What's the best way to manage the digital subscriptions on my iPhone and other Apple devices? Can I cancel my subscription to Apple Music, Apple News services and so on on the iPhone (or iPad)?
One of the less heralded changes in iOS 10 added subscriptions to the News app: from now on, users would be able to pay to access particular news services. Perhaps Apple could do for the online news market what it did for digital music downloads and what Spotify (and Apple too, latterly) did for music streaming: persuade a bunch of people completely used to it being free, to pay for it.
Whether it can achieve such a thing remains unclear. But in the meantime, this announcement means the range of subscriptions services you can access through your Apple devices has got even bigger. On top of News, there's already the subscription-based Apple Music streaming service (baked into the default Music app), various newspapers and magazines (handled on an individual basis, having been unbundled from the unpopular Newsstand umbrella app), further apps that use subscription models - such as the meditation app Headspace - and a range of TV and video services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.
It can all get quite complicated, in other words - and since these all involve regular costs, it's important to keep on top of exactly what you're paying for, and to know how to change or cancel your subscriptions as soon as they become unaffordable or unnecessary. To help with the mental juggling, here's our guide to managing subscriptions on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV.
- Apple Music
- Apple News
- Newspapers & magazines
- Other apps
- TV & video services
How to manage subscriptions: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
Managing subscriptions on an iOS device is simple. It can all be viewed in your Apple ID account, stored in Settings.
Open the Settings app and tap iTunes & App Store. Your Apple ID should be shown at the top: tap this, then 'View Apple ID'. Sign in, use Touch ID or whatever is required, and then you'll see all your account settings.
Tap Subscriptions, and all your subscriptions will be listed. (If the Subscriptions option isn't there, that indicates that this account doesn't have any subscriptions managed through iOS. See below for what to do if you can't find a subscription listed.)
Tap the subscription you want to manage, then choose from the options available to adjust or cancel the subscription (according to the terms of your payment scheme - if you've paid up to the end of the month, for instance, the subscription will continue until this point): you'll see a simple Cancel Subscription option.
My subscription isn't listed. What next?
If a subscription you wish to manage or cancel isn't listed, it's possible that you signed up under a different Apple ID account - if you have an alternative account, sign out and in again with that account to see if this fixes the problem. Failing this, it would appear that your subscription was taken out directly with the provider and not via Apple's intermediary services, so you'll need to contact the subscription provider directly.
How to manage subscriptions: Apple TV
Like the iPhone and iPad, the fourth-gen Apple TV allows you to manage digital subscriptions on that device through its Settings. (For earlier models of Apple TV, you'll need to manage subscriptions through another device on the same account.)
Open the Settings app and then click on Accounts. Look under Subscriptions, where you'll see an option labelled Manage Subscriptions - select this.
As in iOS, you'll see a list of subscriptions that should include the subscription you currently wish to manage or cancel. If it's there, select this subscription, and follow the options and instructions as directed to adjust the settings for this subscription or cancel it entirely (according to the terms of your payment scheme). Again, you'll see a simple Cancel Subscription option.
How to manage subscriptions: Mac (and PC)
Unlike iOS and tvOS devices, laptops and desktops don't let you update and manage your Apple account subscriptions through the system settings. You need to go into iTunes (and sign into the appropriate Apple ID account if you haven't done so already).
Select Account from the top menu bar, then View My Account, and input your password or fingerprint as requested. Now select View Account, go to Account Information, and find the Settings section. Next to Subscriptions, select Manage.
Find the subscription you want to manage and select Edit. As in all these cases, there's a simple Cancel Subscription option to bring the subscription to a close at the end of the current payment period.
As discussed in the iOS section, it's possible that you're paying for a subscription but it doesn't show up in iTunes' account settings. Again, try signing in with a different account; if this fails, your best bet is to contact the service provider directly.