Apple Music allows users to stream millions of songs, download music for offline listening, and build personal libraries of albums and playlists. A common question that arises is whether Apple ever deletes the music you’ve added to your library. Let’s take a closer look at how Apple Music libraries work and under what circumstances Apple may remove content.
Does Apple delete music you’ve added to your library?
In most cases, no. Apple does not automatically or arbitrarily delete music you’ve added to your Apple Music library. The songs, albums, and playlists you add to your library are meant to remain there indefinitely, so you can continue streaming and listening to them.
There are a few key factors that determine whether music remains available in your Apple Music library:
- Your Apple Music subscription status – If your subscription lapses, you may lose access to some or all of your library.
- The content’s availability on Apple Music – On rare occasions, Apple may need to remove certain content upon an artist’s or label’s request.
- Your iCloud Music Library settings – If you have iCloud Music Library enabled, any changes on one device can affect others.
As long as you remain an active, paying Apple Music subscriber, the vast majority of your library is safe and should not be deleted by Apple.
What happens if you cancel your Apple Music subscription?
Canceling your Apple Music subscription can impact your access to the music library you’ve accumulated:
- Songs and albums you’ve added from Apple Music’s streaming catalog will become unavailable for streaming or downloading once you cancel your subscription. However, any music you’ve downloaded for offline listening remains accessible until deleted.
- Music you’ve purchased or imported from other sources remains fully intact and available after canceling.
- Playlists remain but lose access to any Apple Music streaming songs they contained.
So music you fully own will remain available, but streaming-only content can only be accessed with an active subscription. Re-subscribing restores your full library.
Does Apple Music delete songs that are no longer available in its catalog?
In some rare cases, certain songs or albums may be removed from Apple Music if licensing deals expire or content is pulled upon request from artists, labels, or publishers.
When this happens, any affected content that you’ve added to your personal library will display with a “No Longer Available” message. However, the unavailable content still remains visible in your library, playlists, and recently played history even though you can no longer stream or download it.
So while Apple Music will stop you from streaming songs removed from its catalog, it does not actually delete them entirely from your library without notice.
Can iCloud Music Library deletions affect your Apple Music library?
If you have iCloud Music Library enabled across your devices, changes made to your music collection on one device can potentially affect others. iCloud Music Library matches the songs in your personal libraries across devices and makes them accessible everywhere.
Therefore, if you were to delete a downloaded song or album from your library on your iPhone, it could remove it from your library on all other devices. This content would then only be available for streaming via Apple Music, not as a downloaded item.
To avoid inadvertent library deletion, be cautious when deleting music if using iCloud Music Library.
Will restoring from a backup delete your Apple Music library?
Restoring your device from a backup, either via iTunes or iCloud, will not cause you to lose your Apple Music library and playlists. The iTunes or iCloud backup contains your Apple Music content and settings, so restoring replaces what is currently on your device with what is in the backup.
However, there are a few caveats to be aware of:
- Be sure you are restoring from a reasonably recent backup that contains your Apple Music content.
- Songs saved for offline listening that are not in your backup will be lost on restore.
- Any content no longer available on Apple Music will display as unavailable after restore.
As long as your backup is intact and current, restoring should not result in a delete of your Apple Music collection.
Can switching Apple IDs cause loss of your Apple Music library?
Your Apple Music library and playlists are tied to the Apple ID used to sign up for the service. If you change the Apple ID on your device or stop using that ID, you will lose access to any Apple Music content accumulated under that ID.
Music you own, purchased from the iTunes Store, or imported from other sources will remain. But anything from the Apple Music catalog will become unavailable immediately upon switching Apple IDs.
To retain Apple Music content across different Apple IDs, you can use Family Sharing. This allows up to 6 family members to share an Apple Music subscription and retain their personal libraries under their respective Apple IDs.
In summary, Apple does not actively delete music you’ve added to your personal Apple Music library without your permission. Your collection is intended to remain available indefinitely as long as you stay subscribed.
The few cases where music may disappear from your library include canceled subscriptions, content removal from the Apple Music catalog, iCloud Music Library deletions syncing across devices, restoring from an outdated backup, or changing your Apple ID.
As long as you maintain an active subscription, avoid device-syncing issues, and prevent ID changes, your Apple Music library should persist safely.
Apple Music’s focus is on building personalized libraries tailored to each subscriber’s taste. Unless licensing or rights force their hand, Apple has no incentive to remove content you’ve added to your library, only to help grow and cultivate it over time.
|Will it delete your Apple Music library?
|Canceling Apple Music subscription
|No, but you lose access to streaming-only content
|Content pulled from Apple Music catalog
|No, but content will become unavailable
|Deleting songs from one device’s library
|Potentially yes if using iCloud Music Library
|Restoring device from backup
|No, library remains intact
|Switching to a different Apple ID
|Yes, you’ll lose access to content from old ID
Can you recover deleted songs from your Apple Music library?
Unfortunately there is no way to recover songs that have been deleted from your Apple Music library. Once you permanently remove content by swiping left and selecting “Delete” on iOS or macOS, that content is gone for good.
Your only option is to search Apple Music and re-add any deleted content to your library. So be very careful before confirming permanent deletion of songs from your Apple Music collection.
How many songs can you save in your Apple Music library?
Apple Music does not impose any hard limit on the number of songs you can add to your personal library. The size of your available library depends only on your iCloud storage if you have iCloud Music Library enabled.
With iCloud Music Library disabled, your library size is effectively unlimited. Even with thousands of albums and songs downloaded, your music library can continue to grow as large as you want.
Can you recover a deleted Apple Music playlist?
Unfortunately there is no way to recover a deleted Apple Music playlist. When you delete a playlist you created, it is permanently erased from your account and library.
The only option is to search through your Apple Music library and attempt to recreate the playlist by re-adding each song individually. So be very cautious before confirming deletion of any significant playlists.
What happens to Apple Music downloads when you get a new device?
Your Apple Music downloads and library transfer automatically to any new iOS or Mac device when you login with the same Apple ID. Simply signing in with your account on the new device will trigger iCloud to download your library content.
If you are not seeing your downloads, check that iCloud Music Library sync is enabled in settings on the new device. This ensures complete syncing of your Apple Music collection.