If you’ve ever purchased music, movies, or other content from iTunes, you’re probably familiar with the ‘Authorize This Computer’ prompt.

But what exactly does it mean to authorize a computer in iTunes, and why might you see an error message stating your computer is not authorized?

This comprehensive guide will clarify these points and walk you through the process of authorizing your computer, Mac, and iPhone on iTunes.

How To Authorize Computer on iTunes


Understanding iTunes Authorization

Authorization in iTunes is a form of digital rights management designed to prevent unauthorized sharing of purchased content. When you authorize a computer or device in iTunes, you’re giving it permission to access and use your purchased content.

As per Apple’s policy, you can authorize up to five computers (Mac or PC) at a time to access your iTunes content. Devices such as iPhones, iPads, or iPods don’t count toward this limit.

How to Authorize a Computer on iTunes

To authorize a computer on iTunes, follow these steps:

  1. Open iTunes on your computer.
  2. Click on ‘Account’ in the menu bar.
  3. Select ‘Authorizations’ and then ‘Authorize This Computer’.
  4. Enter your Apple ID and password.
  5. Click ‘Authorize’.

How to Authorize a Mac on iTunes

The process to authorize a Mac on iTunes is similar:

  1. Open the Apple Music app (on macOS Catalina or later) or iTunes (on macOS Mojave or earlier).
  2. From the menu bar, select ‘Account’, then ‘Authorizations’, and then ‘Authorize This Computer’.
  3. Enter your Apple ID and password.
  4. Click ‘Authorize’.

How to Authorize an iPhone on iTunes

While you don’t directly authorize an iPhone on iTunes, you’ll need to ensure your iPhone is connected and synced to an authorized computer for it to access and sync your iTunes content. Here’s how:

  1. Connect your iPhone to an authorized computer.
  2. Open iTunes and select your iPhone from the ‘Device’ list.
  3. Click ‘Sync’ to sync your iTunes content to your iPhone.

Why Does It Say My Computer is Not Authorized on iTunes?

If iTunes says your computer is not authorized, it could be due to a few reasons:

  1. Multiple Apple IDs: If you’ve used more than one Apple ID to purchase content, you’ll need to authorize the computer for each Apple ID.
  2. Authorization Limit Reached: You may have reached the limit of five authorized computers.
  3. Software Issues: Outdated software, firewall settings, or other system issues could prevent iTunes from recognizing the authorization.

What Does iTunes Authorize Computer Mean?

‘Authorize This Computer’ in iTunes means giving that computer permission to access and play your purchased iTunes content.

Once authorized, the computer can play music, movies, and other content associated with your Apple ID, and sync that content to any iPhones, iPads, or iPods you use.

How Do I Authorize My iPhone for iTunes?

While iPhones don’t need to be authorized like computers, they need to be synced to an authorized computer to access purchased iTunes content.

To ensure your iPhone can access your iTunes content:

  1. Connect your iPhone to an authorized computer.
  2. Open iTunes and select your iPhone from the ‘Device’ list.
  3. Click ‘Sync’ to sync your iTunes content to your iPhone.


Understanding and managing your iTunes authorizations is crucial for ensuring you can access your purchased content across your devices.

Whether you’re using a Mac, a Windows computer, or an iPhone, knowing how to authorize and deauthorize your devices will help you make the most of your iTunes library.

Remember, if you’re facing issues with authorization, it could be due to using multiple Apple IDs, reaching your authorization limit, or software issues, which can be easily addressed. Happy listening and viewing with iTunes!