In order to play music, videos, and other content downloaded from the iTunes Store, each computer you want to play the content on needs to be authorized with your iTunes account.
Each iTunes account can authorize up to 5 computers. In most cases, this isn't a problem--few of us have more than 5 computers that we use. However, those 5 authorizations can get used up quickly if we sell a computer and forget to deauthorize it or if a computer dies before we can deauthorize it.
In that situation, you're not stuck with one of your authorizations being used on a non-functional computer. Your iTunes account provides a way to deauthorize iTunes on old or dead computers.
- Begin by opening the iTunes program and going to the iTunes Store via the iTunes Store button in the top right.
- Once you're at the iTunes Store, click on the Sign In button at the top left corner (if you're not signed in) or on your account name in the same location (if you're already signed in).
- This will bring you to your iTunes account. In the top box, you'll see a section labelled Computer Authorizations towards the bottom. Next to it is a button that reads Deauthorize All. Click it.
- A window will pop up asking you to confirm that this is what you want to do. Continue.
- In just a few seconds, all 5 computers on your account will be deauthorized.
- Now, re-authorize just the computers that you still use and you'll be all set.
Other Useful Notes About iTunes Deauthorization
1. It's important to note that the Deauthorize All option is only available when you've used all 5 authorizations for your account and can only be used once every 12 months.
2. If you no longer have access to a computer using one or your authorizations, or that computer no longer works, it can be pretty difficult to remove that authorization. In that case, it may be better to use friends' computers to reach the 5 authorization limit and then follow the Deauthorize All steps above.
3. If you plan to give away or sell a computer, or install a new hard drive or reformat the existing one, deauthorize the computer first. Otherwise, the computer may end up taking up one or more of your 5 authorizations when it shouldn't.
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