How do I get my music back on Apple Music after renewing subscription?

If you renew an Apple Music subscription after it has lapsed, you may notice that your previously downloaded music is no longer available. Getting your music library back is usually very simple – just follow these steps.

What causes music to disappear from Apple Music?

There are a couple reasons why music may disappear from your library when renewing an Apple Music subscription:

  • Your subscription ended – When your subscription expires, you lose access to stream or download songs. Your library essentially gets wiped clean.
  • You switched Apple IDs – If you were previously using Apple Music with a different Apple ID, switching IDs will make that music inaccessible.

So when you resubscribe, even with the same Apple ID, you’ll have to redownload music you want to listen to offline. But don’t worry, it’s easy to get your music back!

How to restore your Apple Music library

Option 1: Restore from an iTunes or Finder backup

If you backed up your iPhone, iPad or Mac using iTunes or Finder before cancelling Apple Music, you can restore from that backup to get your full library back. Here’s how:

  1. Open iTunes or Finder and connect your device or select your computer.
  2. Go to the summary page (Click on the device icon for iPhone/iPad or the name under Locations for Mac).
  3. Click Restore [device/computer name] to choose a backup.
  4. Select the backup you want to restore from. This should have your Apple Music collection.
  5. Allow the restore process to complete. Your music library will be retrieved.

Option 2: Re-download your music

If you don’t have a backup, don’t worry. You can go through your library and re-download anything you want to listen to offline.

On iPhone/iPad:

  1. Open the Apple Music app.
  2. Tap on the Library tab at the bottom.
  3. Browse through Recently Added, Artists, Albums, Songs, Downloaded Music, etc to find music.
  4. When you find a song, album or playlist you want, tap the download button (a downward arrow) to save it again.

On Mac:

  1. Open Music and click on the Library section in the sidebar.
  2. Browse through Recently Added, Artists, Albums, Songs, Downloaded Music playlists.
  3. Right click on any song, album or playlist and choose “Make Available Offline” to re-download.

This will retrieve all the music you had previously saved for offline playback.

Getting Apple Music recommendations back

In addition to your library, Apple Music gives personalized daily playlists and artist/album recommendations based on your listening activity. These are reset when your subscription lapses. But don’t worry – the more you use Apple Music, the quicker it relearns your tastes.

Here are some tips to train Apple Music recommendations again:

  • Tap on the For You tab and browse through suggested albums and playlists. Tap the Heart icon on anything you like.
  • Search for artists and songs you enjoy and add them to your library.
  • Listen to radio stations of your favourite genres and artists.
  • Over time, you’ll notice Apple Music recommendations improve and become more tailored.

Why did my Apple Music subscription cancel unexpectedly?

There are a few reasons your Apple Music subscription may have ended without you explicitly cancelling it:

Expired payment method

If the credit card on file for your Apple Music subscription expires or is removed from your Apple ID, payments can no longer be processed. This will lead to the subscription lapsing.

Perpetually stuck in trial mode

Sometimes, even after the 3 month free trial ends, Apple Music does not automatically start charging. This can go on for months before the system recognizes the lapse and cancels the subscription.

Student plan expiry after graduation

If you were on the Apple Music Student Plan, it is only valid for 4-5 years after start of enrollment. Once your enrollment status expires, Student Plan ends and subscription is cancelled.

Region change

Apple Music is only available in certain countries/regions. If your Apple ID region is changed to an unsupported country, your subscription will be cancelled.

So in summary – an expired payment method, unpaid trial conversion or account region change can unexpectedly lead to Apple Music cancellation and your music disappearing.

How to prevent Apple Music from unexpectedly cancelling

Here are some tips to ensure your Apple Music subscription remains active:

  • Set up recurring billing with a valid payment method to avoid missed payments. Use a credit card that does not expire soon.
  • Check subscription status periodically in Account Settings to confirm it is active, especially after Apple Music trials.
  • If you are on Student Plan, reverify your eligibility before the enrollment period ends to extend the discounted subscription.
  • When travelling/moving, update your region in Apple ID account settings so you remain eligible.

What happens if I resubscribe to Apple Music later?

If you take a break from Apple Music for a while and then resubscribe, here’s what happens:

  • Within 6 months – Your library is restored as it was, including downloads, playlists, recommendations etc.
  • After 6 months – You get a fresh blank Apple Music profile. You’ll have to re-follow artists, re-download music etc. Recommendations will also restart.

So if you think you may resubscribe within 6 months, it may be worth keeping the subscription active even if you don’t use it, to avoid losing your profile data.

Alternative options if you don’t want to resubscribe yet

If you don’t want to renew Apple Music just yet, consider these alternatives instead to access music:

Listen on Spotify, YouTube Music etc

Other music streaming services like Spotify and YouTube Music have comparable music catalogs to Apple Music. You can get free trials for these to access millions of songs ad-free. Streaming may pause for ads on the free tiers.

Purchase music to own

You can buy music on iTunes to download and own permanently, even without a subscription. Purchased iTunes music remains yours forever. This option is best if you just want a small library of your favorite songs.

Transfer Apple Music to MP3

Before cancelling your subscription, you can use third party software to convert DRM-protected Apple Music files to unprotected MP3s. This lets you retain the music in your library without paying a monthly fee. However, it violates Apple’s terms and conditions.

Key takeaways

Here are the key tips to remember if your music disappears from Apple Music when re-subscribing:

  • Restore your Apple Music library from an iTunes or Finder backup
  • Browse your library and re-download songs, albums and playlists
  • Give Apple Music time to relearn your preferences and refresh recommendations
  • Maintain an active payment method and check subscription status periodically
  • Resubscribe within 6 months to retain all data, otherwise your profile will reset

As long as you renew the same Apple Music subscription, getting your music back is a quick process. Follow the steps above based on your specific situation. With some time and listening activity, Apple Music will feel personalized again even if recommendations have to restart.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Apple Music library empty after re-subscribing?

This happens because your subscription ended, so Apple Music removed access to stream or download any songs. When you resubscribe, you have to re-add music to your library either by downloading or adding to playlists.

How do I restore my Apple Music library from my old iPhone?

Connect your old iPhone to your computer > Open iTunes or Finder > Select the device > Click Restore to restore your iPhone from its last backup. This will retrieve your Apple Music collection.

I canceled Apple Music 3 years ago. Will my library be there if I re-subscribe now?

Unfortunately, no. Apple Music data including library, downloads, and recommendations are only retained for 6 months after cancellation. If you resubscribe after 6 months, your profile will be completely reset.

Where do I find the Restore option in iTunes or Finder?

On Windows, it’s in the Summary tab after selecting your iPhone/iPad. On Mac, it’s under Backups in the General tab after selecting your device. Click Restore [device name] and choose a backup.

My family subscription was canceled – how do I restore everyone’s music libraries?

The account owner can resubscribe to a Family plan and restore their own library from backup. Other family members can then re-download their music by signing in to Apple Music with their Apple IDs.


Losing your meticulously curated Apple Music collection can be frustrating. But in most cases, restoring your library or re-downloading favorites after re-subscribing takes just a few steps. Maintain backups, monitor subscription status, and resubscribe within 6 months to make sure your Apple Music profile stays intact even if you take a break from the service.

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