Subscriptions have taken over Apple’s App Store—it’s probably the easiest way to make money off iPhone users. Even award-winning apps sometimes don’t allow you to use any features unless you sign up for a free trial with an auto-renewing subscription. Once you sign up for the trial, it’s easy to forget to cancel, and those costs add up fast. Fortunately, there are simple ways to avoid paying for unwanted App Store subscriptions.
Cancel the subscription immediately
When you sign up for a free trial on any app, you can immediately go to the App Store and cancel the subscription. In most cases, you’ll be able to use the app until the free trial expires; the subscription will not automatically renew. Apple’s own subscriptions, such as iCloud or Apple Music, are notable exceptions to this—the free trial ends immediately when you cancel those.
Luckily, you can check beforehand if the trial ends immediately or if it will work until the period ends. Tap Subscriptions, select the one you want to cancel, and tap Cancel Subscription. You’ll now see a pop-up telling you when the subscription expires. If this date coincides with the end of the free trial, go ahead and tap Confirm to cancel the subscription.
Use Siri Shortcuts to remind yourself to cancel a subscription
If you still find yourself forgetting to cancel free trials, you can set up automated reminders to help you with this task, thanks to a great shortcut from Matthew Cassinelli. You’ll need to install Apple’s Shortcuts app and then download Cassinelli’s Check My App Subscriptions shortcut.
This shortcut lets you directly open the App Store’s subscriptions page with a single tap. You can add the shortcut to your home screen and run it periodically to check your subscriptions, or you can set up a recurring reminder to run the shortcut. For the reminder, you should open the Shortcuts app and tap the three dots icon next to this shortcut. Now press and hold the side button on your iPhone to fire up Siri and say, “Remind me about this.”
Siri will create a reminder for this shortcut. Open the Reminders app, tap this reminder, and hit the i icon on the right. You can set up a date, time, and tap Repeat. Select a schedule for this reminder, such as Weekly or Monthly, and tap Done. That’s it! You now have a recurring reminder that’ll let you open the App Store subscriptions page quickly and you can keep cancelling the subscriptions that you don’t use.
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