Do you want to know how to authorize and deauthorize iTunes linked accounts? If you purchase your media content through iTunes and want to play it back on different computers in your home, you are restricted to a maximum of five Windows or Mac PCs linked to a single iTunes account. If you sell, re-install, upgrade or replace  a computer, you can soon run into the problem of not being able to authorize a new one, due to reaching your maximum of five. In this daily tip, we show you how to authorize a new computer, deauthorize an existing computer and also how to completely reset your five authorized computers. Read on to find out how!

To authorize a computer to play purchases using your Apple iTunes Account

  • Open iTunes
  • From the iTunes menu, select the Store section
  • Click on Authorize this Computer
  • Enter your iTunes username and password; if you are under the total of five computers, this one will be authorized and start to play the media.
  • That’s it your done!

If you encounter a problem authorizing your computer and get an error message stating that you have already reached your five computer allowance, you will need to de-authorize a computer before you can continue.

To deauthorize a computer

  • Open iTunes.
  • Choose StoreDeauthorize Computer (In earlier versions of iTunes, access this option from the Advanced menu).
  • Select "Deauthorize Computer for Apple Account" and enter your Apple ID and password.

Make sure you deauthorize your computer before you upgrade your RAM, hard disk or other system components, or reinstall Windows or Mac OS X. If you do not deauthorize your computer before you upgrade these components, one computer may use multiple authorizations.

If you have sold a computer or no longer have access to it, or if the hard drive died, etc. and you didn’t deauthorize it, all is not lost. You can reset every computer associated with your iTunes account.

Note: this is only allowed once a year, so keep that in mind!

To deauthorize all computers associated with your account

If you find you have reached 5 authorizations, you can reset your authorization count by clicking Deauthorize All in the Account Information screen.

  • Click iTunes Store in the menu on the left side of iTunes.
  • If you're not signed in to the store, click the Account button, then enter your account name and password.
  • Click the Account button again (your ID appears on the button), enter your password, and then click View Account.
  • In the Account Information window, click Deauthorize All.

Once you have done this, you will have to go back and authorize all the computers that you wish to use with your iTunes account. Also please note, you may only use this feature once per year. The Deauthorize All button will not appear if you have fewer than 5 authorized computers, or if you have already used this option within the last 12 months.

Yes, DRM (Digital Rights Management) is annoying, and authorizing and deauthorizing computers is a hassle, but at least iTunes makes it a fairly straightforward process. If you have any other iTunes tips, share them with us in comments!

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