How to cancel an app subscription on iPhone or iPad

Signing up for a service through iOS kind of fun. A menu pops pop, you activate Face ID or Touch ID, and the world’s most satisfying ding lets you know your purchase was successful. It’s simplicity itself.

As for unsubscribing? That’s not so simple, but it’s better than it used to be. For years Apple would make you venture into depths of the Settings app that you probably never even knew existed in order to find your list of subscriptions, and you can still take that route if you wish. Now, though, Apple now lets you access your subscriptions directly through the App Store app. It’s still not incredibly intuitive, but it’s a massive improvement over the hoops we had to jump through.

Regardless of whether you want out of HBO Now, Match.com, or even Apple Music, here’s what you need to do to cancel a subscription. Below, we’ll show you both the short way and the long way.

The easy way

As of February of 2019, you can access all of your app subscriptions from your profile in the App Store app. This is by far the easiest way to cancel (or renew) a subscription. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Open the App Store app.
  2. Click on your profile icon in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. Press Manage Subscriptions.
  4. You’ll see a list of all your active and expired subscriptions.
  5. If you want to cancel one, press the desired active subscription and then press Cancel Subscription toward the bottom.
  6. If you want to renew one, click the desired expired subscription. You’ll usually see a list of different plans. Press the one you want, and then iOS will prompt you to approve an Apple Pay payment.
how to cancel a subscription february 2019Leif Johnson/IDG

The long way

So here’s the way you used to have to do it (and you can still do it this way if you prefer, you masochist). Finding the option to cancel a subscription used to require a hunt that felt tantamount to searching for Atlantis, and most folks thought—and likely not without reason—that Apple probably hoped that customers would just give up so it could hang on to that sweet subscription money.

Now that Apple is making such a big push into services, though, it needs an easier process like the one above. But just in case you ever do need to use the old way, here’s how. (The following screenshots are in landscape mode on my iPhone 7 Plus running iOS 11.3. As of February 13, 2019, though, the steps remain the same.)

1. Open Settings.

Settings on iOSLeif Johnson/IDG

Easy enough, right?