How to Authorize / Deauthorize Computer with Apple Music on Mac
Apple uses a system of authorization and deauthorization that allows yoour computers to have access to music, books, iTunes Store purchases, apps, and more. You can only have up to five computers authorized to access your content at a time, so if you have 5 devices and want to authorize a new Mac or PC, you’ll have to deauthorize another one to authorize a new one. Additionally, before you send a Mac in for repair, you’ll want to deauthorize the Mac, just in case some major component gets replaced. And since you can not remotely deauthorize another computer (you can only deauthorize all of them…), you’ll want to take care of this process on the actual device itself.
While the authorization and deauthorization system for Apple Music, iTunes content, Books, and other purchases is a little goofy and confusing, and feels like something from a paranoid PC manufacturer from the late 1990’s, it persists with us today in the Apple world.
Let’s review how you can authorize and deauthorize a Mac by using the Apple Music app, meaning for all modern Macs running macOS Mojave, Monterey, Big Sur, Ventura, and newer. This contrasts to older Macs that deauthorize with iTunes.
How to Deauthorize / Authorize a Mac with Apple Music
From the Mac you want to authorize or deauthorize, do the following:
- Open the Apple Music app on your Mac you want to deauthorize or authorize
- Pull down the ‘Account’ menu and make sure you see the Apple ID you expect to work with
- From the ‘Account’ menu, go to “Authorizations”, then choose to “Deauthorize This Computer” or “Authorize This Computer” depending on which action you wish to take
- Sign in with the Apple ID and password as usual, then click to confirm to authorize or deauthorize the Mac
Now you should be authorized or deauthorized as intended.
You may see various error messages when attempting to authorize or deauthorize a computer.
“You cannot authorize more than 5 computers” Error
For example, when attempting to authorize you may see “You cannot authorize more than 5 computers. You have already authorized 5 computers with this Apple ID. To authorize this computer you must first deauthorize one of the other computers.”
“This Computer is not Authorized” Error
You might also see “This Computer is not Authorized. In order to complete this request, you need to authorize this computer. To authorize this computer, go to the Account menu and select Authorizations.”
If you see this error message, you will need to directly authorize this particular computer.
You can end up in an infinite loop of errors between these two messages if you already have 5 computers authorized, and are attempting to authorize a new computer. To escape that error loop, deauthorize all computers, then authorize them all individually again.
The authorization and deauthorization process is really fun and fluid, makes tons of sense, and is adored by all users, so surely you are happy to be engaging in this process too, right? Happy times.
Let us know in the comments if you have any particular thoughts or experiences with the authorization and deauthorization process on MacOS.