store appointment online
To make an appointment with a Genius at an Apple Store (which is free), go to the Genius Bar page on Apple's website. This page provides details for getting help via chat, a phone call or email if your problem is software-based.
For those who can't get to an Apple Store there is a link to Apple Authorised Service Providers and information about posting your device to an Apple Repair Centre.
If you're keen to get hands-on support with your hardware issues via the Genius Bar you will need to scroll down and click on Get Hardware Help.
The next page breaks down the different product types to help Apple route your problem through the correct channel. Once you've selected the type of device and the problem you've identified with it, you may be given a few quick tips on how to resolve it (such as a full factory reset of the device).
You'll be presented with various options, such as Send in for Repair, in which case Apple will send you a box and you just need to send it back. This might be okay if you can live without it for a few days, but let's face it: most people can't do without their Apple equipment, and that's why the idea of taking it into the store to be fixed there and then by a Genius is so attractive.
We would recommend speaking to Apple by phone or chat if possible as this might save you a lot of time, but if you feel that addressing the problem in person would be better for you, it's possible to organise an Apple Store appointment. Just click on the Visit the Genius Bar option.
In order for you to make a booking, you'll need to sign into your Apple account.
Once you're logged in, enter your location and Apple will show you a map with pins where Apple Stores are located. You can then pick the one closest to you, or the one with the most or soonest appointments available.
You'll be able to see the store's next available time slot for you to see an Apple Genius.
Click on the time you wish to book and your appointment will be confirmed automatically. You'll then be able to confirm your booking (or reschedule and cancel it) through the following screen.
Before popping into a store, make sure you read the tips in the 'Before you come in' section; backing up your device is always recommended. It will also be useful for you to bring Photo ID with you, which matches your reservation name.
Once you're set, all you'll need to do is turn up at your appointment time and tell a Genius that you've arrived!
Fancy yourself a bit of an Apple Genius? Read How to get a job working as an Apple Store Genius.
Use the Apple Store app to book an Apple appointment
You can also use the Apple Store app to book an appointment at an Apple Store.
To do this, download and launch the Apple Store app and tap "Stores" in the navigation menu along the bottom of your device. (It's the icon with the Apple logo.)
Type in your town or city to find your nearest store. Tap your preferred Apple Store to be taken to that Store's page.
To book a Genius appointment, scroll down to 'Genius Bar'. Tap it, and you'll be taken to a menu in which you'll need to pick your affected product.
Scroll through to your preferred time and date until you're happy, and then select it. If there's no suitable time available, tap 'Change store' to see if another store has a time more suited to you.
You'll now see a summary of your reservation, which you can alter if you notice you've made a mistake or if you've changed your mind. Tapping 'Add a Comment to my reservation' lets you add a comment to inform the Genius Bar what you'll be talking to them about.
When you're happy, tap 'Reserve', at the top right-hand corner. You'll need to type in your Apple ID password to confirm it. Finally, you'll be presented with a confirmation screen where you can add the appointment to your iOS device's Calendar app.
You'll now find details of your appointment in the Apple Store app. Tap 'My Reservations' to change or cancel the appointment.
When you get to the Apple Store at the time of your appointment, you can use the Apple Store app on your iPhone to check in and let the staff know you've arrived.