Before you can download music, apps, and other media from iTunes to your computer, you first need to authorize your computer and link it to your Apple ID account. Here’s how to authorize a computer on iTunes.
Computer authorization is necessary due to licensing with movies, TV shows, etc., so you can only have your iTunes content available on up to five different computers at a time. So if you get a new computer, you can deauthorize your old one and authorize your new one to work with iTunes.
While iTunes music doesn’t have DRM (digital rights management) attached to it anymore, features and other content like iTunes Match, movies, and TV shows are subject to licensing and DRM, though.
DRM is essentially locked-down restrictions placed on various media that prevent users who bought a movie, TV show, etc. from freely sharing it with friends and family without paying for another copy of that medium.
For casual users who only have one computer that they use, hitting the max number of computer authorizations shouldn’t be a problem, but for those who have several computers in their household, you’ll likely need to authorize and deauthorize a lot.
Here’s how to authorize a computer on iTunes.
It’s really easy to authorize a computer on iTunes, both on Mac and Windows, but the process is just slightly different on each platform.
On Mac, you’ll simply open up iTunes and click Store up in the menu bar in the top-left corner of the screen. A drop-down menu will appear where you’ll then click on Authorize This Computer.
From there, you’ll enter in your Apple ID email address and password, and then click Authorize to finalize it all. At this point, your computer will be authorized on iTunes.
Authorizing a computer on Windows is very similar to doing it on a Mac, but with a little bit of a change.
Open up iTunes on your Windows computer and then click on the small menu icon in the top-left corner of the iTunes window. A drop-down menu will appear.
Hover over iTunes Store and another drop-down menu will appear. Slide over and then click on Authorize This Computer.
You’ll then need to enter in your Apple ID email address and password and then click Authorize. After that, you’ll be good to go.
How to Deauthorize Computers
Since Apple only gives you a maximum of five computers that you can have authorized at one time, you may come across a time when you reach the maximum, but need to authorize another computer. When this happens, you’ll need to deauthorize a computer first.
Luckily, it’s really easy to deauthorize a computer. Simply open up iTunes on your Mac or Windows machine. On Mac, go up to Store in the menu bar and then click on Deauthorize This Computer. Enter in your Apple ID credentials and then click Deauthorize to confirm.
On Windows, you’ll click on the small menu icon, hover over iTunes Store, and then select Deauthorize This Computer, following the same steps as above.
You can also deauthorize all of your computers at once by clicking on your name in the iTunes window and selecting Account Info. From there, click on Deauthorize All.
Keep in mind that you can only do this on your own once a year. If you need to do this more than once, you’ll have to call Apple customer support and have them do it on their end.