All the media that you buy through Apple’s digital content stores can only be accessed on iOS devices, Macs, and PCs that are authorized to use your iTunes account.
You might buy or sell computers or mobile devices from time to time, so it’s a good idea to deauthorize the computers and devices you’re not using anymore before you hand them off.
Seeing how many computers are authorized
Before you go deauthorizing everything, it’s a good idea to first know how many devices are authorized to use your iTunes account. To do that, follow these steps:
1) Launch iTunes on your computer.
2) Make sure you’re signed in with your Apple ID by clicking on the Account button in your Menu Bar. If you are, you can move on to the next step. If not, sign in.
3) From the Menu Bar, go to Account → View My Account.
4) You will now be asked to sign in with your Apple ID. Go ahead and Sign In:
5) After signing in, iTunes will load information about your iTunes account. The section labeled Computer Authorizations lets you know how many computers you have authorized to use content purchased with your Apple ID.
Note that a maximum of five computers can be authorized at a time.
Deauthorizing a single computer
Once you’re aware of how many machines are authorized to utilize your iTunes account, you can then start choosing which ones you want to deauthorize.
It’s possible to both deauthorize all your computers at once and to deauthorize them individually. We’ll start by showing you how to deauthorize a single computer using the following steps:
1) Launch iTunes on a computer you wish to deauthorize.
2) From the Menu Bar, click on Account → Authorizations → Deathorize This Computer…
3) Next, you will be asked to sign in your Apple ID. Enter your details and click on the Deauthorize button:
If you entered your details correctly, this computer will now be deauthorized and can no longer utilize any content you’ve purchased from any of Apple’s digital content stores.
Deauthorizing all computers associated with your account
In some cases, you may have already sold the computer in question, so you can’t use the method above to deauthorize the lone machine.
Instead, you’ll have to deauthorize all your computers to ensure even the computer that isn’t in your possession anymore isn’t allowed to access your content. You can do this once per year. To do that, follow these steps instead:
1) Launch iTunes on your computer.
2) Make sure you’re signed in with your Apple ID by clicking going to the Account button in the Menu Bar. If you are, move on to the next step. If not, make sure you sign in first.
3) Now, go to Account → View My Account… in the Menu Bar.
4) You will be asked to log in with your Apple ID, so go ahead and then click on the Sign In button:
5) When you’re brought to your account overview page, click on the Deauthorize All button.
Note: This button only appears if you have 2 or more machines authorized. If you don’t, it means you only have one machine authorized. If you don’t have that machine anymore, you may need to contact Apple directly.
Deauthorizing your computer(s) does not mean you lose any of your content. Apple’s cloud-based servers keep track of everything you’ve ever purchased, so as soon as you’re ready to re-authorize a computer, all of your content will be readily available for that computer once again.
If you followed the steps above to deauthorize all of your machines, you will need to reauthorize the ones you still want to continue using. To do that, you’ll need to follow these steps:
1) Launch iTunes on you computer.
2) Go to Account → Authorizations → Authorize This Computer… in the Menu Bar.
3) Sign in with your Apple ID and click on the Authorize button.
After following these steps, you should be able to access your content on the machine you just reauthorized. You will need to repeat this process for any other machines you have, whether they’re Macs or PCs.
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Do you make sure to deauthorize your computers before selling them? Share in the comments.