How do I force iCloud music library to upload?

Having issues getting your music to upload to iCloud? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The iCloud music library can sometimes be finicky, leaving you frustrated when your tunes won’t sync properly. Thankfully, there are a few tricks you can try to give your iCloud library the kick it needs to start uploading your music.

Check Your Internet Connection

Before trying anything else, make sure you have a stable, fast internet connection. Uploading a music library to iCloud can use a lot of bandwidth, so you’ll want to be on a WiFi network rather than relying on cellular data. If you have a slower DSL or cable connection, uploads can take quite a while, so be patient. Try rebooting your router if you suspect your WiFi is flakey.

Update Your Devices

Make sure all of your Apple devices – iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc – are updated to the latest OS version. Apple sometimes tweaks how iCloud works behind the scenes, so having outdated software could cause sync problems. Open the App Store on each device and install any pending updates.

Double Check iCloud Settings

Verify that all devices have iCloud Music Library enabled in settings. On an iOS device, go to Settings > Music > Toggle on iCloud Music Library. On a Mac, open System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud and check the box for iCloud Music Library. Also confirm that each device is signed into the same Apple ID for iCloud services.

Force Quit the Music App

Sometimes the Music app can get stuck trying to sync your library in the background. Force quit the Music app on any problem devices, then reopen it and check if sync starts working normally. On an iPhone or iPad, swipe up from the bottom edge to reveal all open apps, then swipe up on the Music preview to force quit it. On a Mac, press Command + Option + Esc to bring up the Force Quit menu, select Music, and click Relaunch.

Turn Off then On iCloud Music Library

Toggle off iCloud Music Library in settings, wait a few minutes, then toggle it back on. This essentially restarts the sync process and clears out any errors that may be preventing uploads. On an iOS device, go to Settings > Music > Toggle OFF iCloud Music Library. Wait 5 minutes, then toggle it back ON. On a Mac, uncheck iCloud Music Library in System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud, wait a few minutes, then re-enable it.

Sign Out of iTunes & App Store

Sign out of the iTunes & App Store account on any devices having issues. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Apple ID > Sign Out. Wait a minute, then sign back in with your Apple ID. This refreshes your authentication tokens and can help restart stuck uploads.

Restart Your Devices

If you’re still having no luck, try restarting your devices. Power off each device completely, leave it off for at least 2 minutes, then power it back on. Once restarted, open the Music app and check if iCloud is now syncing your library. Restarting clears temporary files and resets system processes that can sometimes resolve sync problems.

Disable Cellular Data

On an iPhone or iPad, you may want to temporarily disable cellular data and only use WiFi. Go to Settings > Cellular > Toggle OFF Cellular Data. Then connect your iOS device to a WiFi network so it only uses that for iCloud. This prevents cellular data usage spikes and instability from interfering with uploads.

Delete Old iOS Backups

Check your iCloud storage usage on your iOS device under Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups. Delete any old backups for your device to free up iCloud space. Lack of available storage space can sometimes interfere with music library uploads.

Update Your Credit Card

If you’re getting errors about payment info when trying to enable iCloud Music Library, your stored credit card may need updating. On an iOS device, go to Settings > Your Name > Payment & Shipping to check and update your payment info. On a Mac, open System Preferences > Apple ID > Payment & Shipping to verify your payment method is current.

Connect to iTunes

As a workaround, you can manually sync your music library using a wired connection to iTunes on a computer. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer using the USB cable. Open iTunes, select your device, then under Music, check Sync Music and select your music library. Click Apply to start syncing your music without using iCloud.

Reset iCloud Music Library

If nothing else has worked, resetting your iCloud Music library may get uploads going again. Make sure any music you’ve downloaded from Apple Music is saved elsewhere locally. Then on your iOS device go to Settings > Music > Delete iCloud Music Library. This will erase any synced music and restart the upload process.

Contact Apple Support

If you still can’t get iCloud Music Library working, your last recourse may be contacting Apple Support. They can investigate server issues or other problems on Apple’s end that may be interfering with uploads. Be ready with specific error messages you see, troubleshooting steps you’ve tried, and logs if possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my music taking so long to upload to iCloud?

Uploading a large music library to iCloud can take hours or even days depending on your internet connection speed. Be patient and leave your devices connected to power and WiFi during the upload process.

How much bandwidth does iCloud Music Library use?

Uploads can use hundreds of MBs or even over 1 GB of data depending on your library size. Streaming downloaded music from iCloud uses significantly less data.

What file formats does iCloud Music Library support?

iCloud supports common formats like MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, and WAV. DRM-protected files cannot be uploaded.

Do all my devices need to stay connected for iCloud Music to work?

At least one device must remain connected to the internet to complete the initial upload. After that, you can listen to your library offline on other devices.

What happens if I delete a song from my library?

Deleting a song will remove it from your iCloud Music library across all synced devices. Be careful not to accidentally delete something!


Getting your music properly synced with iCloud can require some troubleshooting, but using these tips should help get your iCloud Music Library uploading smoothly. The key steps are:

  • Check your internet connection
  • Update devices and apps
  • Confirm iCloud Music Library enabled
  • Force quit the Music app
  • Toggle iCloud Music Library off and on
  • Sign out of iTunes & App Store, then back in
  • Restart your devices
  • Disable cellular data
  • Free up iCloud storage space
  • Verify payment info is current
  • Sync with iTunes directly
  • Reset iCloud Music Library
  • Contact Apple support if needed

With patience and systematically trying these fixes, you should get your tunes uploaded. Then you can relax and enjoy your music library seamlessly synced via iCloud.

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