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Removing a duplicate iPhone from iTunes
By Jesse Hollington | 04.17.13

Q: I recently upgraded to an iPhone 5, but gave it the same name as my old iPhone. Now I want to remove the old iPhone from my iTunes account but can’t find out which is the new phone and which is the old one as they both show with the same name and date in the device management page. How can I find out which is which?

- Gordon

A: The first thing to keep in mind is that it’s really not as necessary to remove an old iPhone or other device from your iTunes account as you might think. About the only reason you would need to concern yourself with doing this is if you’re already at your ten-device limit and need the additional space for another device. See Removing unwanted iOS devices from iTunes for more information on this.

Even if you choose to sell your old iPhone, its presence in your iTunes account settings has no connection to what can be accessed from that device—assuming of course that you’ve erased it completely and returned it to factory settings.

However, if you still want to remove it from your device management just for the sake of keeping the list clean, you can simply rename the old device to help you distinguish between them. This can be done directly on the iPhone by going into the Settings app and selecting General, About and tapping on the name of the device.

You can also do this in iTunes by bringing up the Summary screen for your device and simply clicking on the device name.

 

In some cases, you may need to sign out of your iTunes Store account on the device and sign back in before the name will update in the Device Management page. You can do this under iTunes & App Stores in your Settings app.

Once the device name is updated, you can simply remove that one from the Device Management page as you normally would. Note that we’ve found in some cases the rename will never appear on the Device Management page. In this situation, the only remaining options are to either leave it there or remove both devices from the list; removing your active iPhone 5 won’t actually affect anything as the actual association is still stored on the device—it will simply reappear the next time you use an iTunes in the Cloud feature.

 

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