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  • Melissa, Owner of Sunny Side Support

Subscription Hell

As you may know, a lot of software companies—like Adobe, Microsoft, and 1Password—have moved to subscription models for their products. In some cases, you can still buy their programs outright instead of paying monthly, but if you do so, the companies often won’t provide you free updates. Which sounds okay in practice, but it may mean that your software stops working when you upgrade the operating system on your Mac. Or you may have security holes that don’t get patched. Not great.


Apple and its developers are no exception to this. Many apps and services now charge you monthly instead of you buying an app once. But how do you see in one shot what you’re paying for if you’re managing fifteen app subscriptions? Luckily, Apple has provided a convenient way to do so right on your devices. On the iPhone or iPad, you can get a comprehensive list of every charge that goes through Apple (including third-party services you’re paying for through the App Store) at Settings > [Name at the top] > Subscriptions.

Tap that, and you’ll see what you’re being charged for (and you can turn on an option to be notified when something is about to renew).

If there’s anything you want to stop subscribing to, it’s easy; just touch the app in question from the list and tap the text that says “Cancel Subscription.” In most cases, you’ll be able to keep access until the following month or year or however long your last payment covers. And that’s it! You’ll save some money.


Note that this won’t show you anything you’re paying for outside of the App Store—such as a subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud service—but it’ll at least allow you to review what Apple is charging you for. And if you’re me, that’s a significant amount! Pretty sure I could pay a mortgage or two with the money I hand over to that company. Okay, maybe not that much. But it’s a lot.

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