Guidelines To Help You Cancel Apple Subscriptions Effectively

Ashley Ferraro, Consumer Operations
Jan 22, 2024
 Min Read

Being the world’s largest company as of 2024 based on market capitalization, Apple’s ecosystem of tech products and services is used and loved by many. Among the popular products are the Apple App Store and iTunes, which allow you to purchase and manage your subscriptions with ease.

This article will explain how to cancel Apple subscriptions on different devices, as the process varies depending on which device you use. You’ll also learn helpful tips to prevent unwanted charges.

Note that the information in this guide is current as of November 2023. The processes may vary in some countries and regions. For updates and case-specific information, refer to the official Apple help center or contact support.

A photo of various Apple devices laid out on a table
Source: Sarah Shi

How To Cancel Subscriptions on an iPhone or iPad

Follow the steps below to cancel a subscription on an iPhone or iPad:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap your name, then Subscriptions.
  3. Tap the subscription you want to discontinue.
  4. Select Cancel Subscription. If you can’t find the option, scroll down. 

If the Cancel button is unavailable or the expiration information is colored red, that means the subscription has already been canceled. 

Apple suggests canceling subscriptions and trials at least 24 hours before their expiration date to avoid inadvertent renewals.

How To Cancel Subscriptions on a Mac Computer

To cancel an Apple subscription on Mac, take these steps:

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

How To Cancel iTunes Subscriptions

If you purchased the subscription via iTunes on your Windows computer, you can cancel the service as described below:

  1. Open iTunes on your PC.
  2. Select Account from the menu bar at the top of the window.
  3. Choose View My Account.
  4. Scroll down to Settings.
  5. Click Manage next to Subscriptions.
  6. Find the subscription you wish to cancel, then select Edit.
  7. Click Cancel Subscription

A photo of a person holding an iPhone with a Mac computer in the background
Source: PhotoMIX Company

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

If you can’t see the subscription you want to cancel in the list, Apple recommends finding the receipt of said subscription and checking the Apple ID that was used. You can do so by typing “receipt from Apple” in the search bar of your email client and opening the email containing the specific receipt.

The table below breaks down some common scenarios and explains what you should do in each of them to cancel an Apple subscription:

Scenario Explanation Solution
The Apple ID on the receipt is from another person. That person purchased the subscription for you. Ask the person in question to follow the cancellation steps listed above.
The Apple ID on the receipt is from your second account. You’ve signed in with the wrong Apple ID. Sign in with the correct Apple ID and repeat the cancellation steps.
You can’t find the receipt. You may have bought the subscription from another company. Check your bank or credit card statement to see which company bills you, then contact that company to cancel your subscription.

How Virtual Cards Make Subscription Cancellations Less Stressful

Although Apple’s cancellation process is straightforward, some companies may require additional steps. It’s also not uncommon for some subscription merchants to make canceling a difficult endeavor. These services aim to keep you subscribed for as long as they can, so they may sometimes resort to questionable practices.

If you’re unsure whether you’ve stopped the subscription effectively, it’s best to check with the company’s customer support as soon as possible. It’s advisable to be vigilant while attempting to cancel any service, as missing a step or failing to act in time could result in you paying another installment for a subscription you don't want.

You can also use virtual cards from Privacy to protect your funds from unwarranted charges. Virtual cards are connected to a real funding source, but they create a security layer around your transactions by masking your financial information with random card numbers at checkout. Besides security, virtual cards offer you more control over your spending, especially if you opt for a comprehensive virtual card provider like Privacy.

A bird’s eye view of a person typing on a laptop keyboard while holding a payment card
Source: Mikhail Nilov

Take Charge of Your Spending With Privacy Virtual Cards

Privacy is a BBB®-accredited virtual card service offering various features to help keep your funds protected from unauthorized and unwarranted charges. You can connect your bank account or debit card to Privacy and generate Privacy Virtual Cards for any purpose. You have two card types at your disposal—learn about them in the table below:

Single-Use Cards
Merchant-Locked Cards
  • These cards are valid for only one transaction.

  • They close minutes after you complete the first purchase.

  • They’re suitable for one-time purchases and transactions with unfamiliar merchants.

  • These cards allow multiple transactions, but only at one merchant.

  • They “lock” to the first merchant you use them at.

  • You can use them for your favorite merchants and subscription services, such as Apple Music, Kindle, and Hulu

Merchant-Locked Cards also have card settings that give you more spending control:

  • Pausing/closing—You can pause or close your cards at will without affecting the linked funding source. Privacy will decline all charges on paused or closed cards.
  • Spending limits—You can set spending limits on your virtual cards, and Privacy will block all charges that exceed them.

These settings make Merchant-Locked Cards an ideal choice when it comes to managing subscription payments. Pausing or closing your Privacy Virtual Card will prevent the subscription service from charging you while or after finishing the subscription cancellation process. Spending limits will prevent merchants and subscription services from charging you more than you initially agreed, such as by adding fees, increasing the initial price of the subscription, or charging you twice for the same month by accident.

Privacy Makes Payments More Convenient

When you sign up for Privacy, you also get access to the additional features that make transactions fast and convenient:

The Privacy browser extension, which is available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge, auto-completes virtual card details at checkout, so you don’t have to reach for your wallet or memorize card numbers. If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, you can enjoy quick and seamless checkouts by getting the extension for Safari mobile.

With the Privacy mobile app for iOS and Android, you can generate and manage virtual cards on the go and receive real-time notifications whenever your card is used or declined.

How To Get Privacy Virtual Cards

The Privacy setup process only requires you to:

  1. Sign up
  2. Enter the details needed to verify your identity
  3. Provide your bank account or debit card details
  4. Request and generate your virtual cards

Privacy Cards are issued by Visa® or Mastercard®, which means you can use them at most merchants and websites that accept these payment methods, including Amazon Prime, HelloFresh, and streaming platforms like Disney Plus, Peacock, and Netflix.

The Personal plan is free for domestic purchases and provides 12 virtual cards a month and all the features listed in this article. If you need additional cards (up to 60 a month) and features such as fee-free international transactions and priority support, consider one of the paid plans—Pro ($10/month) or Premium ($25/month).

Privacy — Seamless & Secure Online Card Payments
Checkout securely online by creating unique virtual card numbers for every purchase. Avoid data breaches, unwanted charges, and stolen credit card numbers.
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