Deauthorizing all iTunes computers

If your home or office is packed with computers that all have a copy of iTunes, you may have bumped up against iTunes’ five-authorizations limit—a limit that prevents you from authorizing more than five computers to play music or videos purchased from the iTunes Music Store. Every so often I find myself dashing from one Mac or PC to another to strip it of its authorization so I can authorize a new addition to the computing collection. Worse yet, on a couple of occasions I’ve lost authorizations when a computer crashes hard and takes its data with it.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just start over with no authorizations? You can—and now more easily than ever before.

To deauthorize all your computers in the past you had to contact Apple via its iTunes Feedback link and ask nicely to have your authorizations reset. In every instance when I asked, Apple responded by complying with my request, but sometimes I’d have to wait a day or so before I received that response and my authorizations were zeroed out.

I’m happy to report that you no longer need to go through this rigmarole as iTunes offers a command for deauthorizing all your computers. It works this way:

Launch iTunes, select Music Store, and click your Account name in the upper right corner of the iTunes window. When prompted to do so, enter the password for your Apple ID.

At the bottom of the first panel in the Apple Account Information window you’ll see the number of computer authorizations you’ve used.

When you reach five authorizations a new “Deauthorize All” button appears at the bottom of this pane.

If you’re sure that you want to deauthorize all your computers, click this button. iTunes will ask you if you’re really sure. Click Deauthorize All Computers and, as requested, your computers will be deauthorized.

Though the command could be a little easier to find, I’m just happy that it’s there at all. Thanks, Apple, I appreciate it.

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