Troubleshooting Purchasing iOS for International Users

Hello everyone,

I’m new here. I have had the Windows version for some time, and have been using it successfully. However, my PC recently crashed, and I’m currently only able to use my iPad. My region doesn’t allow me to purchase the iOS app from the App Store right now, so I’m trying to find a work around. Does anyone think it’s possible to have a friend sign into my iCloud account and purchase from the states (using their card)? Would it then be possible for me to use a VPN and download the app while in my country?

Thanks for your feedback.

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I also just thought of using an apple gift card bought in the U.S. or a U.S. friend’s PayPal instead.

Feedback much appreciated.

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did you actually try to purchase it? This link suggests that if you are using your original AppleId, and actually click to purchase, after waiting a moment the store will tell you it recognizes that you already purchased, and let you download it.

@Nessa1 , sorry, the preceding was late in evening, and I realized sometime aftter that you have apparently never purchased the iOS Scrivener before.

Here is Apple’s statement about what they would accept:

I would think to use PayPal, of what you’ve mentioned. Prepaid cards are tricky at best for online acceptance; it seems MasterCard ones are much worse (more restricted) in this sense than Visa, but I still wouldn’t tie money up in one to find out.

It seems that to make any method work, you have to get Apple to allow you not just to have a purchase, but to be allowed to download in whatyever mystery country you are not mentioning. The countrry itself may also have opinions about that, it seems you may recognize.

I started to find and give you an earlier link I had, which felt coquettishly that Apple ‘may’ check your iPad Location as well as apparent address from a VPN. This article suggests, in an ambling way, that you ‘may’ need some form of GPS spoofing. This is danterous territory at best, because you don’t know what else an app offering this may do - or be connected to, considering local legal matters again.

Instead, though, I’ve found a better article (all of these will try to sell you from their list of VPNs). This onw has detaied steps, including simply turning off the iPad Location Services, to avoid the GPS problem. I would read it all, carefully, until you have it well in mind what you need to do, and know where to find the adjustments. Also have thought through how to reverse the process once you are done!!

Your first step would be to sign up for a good iPad VPN - NordVPN seems recommended by these articles, has been felt reputable by journals at least for some years, and as I just looked, has a 30 day free trial.

Once you had that working and tested as showing you in the US (using for example, which gives the location as well), then you would do the steps to turn off GPS Location services, and alter your AppleID address.

At this point you can see if you can get PayPal to work for you, which will involve your Stateside credit card or bank account.

Then you see if you can get the Apple Store to let you in, with US presence, and then to accept your PayPal account as payment source.

If all that is successful, you ought to be able to purchasse Scrivener iOS, and one would think it would immediately download in the usual way as well.

If for some reason of their cleverness you are able to purchace, but can’t seem to download, then the tip I put above seems it ought to work for you. It’s hard to say, and this would in that case be after you unwound so that your AppleId was again where you are, and using it without VPN and likely with locaiton services back on so that you look properly in place.

I think you’ll properly undrestand from this account that this is nothing of a solution which is sure to work. But given you stay on the side of proper behavior, it’s the kind of adjustment we sometimes do have to make, living out in the world from where we originated.

Staying within that behavior which will be judged proper is essential, I have always found in many circumstances. I caution you to do so. It would be very nice to have Scrivener on your iPad, but not worth risks.

It’s worth considering that having Scrivener on a Windows machine (or Mac) is much to be recommended along with the iPad, as it has much more functionality, howver nice and capable the iOS version actually is. And you can ask how much it would cost to get your device repaired, or to purchase perhaps a used model just to run this, as Scrivener’s needs are not high for the computing hardware.

Best fortune, then, and hope to have let you see enough to consider your own safe and appropriate balances.

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@narrsd Thank you for your detailed replies. I initially used my VPN, but the App Store kept rejecting my card because the billing address was outside the U.S. A relative (with a U.S. card and billing address) eventually paid for it and it all worked out in the end.

You are correct that a desktop version is more versatile, but I’ve decided to purchase a new laptop this year instead of trying to repair the old one because it was, well, so very old!

I’m using my iPad to write in the meantime since I’ll need it to do more writing on-the-go anyway, even after I’ve made a decision about which laptop to buy.

I’m still figuring out how to sync my projects created on the desktop and stored in Dropbox, the icon for my projects are not highlighted (I.e. they are not opening) when I access Dropbox via Scrivener. I’ll have a look-see around the forums to see if I can figure out the problem. Of course, if you have any suggestions I’d be grateful!

Hi @Nessa1, and happy to hear you and your relative found a path to get the iPad up.

As far as the use of your Dropbox files from before, that really should be automatic, once you’ve installed the Scrivener iOS just purchased.

  • I’m not sure what you mean about icons highlighting. To be clear, you don’t ever open projects directly from Dropbox, or from the Files app, where besides not working, things can get complicated. I wouldn’t use that on Scrivener projects.

  • The projects you have, from your prior writing, should appear in the top page when you open Scrivener – alphabetically down the left side, and in order of recent use across and down the main panel. You just tap them there to open and begin viewing or some new work.

  • in order to set this up, you need to ‘Link Dropbox’, and then tell Scrivener the main folder where your projects are stored, if you didn’t originally take the default Apps/Scrivener folder. You can check that location using Dropbox by itself – just not expecting to open projects from there, to state it once again.

  • There’s a good chapter called Syncing, in the Tutorial which you can always reach from the bottom of the left-hand list on the Scrivener open page. All the pages of the Tutorial are in its Draft folder, just like most normal Scrivener projects.

  • arranging the Link to Dropbox means entering your Dropbox login name and password, even though you did that also for Dropbox itself. The Tutorial chapter will tell you how to make the entries on a freshly installed Scrivener iOS. Do this Link step, and your projects should start showing once you’re back on the main Scrivener screen – provided that they are in that expected Apps/Scrivener folder on Dropbox.

  • if they aren’t, or you run into some issue, perhaps having signed in to the wrong Dropbox account, for example, you can fix all of these things, though the access for it’s slightly hidden. You would tap Edit on the right side above the left-hand list area, and then the gear icon that will appear, to the right also, on the bottom of that same area.

  • Under the gear, you’ll find Settings menu items to change the folder where the projects are expected on Dropbox, also can redo the Link step to assure you’re looking at the correctDropbox account.

These abilities should be able to cover everything you might need, would think, so let us know how it goes.

The reason you have to make a separate login to Dropbox from Scrivener is that it doens’t use the app you may have installed for Dropbox. This is very, very much to the good, as Scivener is this way able to bypass all the funny things that can and will happen in the App – files that aren’t actually there, needing to be downloaded when you need them, etc… Scrivener’s access by comparison just works, as fast as your connection may be, and you should find it very reliable once you’ve got things set up as above.

This reliaibility, and Scrivener’s built-in handling of any syncing problems, should be particularly valuable, when you’re living and working far from another home…you may hear the voice of experience there, and a wish for your good fortune…


It is worth noting that iOS Scrivener itself does not require internet access after the initial installation. Should you find yourself in a place where connectivity is unreliable, insecure, or otherwise undesirable, you can simply turn it off until your circumstances change. Scrivener will continue happily editing whatever projects are present on the iPad for as long as necessary.

Hello Clive,

First, I apologize for my late reply. Work has been very hectic these last few weeks. Your guidance has been most helpful, and I’ve been able to retrieve my files from Dropbox.

Thanks again for all your help and just general support.

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@kewms Thank you! That’s very helpful, I do most of my writing during the night, when the internet is quite doggy.

Thank you both for being so responsive and helpful.

Most welcome, Nessa, and besides understanding well, I’m very happy to hear you were able to get all sorted :slight_smile:

Life in other cultures and countries is a very promising thing, isn’t it…

I could suggest to you it does not get less so :slight_smile:


Promising is definitely one way to put it! Always promising, for sure.

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