Deauthorising the iTunes account on an old computer

Christopher Breen
4 July, 2012
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A colleague who shall go unnamed is in the process or moving and has unearthed what he believes to be tainted treasure. He writes:

I have a really old iBook that’s still running 10.2.8 and iTunes 4. I am trying to deauthorise this computer, but when I try, it says that it can’t connect to the iTunes Store. (Got it plugged into Ethernet, so internet connectivity isn’t the issue.) Please tell me I don’t have to upgrade iTunes just to turn off this account on this computer.

You don’t have to upgrade iTunes just to turn off this account on this computer.

You’re welcome.

Oh, you wanted more than that? Very well. This can be filed among several similar “I have/inherited/know about Computer X that is authorised with my Apple ID and I’m unable to deauthorise it” conundrums that routinely scoot across my desk.

It’s generally considered bad form when playing a board game to grab the aforementioned board and throw it and its accompanying pieces into the air. However, in this case, I heartily recommend it. And by that I mean rather than spending hours trying to elevate this computer to a state where it and the iTunes Store see eye-to-eye, you’re better off starting over. And by that I mean resetting all your authorizations and then reauthorising just those computers that you currently use.

This is easily done. On the computer you currently use launch iTunes. You will see your Apple ID in the top-right of this window –, for instance. Click on your ID and in the resulting dialogue box, enter your iTunes password and click the View Account button.

In the Account Information pane that appears, seek out the Computer Authorizations area. Here you’ll find the number of computers that are authorised to use your Apple ID – your ancient iBook is one of them. Next to this entry is a Deauthorise All button. Click it to do exactly what it says. All your computers will be deauthorised.


At one time this button didn’t become visible until you’d used all five of your allowed authorisations. This is no longer the case. However, you’re still limited to deauthorising all of your computers to just once a year. If you do it today, you must wait a year before you’re allowed to do it again.

Now, as needed, authorise the computers you currently use by choosing Store > Authorise computer.


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