Deauthorizing All The PCs On Your iTunes Account

Make A Clean Authorization Slate With iTunes

Most of us have probably been there; reached the five computer limit in iTunes, only to check and realize that for some odd reason some PCs (or Macs) are authorized more than once. This can happen if you make any hardware upgrades/changes to your computer without deathourizing iTunes first, or something “quirky” happens during any software installations that can affect how iTunes “sees” your computer. The reason being that when iTunes authorizes your computer it’s basically sending a hardware snapshot to their servers. If that info changes without you deathorizing the computer first, it will seem like a new/different PC to them, and take up another authorization spot.

Here’s a brief explanantion on what/when authorization is used for in iTunes:

iTunes Store purchases can be authorized in iTunes to play on up to five computers. Deauthorizing a computer allows you to manage which computers can play purchased music, videos, audiobooks, or other content.

Authorization helps protect the copyrights on the content you buy. You can use your digital rights management (DRM) protected music purchases from the iTunes Store on up to five different computers (this can be any mix of Mac or Windows). When you play an item you’ve purchased, your computer is “authorized” to play content purchased using your Apple Account.

Note: Songs you encode in AAC format from a source other than the iTunes Store, such as your own audio CDs, do not need to be authorized.

It can become annoying, especially for people who don’t always have the time (or remember) to deathorize their computer for every little upgrade, or worry if a software install might cause another authorization spot to be taken up. There is a way to start over though, and yes I mean without scraping iTunes altogether. It will however require two important things to keep in mind:

  1. You must have all 5 authorization slots filled
  2. This can only be done every 12 months (once a year), so make sure you’re ready when you decide

This has become a simpler process to accomplish with later versions of iTunes. Follow the steps below, and you’ll be all set with 5 cleared authorization spots.

  1. Launch iTunes
  2. Go to the iTunes Store and Sign-in
  3. Click the “Account button” (your ID appears on the button), enter your password, and click “View Account
  4. In the Account Information window, click “Deauthorize All

Again, you may only use this feature once per year, just remember not to repeat the same mistakes that got you into this situation…well, atleast not for 12 months, lol. Also, The “Deauthorize All” button will not appear if you have fewer than 5 authorized computers or if you have used this option within the last 12 months. (Apple Knowledgebase).


~ by drcorner on August 4, 2008.

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