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Technology makes it almost too easy to sign up for subscription services. With features like auto-renew and stored credit card information, it often takes just a few clicks or taps to get your video streaming or beauty box fix.
But when it comes to canceling subscriptions you may have forgotten about or no longer need — or ending a free trial before the charges kick in — things can get a little messier. If the service is linked to your Apple account, you might be able to reduce some of the friction. Here’s how to cancel subscriptions on your iPhone and other Apple products.
The only subscriptions you can cancel on your Apple devices are those that you signed up for through the App Store using your Apple ID. If you’re unable to cancel your subscription via your iPhone, iPad or Mac, you will likely need to cancel through the company’s website, app, or customer service phone line.
Which subscriptions can you cancel?
So what kinds of subscriptions can you cancel directly through your Apple device? Only those that you’ve set up through the App Store and are connected to your Apple ID account. But they aren't limited to Apple’s own services like Apple Music. Your subscription list could also include online newspaper memberships, other streaming services and more, such as The Wall Street Journal, Hulu and Spotify.
So what about those subscriptions that aren’t tied to your Apple account? Well, it depends. Some companies make it tougher to cancel than others. It might not be as simple as pressing a button — you may have to exchange emails or call a customer service number and speak to a representative.
If you don’t have the time or patience for that, there are services that can do the work for you. For example, the Rocket Money app connects to your bank accounts to help track unused or unwanted subscriptions for free. With a premium membership, the concierge will even cancel unwanted subscriptions on your behalf.
How to cancel subscriptions on your iPhone or iPad
Before you begin, be sure you have your Apple ID and password handy. This will make the process much smoother. To unsubscribe on your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:
Click on the Settings icon.
Tap your profile icon at the top of the screen. It should include your photo and name, with "Apple ID, iCloud, Media & Purchases" in smaller font underneath.
Select “Subscriptions.” This should take you to a list of your active and inactive subscriptions.
Click on the subscription you want to cancel. Then, tap “Cancel Subscription” or “Cancel Free Trial” — the wording may vary depending on the membership — and confirm.
How to cancel subscriptions on your Mac
If you’re using a desktop or laptop, the cancellation process will look slightly different. The process might also vary based on the operating system your Mac is running. Here’s what to do if you have the latest, macOS Monterey:
Go to the App Store and click on your name.
Click on "Account Settings." You'll be asked to sign in with your Apple ID and password if you aren't already.
Scroll to "Subscriptions."
Once you click on "Manage," you will be taken to your list of subscriptions. Click on the "Edit" button next to the subscription you want to end and select "Cancel Subscription."
How to reactivate a subscription on your Apple device
You might find yourself wishing you had a subscription service back in your life.
To reactivate on your iPhone or iPad, take the following steps:
Tap on the Settings icon.
Click on the top button, which includes your name, image, and “Apple ID, iCloud, Media & Purchases.”
Click on “Subscriptions.”
You should now see a list of inactive subscriptions. Pick the one you want to reactivate, and from there you can choose options for how to renew, including pricing.
To reactivate on your Mac:
Go to the App Store and click on your name.
Click on “Account Settings.” Sign in with your Apple ID and password if you aren’t already.
Scroll to “Subscriptions.”
Click "Manage." You should now see a list of inactive subscriptions. Pick the one you want to reactivate, and from there you can select options for how to renew, including pricing.
Managing subscriptions can help your budget
Knowing how to manage your subscriptions on your iPhone, iPad or Mac is a great way to keep your budget tight. Checking in, every so often, to make sure that you are subscribing to only services you are using is a great way to make every dollar count.
Aside from canceling and reactivating, there are other ways you can manage your existing subscriptions. For example, selecting the "Renewal Receipts" option on the Subscriptions screen will ensure that a receipt is generated each time a subscription renews, giving you a reminder of what you're spending. You will find these receipts under the "Purchase History" section of your Apple ID settings.
Automatically generating receipts can also help you save money by making reimbursements easier. If your employer offers health benefits like subsidizing gym memberships but requires a receipt before reimbursing you, selecting this feature will make the process go smoother.
Another setting to check: If you’re paying for a family plan for your subscriptions, but haven’t activated the option, then you aren’t getting the most out of them and could wind up paying for individual subscriptions you don’t need. By activating the “Share with Family” option in your iPhone’s main subscriptions page, all eligible subscriptions with be shared with your family moving forward. You can set up or edit your family group by clicking on “Family Sharing” in your Apple ID settings.