How do I reactivate my old iTunes account?

iTunes accounts allow you to access and manage purchased content like music, movies, apps, and more across Apple devices. Over time, some iTunes accounts may become inactive if they are not used regularly. There are a few reasons why someone may want to reactivate an old iTunes account:

  • Regain access to previously purchased content like music, movies, books, etc.
  • Sync that existing content across new Apple devices
  • Consolidate content purchases under one main account
  • Retrieve data from a previous device backup

Reactivating an old iTunes account can be done by resetting the password and signing in. This guide will walk through the step-by-step process to get an inactive iTunes account up and running again.

Locate your Apple ID

The first step to reactivating an old iTunes account is locating the Apple ID associated with it. This is the email address or username you used to create the original account. Here are some tips for finding your old Apple ID:

Check your email inbox for any iTunes receipts or confirmations emails that may have the Apple ID listed. Apple sends purchase confirmations to the email associated with your Apple ID.

Look through your Apple devices to see if the Apple ID is saved in settings or stored passwords. For example, on an iPhone go to Settings > [your name] > Password & Security to view saved passwords.

Try signing in to with old emails or usernames you may have used. This is where you manage your Apple ID and can look up your account details.

Use Apple’s page to recover your Apple ID by entering info like your first/last name, trusted phone numbers or email addresses associated with the account.

Check your browser history to see if you have visited any Apple ID management pages while logged into the old account. This may surface the Apple ID email/username.

As a last resort, you can contact Apple Support to help locate your Apple ID if you cannot find it through other methods.

Reset your password

If you’ve forgotten your Apple ID password, you can easily reset it. Here are the steps to reset your Apple ID password according to Apple Support1:

  1. Go to from any device connected to the internet.
  2. Enter your Apple ID and complete the captcha verification.
  3. Select Continue and follow the onscreen instructions to reset your password.
  4. You’ll be asked some security questions to confirm your identity.
  5. After successfully answering the questions, you can enter and confirm your new password.

Resetting your Apple ID password online is the fastest way to get access back to your account if you’ve forgotten your password. The whole process usually takes less than 5 minutes. Just make sure to set a new password you’ll easily remember next time.

Sign in to iTunes

To reactivate your old iTunes account, you will first need to sign in to iTunes on your computer with your Apple ID. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the iTunes app on your computer.
  2. Click on Account in the menu bar at the top of the iTunes window.
  3. Select “Sign In” from the drop down menu.
  4. Enter your Apple ID and password in the sign in window.
  5. Click the “Sign In” button.

Signing in with your Apple ID will reconnect your iTunes account on that computer to your previous purchase history and reactivate any downloaded content associated with that Apple ID. If you have multiple Apple IDs, make sure to sign in with the specific ID you used previously with iTunes to access your full purchase history. Once signed in, iTunes may take a few minutes to fully reactivate your account and sync your library content.

According to DRMare, “iTunes will log out automatically after a few minutes to protect your privacy, so you may need to sign in again periodically.”

Update account info

If you haven’t accessed your old iTunes account in a while, some of the account details may be outdated or expired, like your payment method. You’ll need to update this information to reactivate purchases and subscriptions.

To update your payment method, go to the App Store on your Mac and click on your name or the Sign In button in the top right. Then navigate to Account Settings and find the Payment Information section (source). Click Edit next to your current payment method to enter a new one.

You can also update expired payment info directly from your iOS device. Go to Settings > [Your Name] > Payment & Shipping. Tap your expired card and then tap Delete to remove it. Finally, tap Add Payment Method to enter your new card details (source).

After entering valid payment information, you should be able to redownload old purchases tied to your iTunes account and restore any active subscriptions.

Re-download purchases

To re-download previous purchases made on your Apple ID in iTunes, first open iTunes and click on Account > Purchased from the menu bar. This will bring up a list of all your past purchases. Find the album, song, movie, TV show, book or app you want to download again and click on the Download button next to it. The content will download and be added back to your iTunes library.

If you have a lot of purchases, you can use the Search field at the top of the Purchased page to find specific items quickly. iTunes may need to verify your Apple ID password when you try to re-download, so have it ready. Purchased apps will be sent to the App Store app to be installed. You can also view your purchase history and re-download at

If you are missing past purchases in your account, you may need to turn on iTunes in the Cloud or reveal hidden purchases. Go to Account > View My Account, scroll down and enable “iTunes in the Cloud”. This will show previously hidden items. Re-download any music, movies, TV shows or books you are still missing (Apple, 2022).

Restore iTunes Media

If you have an iTunes media library backup, you can restore it to sync your music, movies, TV shows, apps, and more back to your iTunes library. Here are the steps to restore your iTunes media library:

1. Open iTunes and go to File > Library > Restore Library. This will open the restore wizard.

2. Select the backup you want to restore from. This is usually located in Finder at ~/Music/iTunes. You can select a full or partial backup.

3. Click Restore to start the process. Your iTunes library will rebuild from the backup.

4. After it completes, you can click Done. You may need to sync your iOS devices and Apple TV to transfer the media files back to them.

If you don’t have an iTunes backup, you can use third party software like TouchCopy to restore your iTunes media library from an iPhone, iPad or iPod.

Sync devices

Once you have reactivated your old iTunes account and reset the password, you can sync new devices like iPhones, iPads, or iPods to your iTunes library and purchases. To sync a new device:

Connect your new device to your computer using a USB cable. Open iTunes on your computer and click on the device icon in the upper left corner. Select the type of content you want to sync from your iTunes library, like music, movies, TV shows, audiobooks, and podcasts. Check the boxes next to the specific items you want to transfer. You can also click “Sync entire [category]” to automatically transfer your entire music, movie, or other iTunes library to your device. Finally, click the “Sync” or “Apply” button to start the syncing process. Your new device will now have access to your purchased content from your iTunes account.

If you want to set your device to always sync automatically with your iTunes library, click the Summary tab with your device selected. Check the box next to “Open iTunes when this [device] is connected.” Then enable “Sync this [device] automatically” and select your sync preferences. Now whenever you connect your device to your computer, it will automatically sync with your iTunes content. This ensures you always have your latest iTunes purchases on your device without manually initiating each time.

With your reactivated iTunes account, you can sync an unlimited number of new devices to your existing iTunes library. As long as you use the same Apple ID, all of your purchased content can be accessed on any device connected to your iTunes account.

Troubleshooting Tips

Reactivating an old iTunes account can sometimes run into issues. Here are some solutions for common problems:

If you no longer have access to the email associated with your Apple ID, you can contact Apple Support to verify your identity another way and regain access to your account. Refer to this Apple Support article for steps.

If you don’t have your access code, you can request Apple to mail it to your trusted phone number or email on file. Follow the steps in this Apple forum discussion.

If you are unable to answer security questions correctly, try resetting your responses through your trusted devices logged into your Apple ID. Instructions can be found here.

For other issues, reach out to Apple Support directly via phone, chat, or email. They can access your account details and provide customized troubleshooting. Refer to this page for contact options.

With persistence and Apple’s help, you should be able to regain access to your iTunes account.


In summary, the key steps to reactivate an old iTunes account are: finding your Apple ID, resetting your password via, signing in to iTunes or the App Store with your refreshed login credentials, updating any account info, re-downloading past purchases, and syncing your devices. Reactivating a dormant iTunes account provides the benefits of regaining access to your previous apps, music, books, movies and more. It also allows you to consolidate your library under one Apple ID. With a few simple steps, you can bring your old iTunes account back to life and renew its usability.