Resetting iTunes Store authorization counts
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: We have 4 computers (PC and Mac) at home, two of which have crashed at various times. After reinstalling the OS and iTunes, I authorized my iTunes Store account and it sees this as a new computer. Further, I recently used Time Machine to restore my disk on my powerMac and now iTunes sees it as a new computer also. I’m eating up my 5 computer allowance with the same machines! What can I do?
A: Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about this directly in the situation where your computer becomes inaccessible and has to be reinstalled. Part of the iTunes Store authorization process is based on your actual operating system installation as well as certain hardware parameters, so when you reinstall your OS, iTunes sees your computer as a different machine from where it was previously authorized.
The best solution is to ensure that you DE-authorize your computer whenever possible before reinstalling or sending it for repair or upgrade. Reinstalling the OS or upgrading significant portions of your hardware (ie, replacing the main board) will usually result in iTunes needing to be re-authorized and using up another authorization count.
To DE-authorize your computer, simply select Deauthorize Computer from the Store menu in iTunes, and enter your iTunes Store userid and password. This will remove the authorization information from your computer and reduce the authorization count in your iTunes Store profile. You can reauthorize the same computer simply by trying to play back a purchased item (in which case iTunes will prompt you for your iTunes Store account information) or by selecting Store, Authorize Computer from the iTunes menu.
Note that there are no limits to the number of times you can deauthorize and reauthorize, so this can even be done just as a precaution in a situation where you are not sure whether or not you’ll have a problem (such as sending your computer in for repair or upgrade).
Of course, sometimes computers fail outright and it is simply not possible to deauthorize your computer before reinstalling it or replacing failed hardware. However, if you do find yourself in a situation where you have used up all of your authorizations and are at your five-computer limit, iTunes does provide a safety net: Once per year, after you have reached your five-computer limit, you can deauthorize ALL of the computers on your iTunes Store account, resetting your authorization count to zero.
To do this, log in to your iTunes Store account by selecting the iTunes Store from within iTunes, and clicking on your account name (or the “Sign-in” button) which appears at the top-right corner of the screen. Once you have signed in, you will be taken to your “Apple Account Information” page:
Your number of computer authorizations are shown in the top section below your billing address information. If you have reached your five-computer limit, a “Deauthorize all” button will appear which can be used to reset your authorization count back to zero and clear all of your computer authorizations. Again, this button will only appear after you have reached your five-computer limit.
Once you have used this option, you will need to re-visit those computers that you do want authorized and RE-authorize them manually.
Keep in mind as well that you can only use this option once within a 365-day period, although if you find yourself in a very unique situation where you have reset your authorizations within the past year and have again hit the limit due to some serious hardware disaster, you could always plead your case with the iTunes Store support group, which can of course reset the limit for you manually at any time.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Report confirms legitimacy of at least some of the stolen iCloud credentials being held for ransom
- New (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone SE, and 9.7” iPad now available to order
- Apple Store down again ahead of new iPad, Product(RED) iPhone launch
- Apple acquires automation app Workflow
- Nintendo updates Super Mario Run, makes more courses available for free play
- Apple confirms iCloud and Apple ID systems have not been breached in response to hacker threat
- Hackers claim to have access to millions of iCloud accounts, demand ransom from Apple
- Apple’s Siri in the running to voice control room functions at Marriott’s Aloft hotels
- Apple releases iTunes 12.6 with new cross-device movie rental feature
- Apple introduces Clips video app
- ExoLens PRO with Optics by ZEISS Wide-Angle Lens Kit
- Blue Sadie Headphones
- Circle with Disney Parental Control and Internet Filtering System
- Pioneer Rayz Plus Lightning Connector Earphones
- BEEM United BeMe D200 Lightning Connector Earphones
- Jam Audio JAM Xterior Max Rugged Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- HiFiMAN Edition S Headphones
- Divoom Timebox Mini Bluetooth Speaker
- iClever BoostSound BTS-09 Bluetooth Speaker
- Soundcast VG1 Bluetooth Speaker
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10