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As one of the earliest services that allowed people to play MP3 files or take music on the go, Apple’s iTunes has both broad appeal and name recognition, even among those who may not have ever used the app or related services before. Since its inception, there have been numerous other apps or streaming platforms popping up to do similar things or often their own takes on portable audio.

Nowadays, people can take music, podcasts, and much more with them when they’re out and about, and iTunes itself has expanded to include smaller apps under its umbrella. Despite many choices on the market today, some users might wonder if they can get back an old iTunes account that they were using years ago.

We’ll go through whether this is possible, touch on how to retrieve accounts or music, and talk about any applicable expiration dates for things related to iTunes.

Can I Retrieve an Old iTunes Account?

In most cases, it should be possible to recover an old iTunes account. There are a couple of ways you might do this, and we will go into details about those in the next section.

Before we do, we’ll go over some of the reasons why the specific methods that Apple might recommend may not work for you in every case.

While Apple does want to make it relatively easy for users to recover any of the accounts they’ve created, there are also reasonable security measures in place. Therefore, some people may need to pass checks in order to get back into older accounts.

Although you can get back an old iTunes account, it could take some time if you do not have access to the Apple ID or password that you used when you made the account originally.

In these cases, account recovery is still an option, but you will need Apple’s help in order to facilitate it. Be aware that this is a process that could take several days, or perhaps even longer.

Because iTunes now has several other apps that are part of the larger program, it isn’t out of the question that you might store some audio, text, or other data that you might use for business purposes on your account.

If you need access to your iTunes account urgently, it is a good idea to remember or manage IDs and passwords somehow.

This will help you ensure that you are always able to get into any of the Apple accounts you have, and you won’t have to wonder if the whole recovery process might fail due to lack of identification.

How Can I Recover an Old iTunes Account?

There are a couple of primary ways that most iTunes users should be able to recover old accounts. There may be multiple ways to go through the steps for these methods, but we will talk about the most straightforward approaches to this problem.

Password or ID Resetting

Like most apps or services, iTunes requires users to access their accounts using unique identification and password credentials in order to verify that they are the people who should have access.

Because you use several programs throughout your daily life, many of which also expect you to recall passwords or usernames, it is possible that you won’t remember the full details of an old iTunes account that you started years ago.

Apple predicted that this might be an issue for many of its consumers, so the company set up an easy way to help them get back into forgotten accounts.

Through a dedicated system known as iForgot, you can retrieve or reset the password on iTunes accounts both old and new.

We will cover how you are able to do this in the steps below. Before we do, we should mention that trying to recover an account is somewhat different from just changing your credentials.

If you only need to do the latter, Apple also offers multiple ways that you might go about this task. You can use an iPad, iPhone, iPod, or even an Apple Watch if it is running a new enough operating system to do this. Otherwise, there are ways to use someone else’s device to do a reset as well. You can follow the steps below in if all you need to do is perform a basic password reset to get back into your old account:

1. On any of the devices mentioned above, navigate to your ’Settings’ section.

2. You will see a bar that lists ’[your name]’ and has information about ’Passwords, Security, and Changing Passwords’ or a similar header. Click on this to get started.

3. Because you can’t remember your password, you’ll need to be signed into iCloud, where you can then use a passcode to request a reset for the password and get back into your account.

Account Recovery Without a Reset Option

There could be cases where resetting your password by following the steps above simply does not work for some users. Perhaps there is an issue with the Apple ID not being the same as the one used for the account they would like to recover.

Maybe there is some security measure or system error that keeps returning a message about being unable to complete the operation. Whatever the case, there are times when one won’t be able to get back into an old iTunes account the usual way.

When this unfortunate event occurs, users still have the option to use Apple’s own iForgot tool mentioned above in order to request a bit of help from the company.

Note, however, that the service will expect you to know your Apple ID. If your iTunes account is older, you may have used a different Apple ID from the one that you have currently. If so, the tool cannot necessarily help you just yet.

One way you might be able to get the ID you need to get into an older account is to go through your email logs and look for anything from Apple from around the time you set up the original account you want back. If they’re still present, these emails could contain vital information about your old IDs.

If you know the old ID or have it stored somewhere, you’re ready to start using Apple to help you recover the old account.

1. Once you’re at the iForgot web tool linked above, choose the option to reset your password.

2. From here, you can choose to use a recovery key, get an email code, or answer security questions in order to prove that you are the user who should have access to the old account.

3. Follow the required prompts in the next sections of the tool to recover your account.

4. Based on your answers here, the tool may help you automate the recovery process without a waiting period from Apple.

Otherwise, if you don’t have the information available to pass the security checks, you may need to wait while the company verifies things.

Depositphotos_47994015_S Vector red expired stamp

Do iTunes Accounts Expire?

As a general rule, Apple IDs themselves do not expire. This means that iTunes accounts, all of which are associated with Apple IDs of some sort, do not expire either.

There can be a couple of possible exceptions to this, however. If a customer specifically asks it of Apple, the company can delete or lock down an Apple ID and the associated accounts with it.

They will honor most requests from verified customers in this way. In most cases, this would only be done when the company can verify that a particular ID has been hacked and is no longer under the control of the original user who created it.

For security reasons, this is one of the exceptions where an ID would be allowed to “expire” or become inaccessible.

Does iTunes Balance Expire?

If you have credit sitting on your iTunes account thanks to redeemed gift cards, it does not expire.

This means that you can leave credit on any iTunes account until you need it. It should also still be visible and available for you to use if you had any left on an old account that you forgot about but wanted to recover later.

How Do I Retrieve Music From an Old iTunes Account?

Once you’ve recovered an old account using any combination of the methods above, you can transfer backups of the old libraries to a new account if you would like to do so.

If you made backups when the old account was active, Apple makes it relatively easy to sync those contents to a new device or ID that is also under your name.

It is important to remember that this feature only applies to verified Apple Store purchases that you made.

You will also need to confirm authorization for any account contents you would like to move over to the new one. If you also have music from your own collection of CDs, you will need to go back to the original sources in order to move them.


Even with so many other music and streaming services out there today, iTunes holds its own as a pioneer. It has expanded into podcasts, audiobooks, and other smaller apps that operate under the larger iTunes in order to continue being an attractive option to many iOS users.

If you have an old account or music from an old library that you would like to retrieve, there are ways that Apple can help you with that.