How do I manually sync my Apple Music library?

Apple Music is Apple’s music streaming service that gives you access to over 100 million songs. Previously, iTunes handled syncing your Apple Music library across devices. However, with iTunes being discontinued, Apple Music syncing must now be done manually through iCloud Music Library. The goal of manually syncing your Apple Music library is to access the same songs, playlists, and music data across all your devices including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch.


Before you can sync your Apple Music library, there are a few requirements you need to meet:

  • Have an active Apple Music subscription – Sync Library is only available for Apple Music subscribers.

  • Use the same Apple ID on all devices – Make sure you are signed into all your devices with the same Apple ID that is associated with your Apple Music subscription.

  • Have all devices on the same Wi-Fi network – Your devices need to be connected to the same local network in order to sync.

Once you meet these prerequisites, you’ll be ready to enable the Sync Library feature and have your Apple Music content sync across devices automatically.

Enable iCloud Music Library

To enable iCloud Music Library to sync your music across devices:

Open Settings on each device you want to sync your music to.

Select Music.

Toggle on iCloud Music Library. This allows Apple Music to access your music library.

Once enabled, iCloud Music Library will begin uploading your library to iCloud so you can access it from any device. This process may take some time depending on your library size.

Download Music on Devices

To manually download music on your devices for offline listening:

First, open the Apple Music app on each device where you want music available offline, like your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. This can include multiple devices signed into the same Apple ID.

In the app, select Library > Downloads. Here you will see any previously downloaded music.

Browse and select any additional songs, albums, or playlists you want to download for offline access. Tap the download icon next to each selection.

Downloaded selections will display a small checkmark icon. They can now be played offline as long as you remain signed into that Apple ID. This lets you manually sync music across devices registered to the same account.

To check download progress, go back to Library > Downloads. An animated download icon will display on tracks not finished syncing.

According to Apple Support, songs downloaded for offline playback are encoded as 256Kbps AAC files [1]. Downloads count against iCloud storage quotas.

Stream from iCloud

With iCloud Music Library enabled, any music in your library that you haven’t downloaded can be streamed directly from iCloud.[1] This allows you to access your entire music library from any device signed in with your Apple ID, without needing to manually sync or transfer files.

Streaming music from iCloud requires an active internet connection. As long as you have connectivity, you can listen to any song in your library on demand. There is no need to manually manage transfers or syncing between devices.

With iCloud Music Library, your music is always available directly from Apple’s servers. Just open the Music app on any of your devices and you’ll have access to your full library wherever you are.

Check Synced Music

Once you have enabled Sync Library and downloaded music to your devices, you’ll want to verify that everything synced properly. Here’s how to check if your Apple Music library is correctly synced across devices:

Open the Apple Music app on each device you want to check. This includes iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TVs, Apple Watches, and more. Navigate to the Library tab in the Music app.

The Library is organized into sections like Artists, Albums, Songs, Downloaded Music, Recently Added, and more. Scroll through the Library on each device and look for any missing content.

Focus on the Downloaded Music section to view songs saved for offline playback. If a song is downloaded, it will have a little download icon next to it.

Then check the full library of streamed songs that are available through your iCloud Music Library. These will play when you have an internet connection.

This allows you to verify that both your downloaded and streamed libraries are correctly synced across your Apple devices. If any content seems to be missing on a particular device, you may need to re-download it or troubleshoot your iCloud Music Library sync.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you are having issues getting your Apple Music library to sync properly across devices, there are a few troubleshooting tips to try:

First, confirm that iCloud Music Library is enabled on all of your devices. This can be done by going to Settings > Music on iOS devices or Preferences > General in the Music app on Mac. iCloud Music Library needs to be turned on for syncing to work properly.

Next, check that all devices trying to sync are on the same WiFi network. Apple Music relies on WiFi for syncing your library across devices, so they will need to be connected to the same network.

Finally, try restarting any devices that are having trouble syncing. Restarting can help resync the Apple Music library if things have gotten out of sync between devices. First restart your iOS device by holding down the power button and swiping to power off. Then turn your device back on. For Mac, choose Restart from the Apple menu.

Following these basic troubleshooting tips should help get your Apple Music library syncing properly across all of your devices again.

Alternative Sync Methods

If you want more flexibility and options for syncing your Apple Music library between devices, there are a couple alternative methods you can use:

You can sync your Apple Music library through a Mac using Finder. To do this, connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to your Mac via USB cable. Then in the Finder sidebar, select your device and click on the Music section. Here you can choose to sync your entire music library or select specific artists, albums, and playlists to transfer from your Mac to your device (1).

Another option is to use a third-party app like iMazing, AnyTrans, or iMusic. These apps provide additional sync capabilities between your Apple Music library and devices. For example, iMazing allows you to transfer audio files in both directions between your iPhone/iPad and computer. AnyTrans lets you sync Apple Music playlists from your iPhone onto your Android device. And iMusic can help you record and download songs from Apple Music with no subscription required.


There are some limitations with Apple Music syncing to be aware of:

Smart Playlists and iTunes Match music do not sync to Apple Music. Only music added directly to your Apple Music library will sync across devices (Source).

There is also a limit of 100,000 songs that can be stored in your iCloud Music Library for syncing purposes. If your library exceeds this amount, you’ll need to pare it down (Source).

Additionally, some content may have licensing restrictions that prevent it from being synced. For example, certain live recordings or remixes may only be available for streaming and cannot be downloaded for offline listening (Source).


To manually sync your Apple Music library across devices, the key steps are enabling iCloud Music Library, downloading music onto each device, and streaming music from iCloud.

The most important thing is enabling iCloud Music Library, as this allows Apple Music to sync your library and playlists across all your devices. Once enabled, any music you add on one device will automatically download to your other devices.

You can also manually download specific songs, albums or playlists on each device. And with iCloud Music Library enabled, you can stream any of your music from iCloud onto your devices as needed.

Overall, iCloud Music Library takes the work out of syncing your Apple Music collection across all your devices. By turning on this feature, your music library stays up to date and available across iPhone, iPad, Mac and more.