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Apple—Cancel Any Subscription Quickly and Successfully

Ashley Ferraro, Product
Mar 5, 2024
 Min Read
Manage Your Subscription Payments With Virtual Cards

Apple has reached immense success since its start in the ‘70s, carrying the title of the largest company in the world in 2023 based on market capitalization. The company offers various subscription-based products and services, but you can also purchase subscriptions for other apps through the Apple App Store or iTunes. While Apple’s services have been tried and tested and the apps from the App Store vetted, some may end up not working out for you.

If you decide to part ways with a service you purchased from Apple, cancel your subscription by following the steps provided in this guide. You’ll also learn about Apple’s refund policy and discover general tips for successful and fee-free cancellation.

The content in this article is current as of December 2023. Please visit Apple’s official website or contact customer support directly for updates and case-specific information.

A photo of Apple’s logo on a glass building
Source: Laurenz Heymann

How To Cancel a Subscription on an iPad or iPhone

To cancel an Apple subscription on an iPhone or iPad, take these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap your name.
  3. Tap Subscriptions.
  4. Select the subscription you want to terminate.
  5. Select Cancel Subscription. If you can’t find the option, try scrolling down. 

How To Cancel Apple Subscriptions on a Mac

Follow the instructions listed below to end an Apple subscription on a Mac computer:

  1. Launch the App Store app.
  2. Click your name.
  3. Select Account Settings.
  4. Scroll down to Subscriptions.
  5. Choose the Manage option. 
  6. Click Edit next to the subscription you want to end.
  7. Click Cancel Subscription.

How To Cancel Apple Subscriptions on a Windows Computer

If you use a Windows computer and you purchased the Apple subscription via iTunes, cancel as described below:

  1. Open iTunes on your computer.
  2. Select Account from the menu at the top.
  3. Click View My Account.
  4. Scroll down to the Settings section.
  5. Click the Manage option next to Subscriptions.
  6. Locate the subscription you want to stop and select Edit.
  7. Click Cancel Subscription

What Happens When You Cancel a Subscription on Apple

Depending on the specific Apple subscription, you may be able to keep using its features until the end of the current billing cycle. After that, your subscription will stop renewing, and you won’t have access anymore. 

Once you complete the cancellation successfully, the renewal date listed below the subscription will be replaced by the expiration date written in red. After the subscription expires, it will be listed under the Inactive section located below your active subscriptions, and it will be deleted automatically after a year. While there’s no option to remove it, you can still hide the purchase or create a new Apple ID if you need to.

A photo of various Apple devices sitting on a white table
Source: Sarah Shi

Important Information To Keep in Mind Before Canceling

The following information may help you when canceling an Apple subscription:

  • According to Apple, you should cancel the subscription or free trial at least 24 hours before the next payment is due to avoid renewal.
  • If the Cancel button is unavailable or the expiration information is marked red, the subscription has already been canceled. 
  • The cancellation process and terms may vary depending on the country or region you’re in, such as Israel, Turkey, Germany, or South Africa. Refer to Apple’s support page for more information. 
  • Canceling an iCloud, Apple Music, or Apple TV Plus subscription entails different steps than the ones listed above. You can learn about the cancellation processes of these services below.

How To Cancel an iCloud Subscription

To discontinue your iCloud subscription, proceed as follows:

iOS Mac Windows
  1. Launch the Settings app.

  2. Tap your name.

  3. Select iCloud.

  4. Tap Manage Account Storage or Manage Storage.

  5. Choose the option Change Storage Plan.

  6. Tap Downgrade Options.

  7. Input your Apple ID password.

  8. To cancel, either choose the free plan or select None.

  9. Tap Done.

  1. Go to the Apple menu, then System Settings or System Preferences.

  2. Select Apple ID.

  3. Click iCloud.

  4. Click Manage.

  5. Select Change Storage Plan.

  6. Click Downgrade Options.

  7. Enter your Apple ID password if needed.

  8. Click Manage.

  9. To cancel, either choose the free plan or select None.

  10. Click Done.

  1. Launch iCloud for Windows.

  2. Click Storage.

  3. Select the option Change Storage Plan.

  4. Click Downgrade Options.

  5. Provide your Apple ID password.

  6. Click Manage.

  7. To cancel, either choose the free plan or select None.

  8. Click Done.

If the final Done button is unavailable, you may have signed in with the wrong Apple ID. If you’re certain that the Apple ID is correct, and the option is still not there, try canceling on a different device or contact Apple’s customer support.

You should consider these factors before canceling iCloud:

  • The cancellation will become effective after the current billing cycle expires, and you’ll have access to your iCloud paid subscription until then. 
  • It’s advisable to create copies of your files from iCloud, as Apple may permanently erase some or all of them once you downgrade or cancel. 
  • If you cancel within 14 days of the initial purchase or renewal term if you’re on the annual plan, you may be eligible for a refund. To ask for reimbursement, contact Apple’s customer support. If your request is approved, you should receive your money back within 14 days of the notice.

How To Cancel an Apple TV Plus Subscription

The Apple TV Plus cancellation process requires you to:

  1. Go to Apple TV’s website and sign in.
  2. Click or tap your profile icon at the top.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Scroll down to Subscriptions.
  5. Click or tap Manage.
  6. Select Cancel Subscription.

How To Cancel Apple Music

To discontinue your Apple Music subscription, take these steps:

  1. Go to Apple Music’s website and sign in.
  2. Tap or click your profile icon.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Scroll down to Subscriptions.
  5. Click or tap Manage.
  6. Select Cancel Subscription.

If you’re billed for the subscription through Google Play, you can cancel it through the Apple Music app on your Android.

A close-up photo of a person using a Mac laptop displaying a white screen
Source: Lukas

How To Cancel an Apple Subscription and Get a Refund—Apple’s Refund Policy and Process

In some cases, such as when the delivery of the purchased content is prevented or delayed because of technical problems, you may be eligible for a refund. 

To request a refund from Apple, follow these steps on a computer or mobile browser:

  1. Go to Apple’s Report a Problem page and sign in.
  2. Tap or click the I’d like to menu.
  3. Select the option Request a refund from the list.
  4. Select the reason for requesting a refund. 
  5. Click or tap Next.
  6. Specify which purchase or subscription you’d like to get a refund for.

It should take Apple about 24 to 48 hours to respond to your request. You can also check the status of the request on Apple’s website by doing the following:

  1. Sign in to the Report a Problem page again.
  2. Select Check Status of Claims. If the option is unavailable, that means you don’t have any pending requests. 
  3. Tap or click Pending to check the status of your refund request.

How Long Does It Take Apple To Issue a Refund?

If your request is approved, it may take additional time for the funds to reach your account. The refund will be issued to the same payment method you used to purchase the subscription, which may also dictate how long you’ll need to wait:

  • Store credit—Up to 48 hours
  • Mobile phone billing—Up to 60 days
  • Debit/credit cards, Apple Pay, Apple Cash, and other methods—Up to 30 days

Keep in mind that the final decision is Apple’s to make and that the company has the right to refuse a refund, especially if it finds evidence of fraud or abuse. The refund eligibility terms may also vary based on your country or region. 

A photo of a person using an iPhone displaying a white screen
Source: Terje Sollie

Where To Find Apple Subscriptions

If you want to switch to a different plan, activate family sharing, or access any other settings, you can do so within your subscription list. Take the steps below to find your subscriptions:

iOS Mac Windows
  1. Open Settings.

  2. Tap your name.

  3. Tap Subscriptions.

  1. Go to the App Store.

  2. Click your name.

  3. Click Account Settings.

  4. Scroll down to Subscriptions.

  5. Select Manage to view your subscriptions. 

  1. Launch iTunes.

  2. Select Account from the menu at the top.

  3. Click View My Account.

  4. Scroll down to Settings.

  5. Click Manage next to Subscriptions to view them.

What To Do in Case You Can’t Find a Subscription

If the subscription you’re looking for isn’t on the list, you may be able to find out why by checking the receipt of said subscription and the Apple ID that was used when purchasing it. You can find the receipt by typing “receipt from Apple” or similar in your email’s search bar. The Apple ID should show up when you open the email containing the receipt.

You can read about three frequent scenarios and the potential solutions in the table below:

  1. Second account—If the Apple ID on the receipt belongs to your other account, you may have signed in to the wrong account when canceling. You should log out and then log in with the correct Apple ID to complete the cancellation.
  2. Family sharing—You may find that the Apple ID on the receipt belongs to someone you know, such as a family member, which means they were the one who bought the subscription. In that case, you have to ask the person in question to cancel the subscription as you won’t be able to.
  3. Wrong biller—In case you can’t find the Apple receipt for the subscription, you may be billed for it by another company, such as the merchant directly or another third party like Google Play or Amazon. To check who’s billing you for the subscription, look at your bank or credit card statements. You’ll have to follow the billing company’s specific requirements to cancel.

If you’re still experiencing issues, it’s best to contact Apple Support.

How Virtual Cards Can Help You Manage Subscription Expenses

In most cases, you can cancel a subscription online without much hassle. However, some cancellation procedures might be more challenging than others. Certain companies may have specific requirements, such as cancellation through customer support or in person, which can be tedious and time-consuming. Others may allow you to cancel online but make the funnel overly complicated or riddled with once-in-a-lifetime deals, hoping you’ll stay subscribed and continue paying. Sometimes, companies may accidentally charge you even after you’ve successfully navigated cancellation. If you want to cancel a subscription successfully and avoid being charged again, you typically have to arm yourself with patience and vigilance.

In early 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its efforts to implement a new “click to cancel” rule that would obligate merchants to simplify cancellation for customers. However, it’s unclear when this rule will become effective. 

Luckily, you can avoid excessive billing by using virtual cards from Privacy to pay for your subscriptions, be it LinkedIn Premium, Adobe, or Xbox Game Pass. Virtual cards allow you to connect a funding source, but they mask your financial information with different card numbers at checkout. Besides protecting you from potential fraud and misuse, virtual cards may come with features that allow you to control your spending, especially if you obtain them from an independent virtual card provider like Privacy.

A bird’s eye view photo of a person typing payment card numbers on a Mac laptop
Source: Mikhail Nilov

Privacy Virtual Cards—An Effective Online Spending Management Tool

If you want more control over your online transactions, be it one-time or recurring, consider using Privacy Virtual Cards. Privacy is a comprehensive and BBB®-accredited company that lets you generate virtual cards, manage them, and use them with ease. 

Familiarize yourself with Privacy’s two card types and their features below:

  1. Single-Use—The Single-Use Card closes minutes after you complete the first transaction. Because of that, the card is ideal for shopping on unfamiliar websites and those you likely won’t shop from again.
  2. Merchant-Locked—The Merchant-Locked Card allows you to make multiple purchases but only from one vendor. It’s the ideal choice for your favorite websites and subscription services, including tools such as Dropbox or NordVPN, and magazines like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal

Privacy Cards come with additional features that allow you to manage subscription payments without affecting the linked funding source. 

You can set spending limits on your cards, and Privacy will decline all exceeding charges, allowing you to prevent accidental overcharging. 

When you want to part ways with a subscription, you can pause or close the card you used to purchase the subscription, and Privacy will block all charges on said card. While you still have to go through the company’s cancellation procedure, Privacy can let you do so without stressing over potential excessive charges.

How Privacy Makes Payments More Efficient

Regardless of the plan you choose, you’ll get the following benefits once you sign up for Privacy:

  • Browser extension—The Privacy Browser Extension auto-completes virtual card numbers at checkout, ensuring fast and seamless transactions. The extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge, but you can also get it for Safari mobile if you’re using an iOS device.
  • Mobile app—The Privacy mobile app for Android and iOS allows you to create and manage virtual cards on the go and receive real-time alerts when a card is used or declined.

How To Get Started With Privacy

To begin using Privacy, follow these four simple steps:

  1. Create an account
  2. Provide the information needed to verify your identity
  3. Link a funding source—debit card or bank account
  4. Request and generate virtual cards

You have three plans at your disposal:

  1. Personal (free for domestic transactions)—This plan comes with 12 virtual cards a month, all the above-discussed card settings, and access to the mobile app and browser extension. 
  2. Pro ($10 a month)—Besides the benefits you get with Personal, Pro offers up to 36 monthly cards and features such as fee-free foreign transactions, priority support, and 1% cashback on eligible purchases (totaling $4,500 a month).
  3. Premium ($25 a month)—With Premium, you get 60 virtual cards per month and all the available Privacy features, including dedicated account management.
Privacy — Seamless & Secure Online Card Payments
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