How do I cancel Apple Music without losing songs?

If you want to cancel your Apple Music subscription but don’t want to lose the songs you’ve added to your library, there are a few things you can do to keep your music. Here are some quick answers to common questions about canceling Apple Music without losing your songs:

Can I keep my Apple Music songs if I cancel?

Yes, you can keep songs you’ve added to your library even after canceling Apple Music. Any music you purchase through Apple Music will remain on your devices after cancellation.

What happens to my downloaded Apple Music songs if I cancel?

Downloaded Apple Music songs are yours to keep and will stay in your library even if you cancel your subscription. However, you will lose access to stream or re-download any Apple Music songs you didn’t purchase.

How do I save my Apple Music library before canceling?

Before canceling, make sure any Apple Music songs are marked as ‘Downloaded’ on your library so you have them saved. To do this:

  • Open the Apple Music app
  • Tap on the ‘Library’ tab
  • Browse through your music and tap the ‘download’ icon next to songs to save them

Any music marked ‘Downloaded’ will remain in your library after you cancel Apple Music.

Can I burn my Apple Music songs to a CD before canceling?

Unfortunately, you cannot burn songs from your Apple Music library to a CD. Downloading the songs to your device before canceling is the only way to keep them.

Will I lose my Apple Music playlists if I cancel?

Playlists you’ve created and saved within Apple Music will no longer be available after you cancel your subscription. Be sure to screenshot or write down names of playlists you want to recreate.

Can I transfer my Apple Music library to another service?

You cannot directly transfer your entire Apple Music library to another streaming service. However, any songs you’ve purchased or downloaded can be manually uploaded to another service like Spotify.

What exactly gets deleted if I cancel Apple Music?

Here’s a summary of what gets deleted when you cancel Apple Music:

  • Access to stream Apple Music catalog (over 90 million songs)
  • Apple Music playlists created by you or Apple
  • Music discovery features like daily recommendations
  • Ad-free listening and background listening

Anything you’ve purchased or downloaded will remain in your library after canceling.

Can I re-download songs after canceling Apple Music?

You cannot re-download or stream songs from the Apple Music catalog after canceling. Only songs marked ‘Downloaded’ before cancellation will remain available.

What are some alternatives to backup my Apple Music library?

Some options to backup your Apple Music library before canceling include:

  • Downloading songs to your computer using a tool like iMazing
  • Converting Apple Music files to MP3s or another format
  • Using a third party app to make copies of song files
  • Recording songs using a virtual audio cable


Canceling Apple Music doesn’t have to mean losing your music library. As long as you download or purchase any songs you want to keep access to, you can safely cancel your subscription without losing your music. Be sure to go through your library beforehand and tag any Apple Music content as ‘Downloaded’ before cancellation. While playlists will be lost, you can recreate them later on another service if you make a note of the song names. With a few simple precautions, you can cancel Apple Music and prevent losing any songs you’ve collected.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cancel Apple Music without Losing Your Library

Check Apple Music Subscription Status

Before going through the steps to save your music library, you first need to check the status of your Apple Music account. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on your Apple ID banner at the top of the screen.
  3. Select ‘Subscriptions’.
  4. Your Apple Music subscription status will be shown here – make a note if it is currently active, expired, in a free trial, etc.

Knowing your current subscription status will help determine if you have access to Apple Music and can download songs to your device before cancellation.

Review Apple Music Library

Next, go through your Apple Music library and take stock of what you want to keep. Here are some tips for reviewing your library:

  • Open the Apple Music app and select the Library tab.
  • Browse through Recently Added, Playlists, Albums, Songs, Downloads and any other sections.
  • For albums or playlists you want to keep, tap the ‘Download’ icon next to each one to save it.
  • For individual songs, tap the ‘Download’ button.
  • Check both your on-device library and iCloud music library if applicable.

Make sure anything you want to access later is marked as ‘Downloaded’ before moving to the next steps.

Save Apple Music Playlists

Playlists created within Apple Music will no longer be available when you cancel the service. To save these:

  1. Open each playlist you want to keep.
  2. Tap the share icon.
  3. Choose ‘Add Playlist to Library.’
  4. This will save the playlist to your music library for access even without Apple Music.

You can also take screenshots of your Apple Music playlists to reference song names later for recreating them in another service.

Download Albums & Songs

In addition to playlists, download any albums, artists and individual songs you want to keep access to. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the ‘Library’ tab in the Music app.
  2. Select ‘Albums’ or ‘Songs’ to see your full Apple Music catalog.
  3. Tap the ‘Download’ icon next to albums or songs.
  4. Downloading may take a significant time depending on your connection speed and number of songs.

Downloaded music will have a small checkmark icon rather than the download arrow icon.

Consider burning CDs

While you cannot burn CDs directly from the Apple Music app, consider converting your downloaded songs to MP3s using a tool like iMazing. Then you can burn them to blank CDs for safekeeping. Steps would include:

  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer using a USB cable.
  2. Open iMazing on your computer.
  3. Navigate to your device and select the Music section.
  4. Select songs or albums and export them as MP3 files to your computer.
  5. Burn the MP3s to a blank CD using disc burning software.

This provides a physical backup of your Apple Music library in case you ever need the music files again.

Review iTunes Purchase History

For music purchased through iTunes prior to Apple Music, you can review your purchase history to see your available downloads. To do this:

  1. Open iTunes on your desktop computer.
  2. Go to Account > View My Account.
  3. Select ‘Purchase History’.
  4. This will show all music purchased through iTunes.
  5. Re-download any past purchases you want to keep access to.

Music you purchased will not be affected by canceling Apple Music, but it’s good to confirm by checking purchase history.

Cancel Apple Music Subscription

Once you’ve saved your Apple Music library contents, you can now safely cancel Apple Music. To cancel:

  1. Go to Settings > [Your Name] > Subscriptions.
  2. Tap on Apple Music.
  3. Select ‘Cancel Subscription’.
  4. Confirm on the popup window.

Your Apple Music subscription will then be cancelled immediately. You will lose access to streaming but keep any downloaded music.

Check Your Music Library

After cancelling Apple Music, double check that your music library still contains the songs, albums and playlists you wanted to keep. You should still see:

  • Previously purchased iTunes music
  • Albums and songs marked as ‘Downloaded’
  • Any playlists you added to your library

As long as the above music is still visible in your library, you’ve successfully cancelled Apple Music without losing your music library!

Listen to Music on Another Service

Once cancelled, you can upload your music library to another streaming service like Spotify or YouTube Music to resume listening if you choose. Streaming limitations will apply based on uploads and music availability.

Key steps include:

  1. Export downloaded Apple Music as MP3 files.
  2. Upload MP3 files to the new streaming service.
  3. Recreate playlists by searching for your saved song names.
  4. Listen to and manage your music library on the new service.

While migrating services takes time, you can recreate much of your Apple Music library on platforms like Spotify for uninterrupted listening.

Best Practices for Canceling Apple Music

Follow these best practices as summarized below when you are looking to cancel Apple Music without losing your library:

  • Check subscription status – Confirm your Apple Music account details before cancellation.
  • Review your library – Download any albums, songs, or playlists you want to keep.
  • Create backups – Use CDs or MP3 conversion to create backups.
  • Note playlists – Take screenshots or write down playlist names you want to recreate.
  • Confirm downloads – Verify desired content got downloaded for offline listening before cancellation.
  • Cancel subscription – Disable auto-renewal of Apple Music in your account settings.
  • Upload music – Consider uploading your library to Spotify or other platforms.

Following these best practices carefully will allow you to retain your personal music collection when leaving Apple Music for another service.

Key Takeaways

Here are some key tips to remember:

  • Download songs, albums and playlists to prevent losing them when canceling Apple Music.
  • Music purchased through iTunes will remain even after cancellation.
  • You cannot transfer Apple Music library directly to another service.
  • Burning CDs can serve as backups of your library.
  • Recreating playlists takes manual effort but is possible.


Be aware of the following:

  • Don’t cancel Apple Music until you’ve downloaded your library contents you want to keep.
  • Playlists cannot be transferred automatically to another service.
  • You’ll lose access to stream Apple’s catalog of 90+ million songs after cancellation.
  • Look out for auto-renewal of your subscription and cancel it beforehand.


Canceling Apple Music does not automatically mean losing your music library. With some pre-planning, you can download and backup the songs, albums and playlists you’ve enjoyed on the service. While Apple makes it tricky to migrate your media to other platforms, you have options to export your collection and recreate it on the streaming platform of your choice. Follow best practices around downloading, noting playlists, cancelling auto-renewal and more. This will enable you to seamlessly transition from Apple Music to your next music service without losing the music you love.