How do I get my playlists back after Cancelling Apple Music?

Losing access to playlists is a common issue that arises when canceling an Apple Music subscription. Apple Music allows subscribers to create and save playlists of songs during their subscription. However, once the subscription is canceled, users lose the ability to access any playlists they’ve created as well as any music they’ve downloaded through the service.

This can be an upsetting experience for users who have spent time crafting playlists only to have them suddenly become inaccessible. Playlists can hold sentimental value or be used to organize music for certain moods, activities, or occasions. Losing this curated content may lead some users to hesitate before unsubscribing from Apple Music.

Fortunately, there are some steps that can be taken to try to restore or recreate lost Apple Music playlists. This guide will provide an overview of methods to get playlists back after canceling an Apple Music subscription.

Confirm Playlists are Gone

When you cancel your Apple Music subscription, you will lose access to any playlists you’ve created in the app. To check if your playlists are still available in the Apple Music app:

  1. Open the Apple Music app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
  2. Tap on the “Library” tab at the bottom.
  3. Select “Playlists” from the horizontal menu.

If your playlists are gone from this screen, then they have likely been deleted after cancelling Apple Music. You may see some recently played songs still available, but full playlists will be removed.

One user on Reddit confirmed this after cancelling: “Fired up my phone this morning and all of my Apple Music playlists are gone” (Source).

So checking the Playlists section in the Apple Music app is the best way to confirm if your playlists have been removed after cancellation.

Check Recently Deleted Playlist

When you delete a playlist on your iPhone’s Apple Music app, the playlist is not permanently erased right away. Instead, deleted playlists are moved to the ‘Recently Deleted’ section, where they will remain for up to 40 days before being permanently deleted [1].

To restore your deleted playlists, open the Apple Music app and tap on the Library tab at the bottom. Then select Recently Deleted Playlists. Here you will find all playlists that have been recently deleted. Tap on the playlist you want to restore, then tap on the Restore option. The playlist will be moved back to your library.

This allows you a grace period to recover accidentally deleted playlists before they are gone forever. However, if it has been over 40 days since the playlist was deleted, it will no longer be available in the Recently Deleted section.

Restore Playlists from iCloud

One way to recover deleted Apple Music playlists is to restore them from an iCloud backup. iCloud automatically saves backups of your iPhone or iPad on a regular basis as long as you have iCloud Backup enabled in your settings. These backups contain your playlists and music library information.

To restore playlists from iCloud:

  1. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups and locate the latest backup of your device.
  2. Tap on the backup, then tap Restore to begin restoring your device data and settings from the backup. This will not affect the data currently on your device until you complete the restore process.
  3. Once the restore is complete, your playlists from the backup date should reappear in the Apple Music app.

Keep in mind playlists added or edited after the backup date will not be restored. But as long as you restore from a recent enough backup, you should be able to recover your deleted playlists through iCloud. Just be sure you have iCloud backups enabled so your data is continuously saved (Source 1).

Use a Third Party App

One option is to use a third party app like iMazing to extract and back up your Apple Music playlists. iMazing allows you to browse and manage iOS backups, music, messages, files, and more from your Mac or PC. It can perform a full backup of your iPhone or iPad, including your playlists from Apple Music.

To use iMazing to back up your playlists from Apple Music:

  1. Download and install iMazing on your computer from the iMazing website.
  2. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer.
  3. Open iMazing and select your device.
  4. Select ‘Music’ from the sidebar.
  5. Locate your Apple Music playlists and select ‘Export’ to save them to your computer.

This will extract your playlists so you have a backup copy. If you ever cancel Apple Music and lose access to your playlists, you can use iMazing to transfer them back from your backup.

Other apps like iMazing that can backup and restore Apple Music playlists include CopyTrans Manager, iMyFone TunesMate, and SynciOS.

Manually Recreate Playlists

If you did not have iCloud Music Library enabled or do not have a backup of your Apple Music library, you may need to manually rebuild your playlists song by song. Here are the steps for manually adding songs back to a playlist:

  1. Open the Apple Music app and navigate to the Library tab.
  2. Tap on the “+” icon to create a new playlist.
  3. Give the playlist a name to match your lost playlist.
  4. Use the Search bar to look up songs you remember being in the playlist.
  5. When you find a song, tap the “+” icon next to it to add it to your new playlist.
  6. Repeat this process until you’ve manually added all the songs you can recall being in the lost playlist.
  7. You can also browse through your Apple Music library while building the playlist to jog your memory for other songs that belonged in the original playlist.
  8. While tedious, this process will allow you to recreate your playlists from scratch.

Rebuilding playlists song by song can be time consuming but is doable if you can remember the tracks that were in the original playlist. Make sure to enable iCloud Music Library going forward to prevent losing your playlists again.

Contact Apple Support

One option to try restoring lost playlists after canceling Apple Music is to contact Apple Support directly. Apple’s customer service team may be able to help recover deleted playlists, especially if you catch the cancellation and data loss quickly.

According to discussions on Apple’s support forums, some users have been able to get their Apple Music playlists back after cancellation by reaching out to Apple Support and explaining the situation (source). However, success seems to depend on how recently the cancellation occurred.

To contact Apple Support, you can call 1-800-275-2273 in the US or use Apple’s online support chat. Be ready to provide your Apple ID and password, as well as information about your cancellation like the date. Politely explain that you canceled Apple Music without realizing you’d lose playlists, and ask if there is any way for support to restore your data.

While there is no guarantee, it’s worth trying Apple customer support and seeing if a representative can help recover your playlists. The sooner you contact them after cancellation, the better your chances. Just be aware that Apple Support’s ability to restore deleted data may be limited.

Prevent Future Data Loss

To avoid losing your Apple Music playlists and library again in the future, it’s important to regularly back up your data. Here are some tips for backing up your Apple Music content:

Enable iCloud Music Library – This syncs your Apple Music library across devices and stores it in iCloud. Go to Settings > Music > Toggle on iCloud Music Library.

Use a third party app – Apps like TuneMyMusic can back up your Apple Music library including playlists, songs, albums etc. This gives you a separate copy you can restore from.

Manually export playlists – Go to a playlist, tap the 3 dots, choose Export, select a format like CSV and save it somewhere safe like Google Drive or a hard drive.

Screenshot playlists – As a quick way to remember playlist contents, you can screenshot them before cancelling Apple Music.

Back up your iPhone – Use iTunes or iCloud to regularly back up your iPhone which will include Apple Music data.

Losing your playlists and library after canceling Apple Music can be frustrating. But taking proactive steps to back up your data means you can restore it if you resubscribe or switch to a new service.

Consider Re-subscribing

If you miss having access to Apple Music’s large catalog of songs and exclusive content, you may want to consider re-subscribing. Here are some of the pros and cons to weigh when deciding whether to rejoin Apple Music:

Pros of Apple Music:

  • Access to over 90 million songs, many not available on other services (1)
  • Offline listening – download songs for playback when internet unavailable (2)
  • Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio for higher quality streaming (3)
  • Beats 1 live and on-demand radio station with exclusive shows (4)
  • Apple Music Radio with personalized stations (5)

Cons of Apple Music:

  • More expensive than competitors at $9.99/month for individuals (6)
  • Confusing library management compared to Spotify (7)
  • Playlists and libraries don’t transfer back easily if you unsubscribe (8)
  • Limited social features for sharing playlists and following friends (9)

Overall, Apple Music offers a robust catalog and some unique offerings like Spatial Audio, but it comes at a higher monthly price. Evaluate whether the exclusive content and integration with Apple devices outweighs the increased cost for you.


After canceling Apple Music, it can be disheartening to find that your carefully curated playlists have disappeared. However, there are several options to try to get them back.

First, check your Recently Deleted playlists, as they may still be there for up to 30 days. You can also see if any playlists were backed up to iCloud and restore them from there. Using a third party app is another option that could help you recreate lost playlists.

If those options don’t work, you’ll have to manually recreate your playlists, which takes time but allows you to end up with your music organized again. As a last resort, contact Apple Support to see if they can recover your data.

To avoid this situation in the future, be sure to back up your Apple Music data regularly either to iCloud or locally. Consider re-subscribing to Apple Music as well if you find manual playlist creation too difficult.

With some effort, you should be able to recover or recreate your playlists after canceling Apple Music.