There are a few potential reasons why a song may be unavailable on Apple Music and some steps you can try to fix it:
- The song may not be available in your region if there are licensing restrictions. Consider using a VPN to access the song from a different country.
- The artist or label may have removed the song temporarily or permanently. Check if the song is available on other platforms.
- There could be a connection issue on your end. Make sure you have a stable internet connection and restart your device.
- The Apple Music catalog is updating. Try again later or search for the song manually.
- Your Apple Music subscription may have lapsed. Check that your subscription is active.
- Try deleting the song and re-adding it to your library to refresh metadata.
- As a last resort, reach out to Apple Support for assistance troubleshooting.
Apple Music is a popular streaming service that gives you access to over 90 million songs on demand. However, you may occasionally run into issues where a specific song or album is “currently unavailable.” This can be frustrating when you’re trying to listen to a song you want to hear. In this article, we’ll dig into some of the common reasons why you may see this message and the steps you can take to fix it.
Why is the Song Unavailable?
There are a few possible explanations for why a song becomes unavailable on Apple Music:
The most common reason a song is unavailable is due to licensing restrictions in your geographic region or country. Music rights and distribution deals are complex, and record labels may choose to only license a song in specific parts of the world. So even though the song exists on Apple Music, it may not be available to stream in your location.
Using a VPN to access Apple Music from a different country is one workaround. This makes Apple Music think you’re in a region where the song is available. Just note that this violates Apple’s terms of service.
Song Removed by Artist/Label
Artists and record labels can choose to remove songs from Apple Music if they no longer have the rights or for other reasons. For example, some artists prefer their music not be on streaming services at all.
If the song is missing across all platforms, this indicates it was likely pulled by the creator rather than an Apple Music-specific issue.
Your local network connection can also affect your ability to stream songs. Issues like unstable internet, slow speeds, WiFi dead zones, and VPN/firewall conflicts can prevent tracks from loading.
Before assuming the problem is on Apple’s end, always check your own connection first. Switch to a different network or try listening on a different device on the same WiFi to isolate the issue.
Apple Music Catalog Updating
The Apple Music library is constantly fluctuating as new songs get added and older ones removed. Sometimes a song disappears because Apple’s catalog is undergoing an update.
Trying again later often resolves this. You can also try searching for the track directly instead of browsing to it. This works if the song metadata itself hasn’t been removed yet.
Of course, you need an active Apple Music membership to access the full catalog. If your monthly or annual subscription ended, you’ll be restricted to just your downloaded music.
Check the Subscription page in your Apple Music settings. Here you can confirm your membership status and renew if needed.
How to Fix an Unavailable Song
If you encounter an unavailable song, here are some troubleshooting steps to try:
Use a VPN
As mentioned above, a VPN can help you access region-restricted content by changing your virtual location. Choose a server in a country where the song is available and connect before launching Apple Music.
Some good options include NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and ProtonVPN. Note that using a VPN violates Apple’s TOS so proceed with caution.
Check Other Platforms
Determine if the song is unavailable only on Apple Music or across all platforms. Try searching for it on Spotify, YouTube, Amazon Music, etc.
If you find it on another service, the rights-holder likely revoked Apple’s license specifically. You can contact Apple Support with the details to investigate further.
Restart Your Device
If you suspect a network connectivity or app issue, a device restart is always a good first step:
- On an iPhone or iPad, hold down the power button until the “Slide to Power Off” prompt appears. Confirm the shut down.
- On a Mac, go to the Apple menu and select Restart.
- On Apple TV, go to Settings > System > Restart.
After restarting, reopen Apple Music and search for the song again.
Reinstall the Apple Music App
Corrupt app files can also prevent streaming, so reinstalling the Apple Music app may help:
- Delete Apple Music from the Home Screen.
- Go to the App Store and re-download it.
- Sign in again with your Apple ID.
- Click the Apple logo menu and select App Store.
- Find and uninstall Apple Music.
- Go back to the App Store and reinstall it.
- Open Apple Music and sign in again.
On Apple TV:
- Go to Settings > Apps > Apple Music.
- Select Delete App.
- Re-download it from the App Store.
- Sign in again.
Check Your Subscription
Double check that your Apple Music membership is active and paid up:
- Open the Settings app then tap on your Apple ID banner.
- Select Subscriptions.
- Confirm Apple Music shows as Active under your available subscriptions.
If it shows as Expired, tap on Apple Music and renew your membership. Once the payment goes through, you should regain access to the full catalog.
Contact Apple Support
If you’ve tried the above steps and the song remains unavailable, reach out to Apple Support:
- Use Apple’s Contact form or call them directly.
- Explain the title and artist of the unavailable song.
- Mention what troubleshooting you’ve already tried.
- They can investigate issues with the song file itself and contact the label if needed.
Apple Support has additional tools to diagnose problems and restore access to content. But keep your expectations realistic – if licensing restrictions cause the unavailability, there may be nothing Apple can do.
Preventing Unavailable Songs in the Future
While occasional unavailable songs are a reality of streaming services, you can take steps to reduce how often it happens:
- Download your favorite songs so you have a local backup if licensing issues arise.
- Use a reliable WiFi or cellular connection to ensure maximum uptime.
- Don’t use VPNs or proxies as these violate Apple’s ToS and can cause streaming problems.
- Keep your Apple Music app and iOS updated to the latest versions.
- Check subscription status regularly to avoid surprise expirations.
Following best practices for using Apple Music will minimize technical issues on your end. And having downloaded copies of beloved songs guards against their vanishing from the catalog.
But ultimately streaming availability comes down to factors like licensing rights, label relationships, and regional restrictions. As a consumer, the best options are being patient, trying alternative access methods like VPNs, and providing feedback to Apple when possible about unavailable content.
Having an album or song suddenly become unavailable on Apple Music can certainly be frustrating. But in many cases, it’s caused by licensing limitations rather than a technical failure. The key troubleshooting steps include:
- Using a VPN to access region-restricted songs
- Checking if the content was wholly removed across all platforms
- Testing your network connection and restarting your device
- Reinstalling the Apple Music app to fix corruption
- Confirming your subscription is active
- Contacting Apple Support if all else fails
Preventative measures like downloading your music library, staying updated, and using reliable connections can also minimize how often you encounter unavailable songs.
While disappearing content is an occasional annoyance, the convenience and breadth of Apple Music’s catalog keeps millions of users streaming daily. A bit of troubleshooting is a small price to pay for pretty much any song ever recorded accessible from your pocket.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Apple Music say a song is unavailable in my region?
Regional unavailability is typically caused by licensing restrictions. Record labels may limit where a song is available for streaming based on the deals they have in place. You can use a VPN to circumvent these restrictions.
If I downloaded a song, will it become unavailable?How do I know if a song is gone forever or just temporarily?
Check if the song is available on other streaming platforms. If you can’t find it anywhere, the artist likely requested its complete removal from services. But if it’s just gone from Apple Music, it may return after an update.
Can I get a refund from Apple if a song becomes unavailable?
Unfortunately Apple does not issue refunds for individual songs that become unavailable due to licensing restrictions. As long as your core subscription features work, they are unlikely to offer compensation.
What should I do if restarting my device doesn’t fix an unavailable song?
If you still see the error after a restart, the next steps are reinstalling the Apple Music app, double checking your subscription status, and reaching out to Apple support for additional troubleshooting.
While having a song turn unavailable can be a letdown, there are usually workarounds like using a VPN or waiting for catalog updates. And downloading your music library gives a reliable backup if streaming rights ever disappear. With Apple Music’s vast catalog of over 90 million tracks, one vanished song is just a small blip in the bigger streaming experience.