How do I put music on my iPhone that was not purchased from iTunes?

There are a few different ways to get music onto your iPhone that wasn’t purchased through iTunes. The easiest options are to use a syncing service like iCloud or to simply drag and drop music files directly onto your iPhone when it’s connected to your computer.

Using iCloud to Sync Music

If you use iCloud to keep your music library synced across devices, any music you add to your library on your computer will automatically be added to your iPhone as well. Here’s how to set up iCloud music syncing:

  1. Make sure you’re signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on both your computer and iPhone.
  2. On your computer, open iTunes and go to Preferences > Music.
  3. Check the box for “Sync Library” under iCloud.
  4. On your iPhone, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud and turn on iCloud Music Library.

Now any music you add to iTunes on your computer will be automatically downloaded to your iPhone. This includes music purchased elsewhere or music you’ve ripped from CDs.

Using Drag and Drop

If you don’t want to use iCloud syncing, you can manually transfer music files to your iPhone using a USB connection. To do this:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer using the included USB cable.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer. Your iPhone should show up under the “Devices” header in the top left.
  3. Find the music files you want to transfer on your computer. This can include MP3, AAC, ALAC, and more.
  4. Simply drag the files over to your iPhone’s icon in iTunes.

The files will be transferred over. To find them, go to the Music app on your iPhone.

Using a Sync Service Like Dropbox

You can also use a third party sync service like Dropbox or Google Drive to get music onto your iPhone. Here’s how:

  1. Install the sync app both on your computer and iPhone.
  2. Add the music files to sync to a folder in the app on your computer.
  3. On your iPhone, open the app and find the folder to access your music.
  4. Tap the files to download them to your device.

The music will now be available in your Music app.

Transferring from a friend

If your friend has music on their iPhone that you want to transfer to yours, you have a couple options:

  • Use AirDrop – Open the music file on their iPhone and AirDrop it to your device
  • Email the file – Have them email the song file to you so you can open and save it on your iPhone
  • Use a sharing app – Apps like Shareit let you transfer files directly between devices

Downloading from the Internet

You can also download non-iTunes music files directly using Safari or a browser on your iPhone. There are many sites that host music files like mp3s for free or paid download.

Keep in mind that downloading copyrighted material without permission is illegal. There are plenty of free resources like Free Music Archive that provide creative commons or royalty-free tracks.

Converting Media Already on Your Phone

If you already have media files like videos, YouTube downloads, voice memos, etc on your iPhone, you can import them into your music library using apps like Documents by Readdle, Video to MP3 Converter, or

For example, to convert a video to MP3:

  1. Open the video in the converter app
  2. Select MP3 as the output format
  3. Export the MP3 file
  4. Open in Music app to find the new audio file

Recording Directly on iPhone

You can create your own music files directly on your iPhone using the built-in Voice Memos app. You can record vocals, guitar, or any other musical performance and then export it to use as a music file.

To use Voice Memos:

  1. Open the Voice Memos app
  2. Tap the red record button to start recording
  3. Tap stop when finished
  4. Tap the share icon on the recording
  5. Choose “Save to Music”

The file will now show up in your music library.

Using a Music or Media App

There are variety of third party iOS apps that allow you to download, stream, or transfer music files. Some examples include:

App Description
Spotify Stream or download music from Spotify’s library
YouTube Download audio from YouTube videos
SoundCloud Discover and download tracks from up and coming artists
Audiomack Download mixes and mixtapes
ReverbNation Download music from independent artists
Bandcamp Discover and download music directly from bands

The possibilities are endless! The App Store has many options for getting music files from all genres onto your device.

Importing CDs

If you still have a physical CD collection, you can import tracks from CDs onto your iPhone using iTunes on a computer. To do this:

  1. Insert the CD into your computer
  2. Open iTunes and click on File > Import CD
  3. The tracks will be imported into your iTunes library
  4. Connect your iPhone and sync the tracks over

This will bring in songs purchased or downloaded elsewhere into your existing iTunes library.

Enabling File Sharing in iTunes

You can also enable file sharing in iTunes to directly drag music files over without needing to sync your entire library. To do this:

  1. Connect your iPhone to iTunes
  2. Click on your iPhone icon
  3. Go to File Sharing
  4. Click the Add File button to select music files from your computer
  5. Drag them over to add them to your iPhone’s Music app

This will let you manually transfer specific music files instead of everything in your iTunes library.

Using a Cloud Storage Service

Cloud storage platforms like Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox make it easy to upload files on one device and download them on another. You can upload music files to the cloud from your computer, then:

  1. Install the cloud storage app on your iPhone
  2. Log in and access the folder with your music
  3. Tap the files to download them to your iPhone

The songs will then appear in your Music app for offline listening.

Using a Media Player App

Apps like VLC Media Player and Infuse allow you to play a variety of video and audio files. You can transfer files to these apps to play music not purchased on iTunes. To do this:

  1. Get the media player app from the App Store
  2. Transfer files through the app’s built-in WiFi transfer tool
  3. Or connect to your computer and drag files directly to the app folder
  4. Open the app and select your imported music to play

Files can be imported from USB, WiFi, cloud services, email attachments, and more.

Downloading from an Online Forum or Blog

There are many blogs and forums that host direct downloads of songs and albums. You can browse sites like:

  • Reddit
  • Tumblr
  • Music blogs like Gorilla vs. Bear
  • Fan sites

Search for direct download or torrent links to music files. Tap the link on your iPhone to download. Just be aware of shady sites and copyright issues.

Ripping Music from Streaming Services

While ripping music from sites like YouTube, Spotify, Pandora etc violates Terms of Service, there are ways to download streaming music using third-party apps and converters. For example:

Service Ripping Method
YouTube Convert and download with apps like yt2mp3
SoundCloud Use sites like
Spotify Record and convert tracks with apps like NoteBurner

While convenient, downloading streamed content may violate copyright. Proceed with caution.


As you can see, there are many ways to get music files onto an iPhone without iTunes purchases. From streaming apps to file sharing to downloading from blogs, it’s easy to expand your iPhone music library.

Some key takeaways include:

  • Use iCloud Music Library or manual drag and drop to sync music from your computer
  • Download files directly on your iPhone through apps, sites, or file converters
  • Stream music through apps like Spotify, YouTube, or SoundCloud
  • Transfer files from friends with AirDrop or sharing apps
  • Be mindful of copyright laws and Terms of Service for each service used

With all these options, you can customize your iPhone’s music library with hard-to-find tracks, indie songs, mixes, and more. Never pay for music again unless you want to directly support the artist. What matters most is that you enjoy the listening experience.