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Forgot To Cancel a Subscription from Apple? These Tips May Be Helpful

Ashley Ferraro, Product
Mar 13, 2024
 Min Read
Manage Your Subscription Payments With Virtual Cards

It’s a frustrating situation—you sign up for a free trial, use the service for a few days, and then forget about it until the first charge takes place. If you’re not careful, you could easily end up paying for a month or year of services you don’t need. According to a 2023 Forbes survey, this issue isn’t uncommon. Of all participants, 50% claimed they’d forgotten to cancel a subscription after a free trial, and 47% admitted to paying for a streaming platform they rarely or never use.

If this happens to you, know that the situation may not be hopeless. In this article, you’ll discover tips on what to do if you forgot to cancel a subscription from Apple and how to request a refund. You’ll also get advice that may help you avoid unexpected subscription charges going forward.

The information in this article was sourced in January 2024. Please visit the official Apple website or contact customer support for updates.

A photo of a person holding their head with one hand and a jar of coins with the other
Source: Towfiqu barbhuiya

Steps To Take After You’ve Forgotten To Cancel an Apple Subscription

If you’ve forgotten to end the Apple subscription or free trial in time, you should complete the cancellation as soon as you remember to do so. The following table will provide you with concise instructions for canceling on different devices:

iPhone or iPad Mac Computer Windows Computer
  1. Open Settings.

  2. Tap your name.

  3. Tap Subscriptions.

  4. Select the subscription you want to end.

  5. Select Cancel Subscription. Some users may need to scroll down to locate the option.

  1. Go to the App Store.

  2. Click your name.

  3. Select Account Settings.

  4. Scroll down to Subscriptions.

  5. Click Manage.

  6. Select Edit next to the subscription you want to terminate.

  7. Click Cancel Subscription.

  1. Launch iTunes.

  2. Select Account from the menu at the top.

  3. Click View My Account.

  4. Scroll down to Settings.

  5. Click Manage next to Subscriptions.

  6. Find the subscription you want to cancel.

  7. Select Edit.

  8. Click Cancel Subscription

After canceling, you may be able to use the subscription’s benefits until the end of the current billing cycle. Once the cycle ends, you’ll lose access to the subscription and won’t be charged for it anymore.

Can You Get a Refund on a Subscription You Forgot To Cancel?

There’s no definite answer to this question. Some users may be able to get a refund after failing to cancel a subscription, and others may not. 

In its Terms and Conditions document, Apple states that all transactions are final, but there may be exceptions. For example, the document specifies that users who are prevented from using the service due to technical difficulties may be eligible for a replacement or refund. Certain regions may also be subject to different terms.

Although subscription payments are generally non-refundable, some users claim that they managed to get refunded for subscriptions they’ve forgotten to cancel. Apple even provides the option “I didn’t intend to renew a subscription(s)” when selecting a reason for a cancellation request.

According to some users, your chances of being reimbursed for the unwanted subscription charge may be higher if you:

Keep in mind that refunds are never guaranteed, even if you have valid reasons for requesting them. Apple has the right to deny reimbursement for any reason, especially if it discovers attempts of refund abuse.

A photo of a MacBook, iPhone, and EarPods sitting on a wooden desk
Source: AJ Garcia

How To Request a Refund From Apple

Take the steps below to request a refund from Apple:

  1. Head to Apple’s Report a Problem page on a computer or mobile browser.
  2. Sign in with the Apple ID you used when purchasing the subscription.
  3. Click or tap the I’d like to dropdown menu.
  4. Select Request a refund from the list.
  5. Choose the option I didn’t intend to renew a subscription(s). Provide additional information in the text box below if you want to.
  6. Click or tap Next.
  7. Specify which subscription you’d like to request a refund for.

You should know that you won’t be able to request a refund if the charge is still pending or you have an unpaid order.

Apple should respond with a refund decision within 24 to 48 hours, but you can also check the request’s status on the website. To do so, sign in to the Report a Problem page again, select the option Check Status of Claims, and click Pending.

If Apple accepts your request, the refund will be applied to the payment method you used to purchase the subscription. Refer to the table below to find out how long you may need to wait depending on the payment method:

Payment Method How Long Refunds Usually Take
Store credit Up to 48 hours
Mobile phone billing Up to 60 days
Debit cards, credit cards, Apple Pay, Apple Cash, and other methods Up to 30 days

What To Do if You Can’t Cancel a Subscription

In case you can’t find the subscription you want to cancel, check whether:

  • You’ve signed in with the right Apple ID (if you have multiple)
  • A family member was the one who purchased the subscription
  • You’re billed for the subscription by the company directly or by another third party, such as Google Play, Amazon, or Roku

If the Cancel Subscription option is unavailable, that means the subscription has already been terminated.

A photo of a person looking at an iPhone with a MacBook in the background
Source: Alejandro Escamilla

For all other cancellation problems, it’s best to reach out to Apple’s customer support. You can do so as described below:

  1. Head to Apple’s Support page on a computer or mobile browser.
  2. Click or tap Billing and Subscriptions.
  3. Scroll down to the Get Support section and select Start Now.
  4. Click or tap Subscriptions and Purchases.
  5. Select the option View, change, or cancel subscriptions and specify what happened in the text box below.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. On the next page, scroll down and choose one of the available contact options—Chat or Call.
  8. Fill out the details needed to schedule a callback or start chatting with customer support.

How Virtual Cards Can Help Avoid Unwanted Subscription Payments

Some service providers will notify you when your trial or subscription period is about to expire, but this isn’t always the case. Some companies use automatic renewal to get you to remain a customer and continue paying for longer. Other companies may design the cancellation process to be complicated, requiring you to contact customer support or navigate a multi-step online cancellation funnel riddled with sales pitches. Even if you abide by all the guidelines and cancel the subscription in time, you may end up incurring charges accidentally. 

To avoid any excessive fees and the accompanying difficulties, consider using Privacy Virtual Cards to pay for future subscriptions. Virtual cards shield your financial information with random numbers at checkout, keeping it safe in case of a data leak. You may also be able to use virtual cards to manage subscription payments, especially if you obtain them from a comprehensive virtual card service like Privacy.

A photo of a person typing payment card numbers on a keyboard
Source: cottonbro studio

Privacy Virtual Cards—Effective Protection Against Unwelcome Charges

Privacy Virtual Cards make your payments more secure, convenient, and controlled. You can connect your debit card or bank account to Privacy and easily create virtual cards for your online spending needs. With Privacy, you get to choose between two card types:

  1. Single-Use Card—This card allows you to make only one payment and closes shortly afterward. It is suitable for one-time purchases and transactions with unfamiliar merchants.
  2. Merchant-Locked Card—This card enables payments with only one vendor and blocks all others. It’s ideal for your favorite shopping spots and subscription services, such as HBO Max, LinkedIn Premium, Audible, and Xbox Game Pass.

Privacy Cards can also be paused or closed, and you can set spending limits on them without impacting the linked funding source. When you set a limit on your virtual card, Privacy declines all transactions that go over, protecting against potential double-charges or excessive subscription costs. In case you decide to stop the subscription, you can close or pause the card you used to purchase that subscription. Since Privacy will block all further transactions on said card, you don’t have to worry about incurring inadvertent charges during or after cancellation.

Privacy—Setup, Pricing, and Extras

To begin using Privacy, you only need to:

  1. Sign up
  2. Enter the information needed to verify your identity
  3. Connect a debit card or bank account
  4. Request your virtual cards

Privacy’s Personal plan, which is free for domestic transactions, includes 12 virtual cards a month, all the above-discussed card settings, and access to the browser extension and app.

The Privacy Browser Extension autofills virtual card numbers at checkout, ensuring fast and seamless online payments. You can download it for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge—as well as Safari mobile if you’re on iOS. The Privacy mobile app for iOS and Android allows you to create and manage your virtual cards on the go. 

The paid plans, Pro ($10/month) and Premium ($25/month), provide up to 60 virtual cards monthly and additional benefits such as:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Priority support
  • 1% cashback on eligible purchases (totaling $4,500 a month)
  • Dedicated account management
Privacy — Seamless & Secure Online Card Payments
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