I kick myself every time I do this …

Whenever I decide to reinstall Windows (something I’ve found less frequent with Vista thankfully) or OSX, and I busy myself with making sure everything is backed up ready to be transferred back once I’ve finished, I sometimes forget the relatively simple step of deauthorizing my iTunes account.

Whenever you install iTunes on a PC and authorise it to play music or movies you’ve purchased from the iTunes music store, it uses up one of your “authorised computer” credits. You only get five, which is pretty generous as it allows my wife and I to enjoy our music on our desktop PCs and our laptops. The problem is if you forget to deauthorize your PC (and regain that credit) before your wipe your harddrive with a reinstall, there’s no easy way to get that “credit” back.

I’m currently up to my 5 out of 5 “authorised computers” limit because of my forgetfulness, so be warned!

You’ll find the command you need under the menu: “Store -> Deauthorize Account …”

There is, however, a little known workaround for people like me who have genuinely screwed up. Select “Store -> View My Account …” from the iTunes menu bar. There you’ll find information on how many computers are currently authorised to play your music, and a magic button marked “Deauthorize All”. Pressing this will essentially reset your authorised computer credits to 5. The only proviso is that you can only do this once in every 12 months. Still, I think that’s fair ;o)




Phil · 8 February 2009 at 5:38 pm

Hey, good tip! Didn’t know that existed. Of course, I don’t need that because I’m clever enough to remember to deauthorise my computers prior to a reinstall. But hey, if you’re a dumbass, this is a lifesaver!! ;o)

Oli · 8 February 2009 at 6:54 pm

Ah yes. If I do it, I’m a dumbass … if you did this it would be a “schoolboy error”. I think you get off lightly :o)

Phil · 9 February 2009 at 10:32 am

That sounds about right… but really, how many times in the grand scheme of things do I make these “schoolboy errors”? Erm… I think the answer is LOTS AND LOTS. And I didn’t say YOU were a dumbass – I just meant that if “one” was a dumbass. Don’t take it so personally ;o)

But anyway, if you didn’t have the urge to constantly tinker with stuff, you wouldn’t ever come across these problems. I’m sure your average home-user would never even get close to using up FIVE iTunes activations. I doubt if they even know what an “activation” is, and a full OS reinstall is strictly reserved for the staff at PC World. (I wrote something similar about home users on one of Richbos’s blog entries a couple of days back – don’t get me started).

Mind you, if we didn’t all like to constantly upset the technological status quo by unnecessary tinkering, what would we all have to blog about?

My guess would be PRECISELY NOTHING. :o)

Rich B · 20 February 2009 at 1:43 am

Where in the World…..PC World…..ah yes, of course…..

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published.