How to manage or cancel an app subscription on Apple

Hello everyone! Today’s post was inspired by realising that when trawling my bank statement, I couldn’t actually see payments for an App that I use, yet couldn’t see the outgoing payments for. Like many people, I like to keep track on what I’m spending and it look me a while to realise my app subscription was actually routed via Apple (and appeared as charges to Apple) rather than the app itself on my bank statement.

I’ve reflected I really don’t like app subscriptions on Apple – they’re not hugely transparent and unlike most things Apple, it’s not particularly intuitive how to work out what you’re paying for and how to cancel it. A very cynical mind might say that’s by design…..

There’s also been a few horror stories on this with people who’ve ended up not realised they’re subscribed to a premium version of a game and paying a monthly fee after lending a phone to their children. It’s easy to chuckle at these but I can understand full well how you could easily get caught out.

So I thought a guide to managing Apple App Subscriptions could help people out!

What is an App Subscription on Apple?

Just to be clear, what I mean by an app subscription on Apple is where you make a subscription for a service you use through an third party app (a Disney+ subscription is a good example) – but the payment and mechanics of running the ongoing subscription actually work via Apple’s app store.

What this means in practice is that you manage your app subscription on Apple and are billed by Apple, rather than directly by the app creator. As such – continuing the above Disney+ app subscription example you would never see Disney on your credit card statement – just payments to Apple.

When you enter into an arrangement like you’re asked to confirm your Apple ID but as “confirming” is so automatic many don’t realise by default that’s the arrangement. You will receive a follow up e-mail from Apple confirming your subscription, and if default settings are on will also receive a receipt every time the subscription renews.

How to adjust your App Subscriptions on Apple.

How do I see what App Subscriptions I have on Apple?

On your IPhone Home screen, click settings. At the top of the setting screen, you should see the name associate with your Apple ID in big letters, with “Apple ID, iCloud, Media and Purchases” right below it. Push that.

Then push “subscriptions” – it’ll take a moment to retrieve your data.

This will then bring up a screen telling you what active subscriptions you have on the go at the moment and when they’re due to auto renew. If you have any subscriptions that have also recently expired, it will tell you about them here.

How do I manage or cancel my App Subscriptions on Apple?

After following the above, click on the subscription for the relevant service. It will show you all the different price points for the app subscription if you’re looking to change the plan you’re on.

If you’d like to cancel the app subscription, there’s a big button at the bottom which will enable you to do so.

You can see an example of that here:

An image of the Apple app subscription manage and cancel page

Does my App Subscription stop working immediately after cancelling?

No, it simply tells Apple not to renew the subscription – so any service you’re already using will remain active up until the natural expiry date.

How do I cancel a free trial run through an App Subscription on Apple?

In exactly the same way as a regular cancellation as above! The free trial will stay active until the point at which you would normally be billed.

I always recommend cancelling free trials immediately – they’re easy to forget about and the service will happily welcome you back with open arms if you do decide you want to sign up!

Any Questions?

It’s just a short one this week – but hopefully this acts as a reminder prompt that it’s always worth checking in on those subscriptions and challenging if what we’re using passes the worth it test!

Did you check your subscriptions and find something unexpected, or feel this process is less clear than it should be? Let us know in the comments below.

And that’s it!

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