How to Find and Cancel Unwanted Online Subscriptions - Consumer Reports (2024)

Tired of paying for online subscriptions you no longer use but can’t quite figure out how to cancel? You’re not alone.

Streaming platforms like Netflix, cloud storage services like iCloud, and newspaper and music subscriptions often make it difficult to find the cancel function on their app or website. It’s also easy to simply forget about digital subscriptions you signed up for, especially ones started as free trials. Months can go by before you realize the provider is charging your credit card.

But it could soon be easier to end unwanted subscriptions. Last year the Federal Trade Commission proposed a “click-to-cancel” provision that would require companies to let you cancel subscriptions as easily as you were able to sign up. In the meantime, we have tips to help you find and then hit “cancel” quickly now.

1. Identify Your Subscriptions
Check your credit card statements from the last year for recurring payments, says Tiffany Aliche, a financial educator and author. One easy way to do this is to use a subscription tracking tool, such as Rocket Money or OneMain Trim, which finds and then helps you cancel subscriptions you no longer want. (Caveat: You may need to grant these tools limited access to your accounts, so read their privacy policies carefully.)

2. Opt Out of Apps
To see a list of the apps you’re currently paying for through Apple Pay, open the App Store on your smartphone and click on “Account,” then “Subscriptions.” From there, you can click “cancel” on those you no longer want. (The steps are similar for the Google Play store.) For canceling other subscriptions, search Google for step-by-step instructions (e.g., “how to cancel a Netflix subscription”).

3. Keep Track of Discounted or Free Trial Periods
When you hit “cancel” on a subscription, it’s common for services to offer you a “don’t go!” free extension or discount for a limited amount of time. If you decide to take them up on it, set a calendar alert for two or three days before the end date of the promotion to remind you to take action. The same goes for any free trial subscriptions you may sign up for. Alerts will help you juggle multiple trials at a time.

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the March 2024 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

How to Find and Cancel Unwanted Online Subscriptions - Consumer Reports (1)

Daniel Bortz

Daniel Bortz is a freelance writer and editor in Arlington, Va., who specializes in home improvement, real estate, and personal finance. His work has been published by the Washington Post, the New York Times, Money, Kiplinger’s, Entrepreneur, Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, This Old House, Travel & Leisure,, and more. Follow him on Twitter @DanielBortz.

How to Find and Cancel Unwanted Online Subscriptions - Consumer Reports (2024)
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