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How to De-authorize a Computer on iTunes

How to De-authorize a Computer on iTunes

Have you maxed out the number of computers allowed for your iTunes, and want to de-authorize some old ones? This article will tell you how to do it.
Ashlesha Bhondwe
When you have an Apple iPod or iphone, it's common practice among most users to authorize computers at home, work, or at a friends place for iTunes, so that you won't have to carry your laptop around to download or play music. But there is a limit to the number of computers that one can authorize. Once your limit of 5 authorized computers is maxed out, you can no longer add new computers to the list, to enable using Apple iTunes to play your purchased music from the store. At this point it becomes necessary to know what to do next.

There are two ways you can de-authorize computers.

De-authorizing All The Computers
This is done via a different computer, that you wish to authorize.
  • Go to the iTunes store menu on the left hand side of the window.
  • Sign in to your account by entering your user name and password.
  • Click on the Account tab, enter your password and click 'View Account'.
  • In the Account Information section, you will see an option, 'De-Authorize All'.
This will remove the authorization of all the computers that you were using, and will enable you to authorize new computers on iTunes. Now that you know how to de-authorize a computer on iTunes from another computer, the next section will tell you how to do the same using the computer you wish to de-authorize. This option can be used only once in 12 months.

De-authorizing One Computer
This section will teach you the procedure to remove authorization of a computer which is already registered and it is the one you are going to use during the process.
  • Open the iTunes store and go to De-authorize Computer. The earlier version of iTunes lets you access this from the 'Advanced Menu'.
  • Click on the option that reads, "De-authorize Computer for Apple Account", which may prompt you to enter your Apple user id and password.
In certain cases, one computer ends up using multiple authorizations when you upgrade or reinstall Windows, hence Apple advises you to remove authorization, before any kind of upgrade that changes the configuration of your computer.

How to Authorize a Computer
  • Select the song or video that you have bought and click the play button.
  • If the computer is not authorized, iTunes will prompt you to do so by entering your Apple ID and password.
Authorization of computers helps in protecting copyright on the content bought by the consumer. When you have less than 5 computers authorized, the content will play once you click the play button and authorize the computer automatically. However on maxing out, you will be asked to remove authorization of a computer.

You must also know what is the use of authorization and de-authorization. Songs are protected by DRM (digital rights management), and cannot be played on any other device than Apple products. There are certain DRM removal software available which enable you to play these files on any device. However, if you download free music for iPod or an iPhone, the format of those is encoded in AAC. This format and those from iTunes Plus, do not require authorization.