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So once in a while, iTunes reminds us that things aren't going to be smooth all the time. I mean, what do you say when all of a sudden, you can't authorize your computer in iTunes?

But this thing happens and it's not as mission-critical as, say, iPhone not switching on. The solutions are easy to try too and in all probability, you can fix the “unable to authorize” issue faster than you thought.

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There can be three main reasons why iTunes refuses to authorize your computer.

Can't Authorize My Computer In iTunes

  1. You've authorized 5 computers with your email ID already
  2. There's something wrong with your Apple ID / iTunes sign-in
  3. There's something wrong with iTunes/ some file. Let's delete it.

#1: The simplest solution if you're unable to authorize a computer is to De-authorize all computers once and then try again. Of course, it's a bad deal but it works most of the time. “Bad deal” because you're going to have to re-authorize all other computers too.

To de-authorize all computers at once and solve the authorization problems, you'll first need to satisfy a criteria: you should have authorized more than 2 computers with the same Apple ID. Once you're sure of this, proceed:

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  • Open iTunes
  • Click on the iTunes Store
  • If you're signed in, click on the account button and click on View Account.
  • If not, click on the account button and sign-in.
  • Within this window, you should see a “De-authorize All” button. If it's enabled, click on it. (If it's not, you haven't authorized more than two computers)
  • After this, try to re-authorize from the menu. (Press Alt in Windows to reveal the menu)
  • You can “Authorize this Computer” through iTunes Store (on the left) too.

#2: Should this not work, this could be a problem with your Apple ID. An easy way to fix this would be to logout of your account in iTunes and then login again.

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On a side-note here, if you are reading this only because iTunes throws an “authorization-related” error when you try to play songs, you should try to remove the songs from the library and the re-add them again.

#3: Now this final method gets a little into Application folders. Before you dive into this method – which has a spectacular working record – you might want to try re-installing iTunes on your computer. Once you've done that, if authorization still throws up errors, here's what you do:

If you're running Windows 7/Vista:

  • Open Computer
  • Click on the “Organize” in menu, and click on “Folder and Search options”
  • Click on the View tab
  • Under “Hidden files and folders” look for “Show hidden files and folders” and check it.
  • Click OK to apply the changes
  • Now go to C:/ProgramData/Apple Computer/iTunes
  • If there's an SC Info folder shown, delete it.
  • Quit iTunes and re-open it again. Authorize your computer.

If you're running Windows XP:

  • Open My Computer
  • Go to Tools → Folder Options
  • Under “Hidden files and folders”, check “Show hidden files and folders”
  • Apply the changes
  • Go to C:Documents and Settings → All Users → Application Data → Apple Computer → iTunes
  • Delete the “SC Info” folder
  • Quit iTunes and re-open it again. Try to authorize your computer.
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Did that fix the problem? Let us know!

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Jignesh Padhiyar is the founder of iGeeksBlog.com who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around iPhone and iPad.
  • Nadila

    Hey please help. I’ve tried everything above. It doesnt change anything. When i signing in (to authorized some new apps), and start accessing itunes store, and DANG it said there’s an error in itunes store. I’ve tried like 50times but it wont change :( please please i need it

  • Darren

    I am still getting the same error and nothing is working to fix it

  • Efthimis Kritikos

    i ‘ve authorize the same computer and then i did format it, iTunes say’s “You’ve authorized 5 computers with your email ID already” what can i do??

  • Jalal

    Didn’t work. I have already authorized my computer but it still gives the same error continuously. I’m not able to download new applications from iTunes. Someone HELP !!!

  • sld

    did not work. Also reinstalled iTunes – same problem. Set User Accounts to “Never Notify” – same problem. It will not sync my iPhone or iPad, simply stops at step 3 of sync. When I reauthorize the computer, it says it is already authorized…

  • donpep14

    what i did to authorize my itunes on window 7 was to click on itunes click on the little square on the left side all the way up top.. it looks like a little ipod once u click on that go to itune-store and stroll down to authorize this computer.

  • Ramone

    All I have to say is apple products ran on a Windows environment are complete CRAP, especially iTunes. There are so many bugs with each update. Seriously, if apple is not going to test their terrible software, don’t release it. I’ve went through all these steps on 2 different windows 8 machines and they don’t work. Utter garbage. I will never ever buy an apple product.

  • Debbie Vacanti Tyndall

    i did this it did not work

  • James McDonald

    I am having the same problem, but I can’t deauthorize all computers, because I have already done that once this year when I had the same problem. Why are you limited to once a year? Seems stupid.

  • mik

    didn’t work, still getting a message that my computer is not authorized

  • MrShroomerson

    Didn’t work here as well. It seemed to work while the SC folder was deleted but it created a new one so the problem came again.

    • What you can try is de-authorize the computer, log out of iTunes and
      then “re-install” itunes itself. Then authorize the computer as if
      you’re starting from square one.

      • MrShroomerson

        I tried that too, but still the same :(

  • bryny6691

    didnt work i still cant sync my phone

    • Did you try logging into your Apple ID from the web and then de-authorizing all computers associated with the account?

    • Derrex liu

      I have this kind of problem too ,i have follow all step above , But I can still not sync my phone now ,