How to Cancel iPhone App Subscriptions: Step-by-Step

Updated

It’s easy to subscribe to apps, services, and special features on your iPhone. It’s typically as simple as clicking a button and confirming your Apple ID. However, while convenient, it can be tricky to cancel iPhone app subscriptions when the time comes. Since these subscriptions are automatically renewed every month, they can quickly run you up a larger cost than you were hoping to spend. 

Jump ahead to these subscriptions:

The Apple ID subscription manager makes it as easy as possible to pay for all of your recurring services using their simple one-click process. This is designed intentionally, knowing that we’re more likely to agree to a new charge if it’s simple. While effective, it’s important to stay on top of your subscriptions to make sure you’re not paying for more than you need. 

How do you cancel iPhone app subscriptions? Any subscriptions you’ve signed up for through your Apple ID can be canceled with a few simple steps, most of which can be done on your own device. Keep reading to learn your next steps, whether you’re managing your own account or acting on executor duties.

What Are iPhone App Subscriptions?

First, what are iPhone app subscriptions? How do they differ from other types of subscription services? While you traditionally have to enter your banking or credit card details to agree to most services, this isn’t the case for iPhone app subscriptions. Using the Apple ID subscription manager, all of your subscriptions are managed through a single username, password, and payment details. 

Whatever payment information is associated with your Apple ID is used for your app subscriptions. This means if you purchase a paid app, premium add-on, or special upgrade, your Apple ID will take care of it without you needing to input any information. This makes it as easy as possible to subscribe to new paid services. While great in theory, it can be complicated if you want to cancel a subscription later down the line. 

How to Cancel Your Own iPhone App Subscriptions

If you’re canceling your own iPhone app subscriptions, this is a relatively easy process. If you’re unable to find the app you’re looking for using the steps below, it’s likely not associated with that Apple ID. To get started, follow the steps below. 

1. Open settings

The first step is to open the Settings app on your iPhone or other Apple device. You can complete these steps on an iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, or iPhone. The settings app is the gear button, and you can also search for it by pulling down on your device. 

2. Tap on your Apple ID

Once you open your settings, tap on your Apple ID at the top. This is listed as your name and Apple ID photo. Under your name, it lists “Apple ID, iCloud, Media & Purchases.” This is where you find all information and subscriptions associated with your specific Apple ID.

If you’ve recently logged out or changed your password, you might have to sign in again. Otherwise, make sure you’re logging into the correct Apple ID. The wrong account could lead to challenges when finding the subscription you wish to cancel. 

3. Tap subscriptions

When you open your Apple ID tab, you’re presented with a list of personal settings. You can change your password, update payment information, and access your iCloud. 

This is also where you’ll find the Apple ID subscription manager. Click Subscriptions to navigate to the full list of your subscriptions associated with your Apple ID. Once opened, you’ll see a full list of active subscriptions. Canceled subscriptions shouldn’t show up on this list. 

4. Locate the app subscription you wish to cancel

Under the list of active app subscriptions, scroll until you find the app you’re looking for. On this page, you can also see important information about your active subscriptions. You can see your membership or payment type, as well as your next billing date. 

Any canceled or expired subscriptions are listed in a separate section under “Expired.” When you find the subscription you’re looking for, review any important details. When you’re ready, click “Cancel Subscription.” 

5. Note the cancellation date

Lastly, there are a few things you should know about the date you cancel. First, when you cancel a subscription mid-cycle, you usually have access to the service until the final date of your billing period. Pay close attention to this date so you can continue to use the service until this time. 

If you’re canceling a subscription during a trial period, you’ll have a slightly different message. Instead of “Cancel Subscription,” you might need to click “Cancel Free Trial.” Once your app subscription is canceled, consider deleting the app entirely or removing it from your password manager

How to Cancel a Deceased Loved One’s iPhone App Subscriptions

If you’re handling a loved one’s affairs when they’re gone, it’s common to delete any subscriptions. This not only protects their identity, but it also avoids them getting charged for things they’re not using. It’s not easy to know what to do when someone dies, but taking these steps below is certainly an act of kindness. 

1. Access their Apple ID

The easiest way to cancel a deceased loved one’s iPhone app subscriptions is through the steps listed above. However, you need access to your loved one’s Apple ID to do this. If you have it, you can log into their account through any Apple Device or Mac. Similarly, if you have access to one of their devices, it might already be logged in.

If you don’t already have access to their Apple ID, you can try resetting the password through their phone or email. Alternatively, see if they listed their password anywhere on their device or in their personal documents. 

2. Seek a court order

If you’re unable to access your loved one’s Apple ID through the methods above, your only other option is through a court order. Apple has strong privacy protections that keep users’ accounts safe. While these exist for good reason, they make things tricky for surviving loved ones. 

The best way to access a loved one’s Apple account is through a court order. To do this, you’ll need to know how to get a death certificate. Though a lengthy process, this is the most effective way. 

3. Cancel their payment method

An alternative to obtaining a court order is to simply cancel their Apple ID payment method. If your loved one used a specific bank account or credit card, canceling this would also halt recurring subscriptions. Once canceled, these subscriptions would no longer be active. 

Canceling a loved one’s bank accounts and credit cards is already one of the most important steps. By doing so, you prevent them from recurring charges and subscriptions they no longer need. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Canceling iPhone App Subscriptions

Canceling iPhone app subscriptions can be confusing, especially if you’re not familiar with how Apple IDs work. These FAQs ensure you know just what to expect. 

Can you get a refund after you cancel your iPhone subscriptions?

When you cancel your iPhone subscriptions, you won’t receive a refund for any remaining time on your monthly purchase. For example, if your billing date is February 10 and you cancel February 1, you won’t get any refund for the remainder of the month. Instead, you’ll continue to have access to the account until February 10. 

Can you cancel your subscriptions on a desktop computer or PC?

You can also cancel your subscriptions on a desktop computer or PC. To do so on a Mac, navigate to the App Store and log into your Apple ID. Under your user settings, access your subscriptions and cancel any apps you no longer use. On a PC or non-Apple device, you can cancel subscriptions directly through the specific app. 

What happens when you cancel your app subscriptions?

When you cancel your app subscriptions, you’ll no longer have access to any paid features. Any upgrades or memberships you paid for will no longer be accessible until you restart your subscription. You can typically restart at any time. 

Understanding Your Apple ID Subscriptions

While Apple makes it simple to sign up for recurring subscriptions, it’s also important to stay on top of your payments. If you need to delete or cancel a subscription for any reason, it’s a straightforward process through the Apple ID subscription manager using the steps above. 

It’s important to check in with your subscriptions periodically. Not only can you avoid spending more than you need to, but you can also protect your sensitive data. The same is true for a loved one’s account once they pass. Similarly, you might also need to know how to delete your Apple ID

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