Go unauthorize some of your devices from Google Music right now [UPDATE: Google Issues Statement]


Earlier today it was reported that Google may have imposed a device deactivation limit of four devices per year on Google Music. This was likely to protect the recording industry against music sharing, but this adversely affects many users in ways Google probably overlooked. Namely, ROM updates and installs can sometimes be counted as a new device on your Google Music list. Once you hit 10 devices you have to unauthorize some to use Google Music on another device.

Most ROM users will find that their list is filled with duplicate entries, and if they can’t deauthorize devices more than four times in a single year, they’ll soon be SoL on using Google Music on future ROM installs.

You either limit the ROM installs or you get rid of Google Music, and it’s a choice that yours truly was faced with upon hearing this news. Users tried to deauthorize more than four devices earlier to confirm that this was the case, and they were indeed met with an alert.

But it seems Google’s lifted the limit for now. We’re not sure if they’re doing this temporarily to allow users a chance to deauthorize, if this is a permanent move, or if they’re looking into a different method for counting authorized devices (a MAC address or IMEI number would work great, we think).

We’re hoping it’s the latter two situations, but Google hasn’t released any official word to let us know either way. If you need to unauthorize more devices, now is your chance to do so. Head to Google Music and click the ‘music settings’ button in the upper right corner.

UPDATE: Google has issued this statement via their Google Play FAQ:

Yesterday we made a change to our device policy for music on Google Play.  Any user can associate up to 10 devices to his or her account.  Once you have connected 10 devices, you may add a new device only by deauthorizing an existing one from your account, and you may do this up to four times per year.

We limit the number of times you can swap out new devices at the request of some of our music partners in an effort to limit abuse. We understand this has caused some issues for users who often deauthorize and reauthorize the same device, and we are currently re-implementing the solution in a way that works for our users and music partners.

We apologize for any inconvenience and will update this page as new changes are made.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Thank you thank you for lettining me no i read it this morning and i checked and had 5 galaxy nexus and i couldnt go a thing about it but now i only have one haha

  2. now if only the Googs would let us permanently delete (not hide) devices from the Play market. I really have no use or need to have my OG Droid and Transformer (which I sold) listed.

    1. Yup. My old MyTouch 3G and Vibrant are still there from my T-Mobile days as well as my temporary Droid RAZR while I waited for the Galaxy Nexus.

      And upon checking my authorized devices, the Vibrant, RAZR and 2 copies of my tablet (which has never been rooted) were in there. Weird. Deauthorized them all.

  3. if Google reimposes the device limit, this will just become another bullet point for those such as myself who detest devices that lack a removable storage option.

    Thanks for the heads up. I check account frequently to remove devices because I flash roms so often and have multiple devices. I would be pissed if I hit my limit and was unable to remove duplicate/old devices.

    1. I hope to GOD the nonremovable storage crap doesnt continie. I know there were valid security reasons for it but i want to be and manipulate my device as i see fit. Swriously, id like to be swap parts, theyre moving in the opposite direction

      1. I too dislike not being able to have removable storage options on my mobile devices, however if this trend continues, one thing we can look forward to is high capacity flash storage options.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if a few years down the road we’re looking at flash drives the size of SDHC cards that contain a terabyte worth of storage.

  4. Yuu can’t tell me what to do……You’re not the boss of me…..You’re not my dad.

  5. That’s more like it. Thanks Google.

  6. Yeah…..I’m curious too……how do we perform this task?

    1. just go to and click the gear icon the upper right. rocketscience–; condescending++;

      1. Thanks….If you’re being condescending, then bite my clank. If not, thanks……Not all of us know everything.

  7. How do I get that nice looking silver icon in Android, and ditch the horrible gold one?

    1. use a launcher that lets you swap out icons, or use an icon pack.

    2. Or if you don’t want a launcher you could use Bettercut. It changes icons. But that isn’t free. Just look for $2 to burn. I think it’s $2. LoL!!

  8. Music DRM is an archaic concept. Why would anyone use Google Music if it imposes restrictions? Just purchase your music from Amazon or iTunes (saved in MP3 format) and ignore Google Music. DRM is such a pain that it’s easier to ignore ecosystems that demand it. If Google wants my music business, they’ll stop this nonsense. Until then, I’ll support Amazon.

    1. What DRM are you talking about? google music doesn’t restrict you beyond this article suggesting they will limit you to 10 devices to playback online. But that still doesn’t restrict you from downloading the song to your desktop and copying that to 1,000,000 devices.

      iTunes is faaaaar more restrictive and more DRM than anybody else. I don’t care what work around you have to use. I buy a song from google music and I download and play it on whatever device I want.

      1. exactly. there is no drm for playmusic.

    2. Someone apparently has reading comprehension problems.

      1. Perhaps. So you can download a regular MP3, but the restriction is on the number of devices you can stream to? Fine and dandy, but why support an ecosystem that locks any devices at all? To the best of my knowledge, the Amazon MP3 player doesn’t do that. I still very much dislike having to register and de-register devices. And this is still a DRM scheme. DRM simply means digital rights management, and your rights are still being restricted artificially by the influence of a 3rd party. Therefore, my initial point still stands. For that reason, I will not support it. In this day and age, that’s downright silly. If you’re all for it, then enjoy it in good health. I choose not to.

        1. Fred don’t try and talk sense its worthless..People want to be controlled.. They want to have their removable media options taken away (look at all the awesome HTC One reviews) They want Google or whoever to control what device and how many can listen to the music they bought.. Of course like you I choose to use amazon mp3 so once i buy my music i can do whatever i want with it and listen to it on whatever I want.

  9. I’ve flashed CyanogenMod 7 & 9 NIGHTLIES like a mofo for over a year and I only see 2 duplicate devices listed in my account: One from June 2011, and one from March 2012. Went ahead and deauth’d the older entry.

    Was expecting worse. *shrug*

    1. Yeah, I’ve update my Slim ICS rom around 7 or 8 times since installing google play, but i only see my phone listed once.

      1. It seems that a new device is only added when installing from scratch (full wipe)…even if you’re installing the same ROMs, which seems odd. Hopefully the devs can figure out a way to backup and restore our unique IDs across different ROMs.

        1. I had 5 listed, all the same, well I guess two different devices, same model but had to replace it once. But I probably have done a few full wipes when installing roms. Glad this article made me check.

  10. I flash ROMS all the time and Play Music is my main music app. I hate to say it, but if this happens, it looks like I might be buying the iPhone 5. Play Music is one of the main reasons I prefer Android, but if Google wants to go all Apple on us, I might as well buy the Apple product.

    1. Do you use all 10 ROMS concurrently?
      You know you can just deactivate the ROM you are no longer using. Everybody is going all crazy whenever someone implies you can’t do something.

      1. your missing the point.
        they are trying to allow only 4 deactivations a year.
        people who flash different roms frequently enough will hit that 10 device limit because of duplicate ids, then be allowed to deactivate only 4 of the 10 devices. Hit the limit again and they are screwed. No more Play music for 1 year until they are allowed to deactivate 4 of the 10 again.

        1. That’s the price you pay for flashing roms. Suck it up and put on your big boy pants.

    2. My Xoom was flashed from stock to AOKP and it still showed up as the same device. I don’t think the ROM flashing community has anything to fear from this.

      1. depends on the rom maker and how the label the device in the build.prop. if you stick to the same roms majority of the time, your good. People who experiment or test out various roms is a different story.

        CM AOSP and AOKP normally keep the same ID string so it doesnt create duplicates, but every once in awhile it is diffeeent creating a duplicate in the acct management page.

  11. Google has this problem across their Android ecosystem.

    Related: I have 5 devices in my Google Play account that I simply do not own anymore that I can’t get rid of. I’ve either sold or returned each one of them. or had a drastic enough rom change…something that the item in question is no longer taking calls from GPlay.

    They need to rethink device activation and deactivation period.


    1. So why can’t you just click on the deactivate button for them? Thats what I did.

      1. only works for deactivating play music from your device.

        If you go to your account in the play store (market) it lists every single device you’ve ever owned aswell as its duplicates and keeps track of every single app you’ve ever downloaded onto them all. These you are unable remove, but atleast you are able to hide them. Sometimes… Sometimes the hide feature messes up.

  12. I have 2 devices listed for my nexus. Looks like because I have google music on my phone and the beta ICS google music player that I downloaded from xda, both are registering as different devices. hmmmm.

    Came to that conclusion because of the registered date and I know the date when I first used the ICS player to play something on

  13. I had my current phone on there like 4 times. They need to figure out a better way to identify devices. I had my old OG Droid on there like 3 times.

    1. Well that shouldn’t be too big of a deal, because once the phone tries to connect, it’ll automatically add it. No slow down. But I understand what you’re saying. It has a date of add, though. You can go by that.

  14. Did people really not know about this? LoL!! I remember flashing ROMs lyk crazy and then finding out that I had to deauthorize old phones. It was horrible. I be driving and finding out that I can’t listen to my music. Luckily there was Pandora. But that made me hate cloud music.

    I find this kinda funny that this article is here.

    1. No, we’ve all known about the maximum device limit. And we all knew you had to deauthorize devices to add new ones if you hit that limit. You completely misunderstood or didn’t read this article. Now, you can’t deauthorize more than 4 devices in a year and that’s where the issue lies. But it seems Google has temporarily gotten rid of that limitation in hopes of a better solution.

      1. This article is exactly about that. How did I miss that? LoL!! Wow…

  15. And this is why people who want to rely on the cloud for everything and are okay with devices having limited onboard storage, are crazy folk.

  16. Another reason to buy the Galaxy S III this summer..

  17. So happy

  18. Simple Fix to this is backup the google play music app and data with TB and then restore both app and data when u flash a new rom, your google music will sync without adding to your authorized list. just tried it three seperate times and it worked each time! good luck flashers!!!

  19. Its the same thing Sony does with the playstation, when you buy so many you have to deauthourize it so you able to use playstation store items. After 4 or 6 you need to deauthourize but its only twice a year

  20. What if you buy more than four devices a year? I’m a developer and buy about ten a year and am sure others buy even more.

  21. How about those of us that test phones for a living?
    I can go through 10-20 phones in a year. Easily.
    As long as I’m using the phone as my main device while testing, it seems like I have to stop using Google Music.

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