How to Authorize Computers in iTunes

Play your media from iTunes on up to five computers

What to Know

  • In the iTunes menu bar, select Account > Authorizations > Authorize This Computer, then enter your Apple ID and password.
  • You can authorize up to five computers, but iTunes only allows one Apple ID to be associated with one computer at a time.
  • To deauthorize a computer remotely, go to the iTunes store and select Account, then select Deauthorize All in the Apple ID Summary section.

This article explains how to authorize a computer for iTunes so that you can listen to your music on multiple devices.

How to Authorize a Computer to Play iTunes Media

To authorize another computer to play your iTunes purchases, follow these steps:

  1. Open iTunes on a computer you want to authorize.

  2. Go to the iTunes menu bar and select Account.

  3. Select Authorizations in the drop-down menu.

  4. Choose Authorize This Computer.

    Authorize This Computer in iTunes
  5. Input your Apple ID and password when prompted to do so.

Now, iTunes on that computer can access and play all the content you purchased with your Apple ID—and only that content.

iTunes allows only one Apple ID to be associated with iTunes at a time. If you authorize the computer of a friend or spouse to share your iTunes purchases, the items that they purchased from iTunes using their Apple IDs are no longer available to them.

What Does iTunes Authorization Do?

Authorizing a PC or Mac in iTunes grants the computer access to and permission to play any of the media you purchased from the iTunes Store using your Apple ID. Apple allows you to authorize up to five computers to use content purchased with a single Apple ID. The computer you initially buy the media on from the iTunes Store is the first computer of the five that is authorized to play it. Then, authorize a computer at work, in a vacation home, or your spare laptop to access the same media.

How to Deauthorize a Computer in iTunes

Because you can only authorize five computers at a time, you may occasionally need to free up one of your activations or prevent playback of your files on another computer. For example, if you sell or give away a computer, deauthorize it first by going to Account on the iTunes menu bar and then to Authorizations. Choose Deauthorize This Computer from the slide-out menu.

Deauthorize This Computer in iTunes

How to Deauthorize Computers You No Longer Have

If you no longer have access to a computer that you previously authorized with your Apple ID (because it doesn't work or you sold it, for example), and it takes up one of the five authorization slots that you now need, deauthorize all computers under that Apple ID. This will free up all five of those slots so you can reauthorize your computers.

  1. Open iTunes and tap Store at the top of the screen if it doesn't open in the Store view.

  2. Select Account on the right side of the screen.

    Account section in iTunes
  3. In the Apple ID Summary section, select Deauthorize All next to Computer Authorizations.

    Deauthorize All button in iTunes Account Information

At this point, that computer is no longer authorized to play your iTunes purchases—nor are any others. Go to each computer that you want to be authorized and reauthorize it.

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