No access to old computers - how to deauthorize iTunes??

  • Question
  • Updated 2 years ago
I would like to authorize my new computer to play songs I've purchased off iTunes, but I've already authorized 5 computers since I opened my account... probably about 4 years ago. I have two computers I use regularly, but others are either not working, or have been returned to my employer.

How else can I deauthorize these computers so I can authorize my new one?
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  • frustrated!!!

Posted 8 years ago

  • 9
Photo of Lolagrrl


  • 60 Points
Ooo! Crap! I did this once.... You need to go into your iTunes settings and deauthorize... Gah! I wish I could remember how!
Photo of Alex


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Contact iTunes tech support (Inside the iTunes store you'll find a link to them). Explain your problem and they will reset your account for you. I have done this before and they were really nice about it.

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Eric Suesz

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I have done the same, and they have reset it for me as well. It was quite easy. But, they warn you that you can't just keep doing that forever.
Photo of MetaGrrrl


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*whew* I've just authorized machine #4 and was thinking "Why do they have this crappy policy that punishes their best hardware customers?"

Good to hear they aren't as unpleasant about it as the warning message implies.
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Diana Yunting Wei

  • 70 Points
Yea, thank goodness. My old Windows XP is no longer accessible and usable except for maybe the harddrive that I extracted. My dad's Vista has disappeared and the Mac is back in my hometown three hours away. And here, I've just authorized a new computer of 6 months when I seriously needed to back up my ipod w/o risking the ipod files that i already have. My only concern is to deauthorize the XP because it can no longer be used, and probably the Vista.
I wonder if it's included already in the FAQ regarding the already 5 authorized computers, half of which can no longer be accessed.
Photo of Caitlin


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You can reset your authorization count by clicking "Deauthorize All" on the Edit Account Information screen. You have to have 5 computers authorized for this feature to be active, and you can only use it once in a 12 month period.
Photo of Ken Wharton

Ken Wharton

  • 60 Points
Do you lose the music you already purchased when you "Deauthorize all"?
Photo of Syele


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" Ken Wharton replied 1 day ago
Do you lose the music you already purchased when you "Deauthorize all"? "

nope not at all. You just have to go to the store menu and authorise each computer you still want to use.
Photo of Amanda


  • 62 Points
My work laptop has been replaced twice in past year, after both hard drives died - so not able to deauthorize. According to the authorize tool, I have 4 computers authorized, but when I try to authorize tracks bought from the work computer (regular one, rather than laptop) it tells me I have authorized five and need to go to deauthorize all. Laptop, which is all I have access to now, doesn't offer that as it thinks I only have four authorized.

HELP!?!?!?!? and tried to use the support link on the iStore, but nothing happens...anyone out there got suggestions? I would like to have access to all the music I've bought, not just selected tracks!

Thanks x
Photo of abirlik


  • 60 Points
If u want to deauthorize all computers, first u have to have 5 computers authorized..
Photo of michaelhiker04


  • 80 Points 75 badge 2x thumb
stupid, Apple is stupid, I just want to deauthorize one computer from my new computer, not all five. I don't want to deauthorize all computers. Why does apple have to go to extremes? Why can't I just go to my account choose which computer I want to deauthorize, and deauthorize it!! Bamb, done!! I don't have to re-authorize all the computers again? Just one!! Apple is stupid for doing this?? Who put the person in charge over this itunes crap software anyway. It's still needs so much work done to it. I love mac computers, but itunes really sucks!!
Photo of

  • 60 Points
because its apple, they don't like to make things simple.
Photo of justin.moretto


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If itunes sucks so much why don't you switch to a better music software...
Photo of alex


  • 60 Points
Apple is forced to limit the number of computers you can play music on by the record labels! It has no desire to limit your access to your music, indeed, Apple fought to enable 5 computers, the record companies wanted only one. Apple also fought and won your right to sync your music to as many ipod/ipads/iphones/whatever you own. Again, the record labels want you to have to buy that music over and over for each new device. Apple is on your side, this is the best they could negotiate.

Deauthorizing your computers takes a moment, you then immediately reauthorize the computer you are using and everything is fine. The next time you are at the other computer, simply authorize them, and they are fine.

Very easy.
Photo of jklwja


  • 70 Points
Actually Alex, Apple is retarded since they could have kept this same system in place, but had a list of all the authorized machines on your account and you can pick one and deauthorize it. This is just a terrible design scheme.

It's a system that falls on it's face, much like Job's entire anti-flash argument and uses the whole YouTube app to justify not needing flash. What he doesn't mention is how about 85-87% (I can't remember the exact number I'd have to look it up) of the videos can't be watched through that utility because videos that have advertisements before the video, or posters who check "prevent this from playing on mobile devices" won't play on the YouTube app, forcing people to use a flash enabled browser.

Back to the whole 5 system deal. It's still overly convoluted than it needs to be. The'll only allow you to download a file once, ever one time, thats it. But you are allowed and they give you the instructions to, transfer that file to a billion machines, everywhere and anywhere, however it will only play if the itunes authorizes that machine. Preventing people from downloading it is just an inconvenience and doesn't serve any greater purpose as the DRM tags will prevent it from being played everywhere.

Like everything Apple does, they want to keep it as convoluted and "do it the apple way" as possible. I'm almost convinced even they are aware of how stupid some of their processes are and are just waiting to see how long they can joke around with people.

For the most part however everyone saw this coming. Apple has almost completely abandoned the computer market and is doing a great job in the portable market. I'm sure the'd make tons more money and have a more reliable end user computing business model if they would just stop assraping software developers every chance they got.
Photo of logicelf


  • 60 Points
^That's some great claim chowder, right there.
Photo of Sensel


  • 60 Points
OK, so we have to wait until we have 5 Macs, then wipe them all, then add the 2 or more we did not want to wipe back in. But here is a problem I had: I burn a lot of CD music I BOUGHT ON CDs over the past 30 years! The last time I messed with my iTunes, I think I lost some of these CDs I spent WEEKS burning.
WTF Apple! This is a problem that is as old as iTunes. WHY punish your best hardware customers?!
Photo of Diana Yunting Wei

Diana Yunting Wei

  • 70 Points
Yea, that seriously sucks, man. I'd much rather find an itunes equivalent that has ALL the functions of itunes (including backing up iPod/iPhone apps and contacts) minus the authorization crap than losing my precious files. A big plus would be if you have multiple ipod devices, yet the program knows which files belong to which (backed up) device. =)
Photo of sharuk


  • 64 Points
how to do a deauthorize without computers
Photo of jklwja


  • 70 Points
You're an idiot, or can't read. Your answer is on this page, but you would have know that already if the previous two conditions didn't apply to you.
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Jody Gray

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Here is how you deauthorize your computers if you have all five computers authorized:

"If you forgot to deauthorize a computer you no longer own, and you have five authorized computers, you can deauthorize all your authorized computers at once. You can use this method once a year.

Choose Store > View My Account, and click Deauthorize All. If you don’t see this option, it’s because you don’t have five authorized computers."