Does Apple Music save your playlists if you cancel?

Apple Music is Apple’s music and video streaming service that was launched in 2015. It allows users to stream over 90 million songs, listen to curated playlists, watch music videos, and more. One of the key features of Apple Music is the ability to create and save playlists of songs and albums. Playlists allow users to organize and collect their favorite music into customized lists that can be accessed on demand. With playlists, Apple Music users can queue up music for any mood or activity. Playlists can be created by individual users or curated by Apple Music editors. They are a core component of the Apple Music experience.

Apple Music playlists sync across devices, so listeners can access their personal playlists on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, Apple Watch, HomePod, CarPlay, PC, and Android. Playlists are a big part of what makes Apple Music appealing to music fans. But what happens if someone decides to unsubscribe or cancel their Apple Music membership? Will those carefully crafted playlists be deleted?

Playlists on Apple Music

Playlists allow Apple Music users to organize and save collections of songs into a curated list that can be accessed at any time. Playlists make it easy to find and play your favorite tracks or discover new music by genre, mood, activity, or other categories.

To create a new playlist in Apple Music, simply tap the “+” icon and select “New Playlist”. You can give the playlist a name and optional description. To add songs, you can tap “Add Songs” and select tracks from your Apple Music library or search for specific songs or albums. Songs can also be added directly from an album page or by tapping the “+” icon next to any track.

Playlists created in Apple Music can be edited at any time to add or remove songs, change the order, rename, or add artwork. The songs in playlists remain accessible even if they are no longer available in the Apple Music catalog. Playlists can also be shared with friends through messaging, social media, or by making collaborative playlists.

Overall, playlists make it simple to save, organize and access your favorite music on Apple Music. You have full control to customize playlist names, descriptions, artwork and song order to perfectly match your preferences.

Saving Playlists

Apple Music allows users to download playlists for offline listening. This can be done by going to the playlist, tapping the three dots next to the playlist name, and selecting “Download”. This will save the playlist songs locally on your device [1].

If you decide to unsubscribe from Apple Music, your downloaded playlists will not be deleted. You can continue to access the downloaded songs while offline without an active subscription. However, you will lose access to stream those playlists and songs through the app without a subscription. You also won’t be able to edit downloaded playlists or add new songs to them after unsubscribing [2].

What Happens if You Cancel

If you cancel your Apple Music subscription, you will lose access to the playlists you created within Apple Music. You will no longer be able to stream or download any music through the service. Any music or playlists you added from the Apple Music library will become unavailable, showing up as grayed out or missing tracks in your library (Source).

When your subscription ends, your Apple Music profile and settings will be saved for a period of time. If you resubscribe within this grace period, which is believed to be around 3 months but not officially confirmed, your account details like preferences, playlists, and library should be restored (Source). However, after the grace period ends, your Apple Music account data and playlists may be permanently deleted.

Downloaded audio, like songs, albums or playlists marked for “offline listening” will no longer be accessible when the subscription ends. Any audio downloaded from Apple Music is secured with digital rights management and cannot be listened to without an active subscription (Source).

Playlists Not Deleted

It’s important to clarify that the playlists themselves are not deleted from your library if you cancel your Apple Music subscription. The playlists you created while subscribed will still show up in your library, but you will no longer be able to access the songs within those playlists.

When you are subscribed to Apple Music, any playlists you create draw songs from Apple’s library of over 75 million songs. However, once you unsubscribe, you lose the rights to stream those songs. So while the actual playlists remain visible, the songs within them are grayed out and unplayable.

According to discussions on the Apple support forums, your playlists and their contents are not actually deleted from Apple’s servers either. The data is retained for some time after cancellation in case you resubscribe. So in essence, your library and playlists are still there but in an inaccessible state until you reactivate your subscription.

In summary, don’t worry about losing the playlists themselves if you unsubscribe. The playlist containers remain in your library, but the streamed songs within them will be inaccessible without an active Apple Music membership.

Limitations If Unsubscribed

If you cancel your Apple Music subscription, you will lose access to any playlists you’ve created as well as any music you’ve downloaded for offline listening. This is because the playlists and downloads are tied to your subscription. Once that subscription ends, you no longer have the rights to access that content.

According to discussions on Apple’s support forums, when your subscription expires, your Apple Music library disappears. You can no longer stream or download songs, and playlists become empty (Source).

While you can’t access the full playlists after canceling, one user on Reddit noted that you may be able to see snippets of your past playlists under the “Recently Played” section. But you won’t be able to play full songs from those playlists (Source).

So in summary, once you end your Apple Music subscription, your access to playlists and downloaded content is cut off. You’ll only have limited ability to glimpse snippets of your old playlists, but not fully access them.

Recovering Playlists If Resubscribing

If you decide to resubscribe to Apple Music after canceling, you may be able to recover your previous playlists. According to sources, Apple Music keeps a record of your account details for up to 30 days after cancellation. This means if you resubscribe within 30 days, your playlists have a good chance of being restored automatically [1].

However, recovery is not guaranteed. Some users have reported issues getting playlists back even after resubscribing within 30 days [2]. If your playlists are not restored, you may need to rebuild your library manually by re-adding songs and recreating playlists. The longer you wait to resubscribe after canceling, the less likely playlist recovery becomes.

Overall, resubscribing soon after cancellation gives you the best chance of getting your Apple Music playlists back automatically. But there are no guarantees. Check carefully after resubscribing to see if playlists are restored.

Options for Saving Playlists

If you want to make sure you have continued access to your Apple Music playlists even if you cancel your subscription, there are a few options for saving and exporting them:

You can use a third party app like Soundiiz to transfer and backup playlists between different music streaming platforms. Soundiiz allows you to export Apple Music playlists and save them to Spotify, YouTube, Deezer and more.

Another option is to manually export your Apple Music playlists using the iOS app. To do this, open the playlist, tap on the three dots in the upper right corner, choose ‘Export Playlist’, and save it as a .csv file. This exports just the playlist titles and artists, not the actual audio files.

You may also want to create screenshots of your Apple Music playlists to have a visual reference. This can help if you ever want to manually recreate them.

Backing up your actual Apple Music audio files requires more work since they use proprietary DRM protection. You’d need to use specialized software to record and save DRM-protected audio files locally.

The easiest approach is using a playlist transfer service or manually exporting your playlist data. This will allow you to preserve your playlists if you unsubscribe from Apple Music.


Briefly recap main points on Apple Music playlists and canceling service.

If you cancel your Apple Music subscription, your playlists are not deleted and remain saved in your library. However, you won’t be able to play or edit the playlists unless you resubscribe. Any downloaded music will also become unavailable.

To preserve your playlists long-term, consider exporting them or using a third party app. You can also re-download any purchased music. If you resubscribe later, your full library with playlists will be restored.

The key points are that Apple Music playlists are not deleted if you unsubscribe, but you lose access temporarily. To keep playlists editable and playable, maintain an active subscription. Otherwise, export playlists or use a separate app to store them.


Apple’s subscription music streaming service, Apple Music, offers users access to over 90 million songs, playlists curated by music experts, radio stations, music videos, livestreams, and more. While the service requires a paid subscription, Apple does allow users to save and access their personal playlists even after canceling their membership.

Here are some useful sources for additional information on saving playlists and using Apple Music: