How do I restore my music to my new iPhone?

Quick Answers

Here are some quick answers to common questions about restoring music to a new iPhone:

How do I transfer music from my old iPhone to my new iPhone?

You can use iTunes or iCloud to transfer music from an old iPhone to a new iPhone. Connect both devices to iTunes, sync them, and select “Transfer Purchases” to move all purchased music to the new device. You can also use iCloud Music Library to sync music between devices.

Can I restore my music from an iTunes or iCloud backup?

Yes, you can restore your music library from an iTunes or iCloud backup. When you set up your new iPhone, choose “Restore from iTunes backup” or “Restore from iCloud backup” to transfer the music from a previous backup.

What is the easiest way to restore my music library?

The easiest way is to use iCloud Music Library. As long as you have “Sync Library” enabled in your iCloud Music settings, your music will automatically download to any new device when you sign in with your Apple ID.

What to Do Before Restoring Music to a New iPhone

Before starting the process of restoring your music library to a new iPhone, there are a few things you should do to make the transfer easier:

  • Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer. iTunes will be used to sync music between devices.
  • Backup your old iPhone to iCloud or iTunes. Backing up will save your music library and other data.
  • Check that iCloud Music Library is enabled on your old iPhone. This allows your music to be synced across devices.
  • Make sure both devices are using the same Apple ID for purchases. This ensures transferred music files are authorized.
  • Connect both devices to the same Wi-Fi network for faster transfers.
  • Ensure your new iPhone is running the latest version of iOS for compatibility.

Doing these things beforehand means the music transfer process will go faster and more smoothly.

How to Use iTunes to Restore Music

One way to transfer music from an old iPhone to a new model is by using iTunes syncing and backups. Here is a step-by-step guide to restoring your music using iTunes:

  1. Connect your new iPhone to your computer using the included USB to Lightning cable. iTunes should open automatically.
  2. In iTunes, click on your new iPhone icon. Go to the Music section and make sure “Sync Music” is checked.
  3. On your old iPhone, connect it to the computer. iTunes will recognize it.
  4. Click on your old iPhone icon in iTunes. Go to the Summary tab and check “Sync Music.” Click “Apply.”
  5. With both devices connected, check “Transfer Purchases from [old iPhone]” in the Summary tab of your new device.
  6. Click “Apply” to start transferring music files purchased on the old device to the new device.
  7. If you want to transfer non-purchased music too, make sure “Sync Music” and “Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres” is checked and set up on both devices.
  8. Check “Manually manage music and videos” if you want to selectively transfer music by dragging and dropping.

Once you apply and sync the settings, iTunes will start transferring music from your old iPhone to your new iPhone automatically. Just leave both devices connected until the process is finished.

Advantages of Using iTunes

  • Transfers all purchased music by default.
  • Can selectively sync non-purchased music.
  • Simple wired connection through USB.
  • Manages music manually by dragging and dropping.

Disadvantages of Using iTunes

  • Must have both devices and computer connected at same time.
  • No wireless transfer option.
  • Time consuming to transfer large non-purchased libraries.
  • Not all music formats supported by iTunes.

How to Use iCloud Music Library

Using iCloud Music Library is the easiest way to restore your music to a new iPhone. iCloud Music Library wirelessly matches and syncs your music across devices. Here is how to set it up:

  1. On your new iPhone, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud.
  2. Under Apps Using iCloud, turn on iCloud Music Library.
  3. On your old iPhone, go to Settings > Music and turn on iCloud Music Library.
  4. Make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi for faster syncing.
  5. It may take some time for iCloud to match and upload your music library. Progress will be shown.
  6. Once matched, all your music will automatically download to your new device.

Now whenever you add or edit music on one device, the changes sync across all your devices with iCloud Music Library enabled. There is no need to manually transfer again.

Advantages of Using iCloud Music Library

  • Syncs music wirelessly across devices.
  • Easy automated syncing once set up.
  • Makes all music available on all devices.
  • Uploads music not in iTunes Store to cloud.

Disadvantages of Using iCloud Music Library

  • Requires stable internet connection.
  • Uploading can take time depending on library size.
  • Not compatible with all music file formats.
  • Doesn’t transfer music videos.

How to Sync Music with iTunes Match

If you use iTunes Match instead of iCloud Music Library, you can also sync music between your old and new iPhone. iTunes Match stores your library in iCloud but has some differences from iCloud Music Library.

To use iTunes Match to restore your music library:

  1. Make sure iTunes Match is enabled in your iTunes account settings on a computer.
  2. On your new iPhone, go to Settings > Music and turn on iTunes Match.
  3. On your old iPhone, also enable iTunes Match in your Music settings.
  4. Connect both iPhones to Wi-Fi so music can be downloaded.
  5. Music you already purchased from iTunes will sync immediately.
  6. Other songs and albums will scan and match to songs already in iCloud.
  7. Songs that can’t be matched will upload to iCloud so you can stream them.

The main difference between iTunes Match and iCloud Music Library is that iTunes Match stores your music in the cloud but doesn’t make it available on all devices. You can only stream matched and uploaded songs.

Advantages of Using iTunes Match

  • Syncs purchased iTunes music across devices.
  • Songs are matched with cloud copies for streaming.
  • Uploads songs not already in iTunes Store.
  • Can access music library on multiple devices.

Disadvantages of Using iTunes Match

  • Doesn’t download full music library for offline use.
  • Matching and uploading can take a long time.
  • Requires stable high-speed internet connection.
  • Annual subscription fee.

How to Transfer Music Using Other Methods

Aside from iTunes and iCloud, there are a few other ways to get music from your old iPhone to your new iPhone:

Use a Third-Party App

Apps like iMazing, AnyTrans, CopyTrans Manager, and PhoneTrans allow you to transfer music between devices with a wireless connection or over Wi-Fi. Some apps offer more customization options for selective music transfers.

Transfer Manually via File Sharing

You can connect your iPhone to a computer and access music files through the iPhone file system. Then manually copy them over to your new iPhone’s file system using File Sharing in iTunes. This method takes more time and technical skill.

Use AirDrop to Transfer Files

If both your old and new iPhones support AirDrop, you can wirelessly send individual music files from one device to the other using AirDrop. This works best for small transfers rather than full libraries.

Troubleshooting Music Restore Issues

Sometimes technical issues can interrupt the music transfer process. Here are solutions for some common problems:

Issue Solution
Music won’t sync using iTunes Check USB connections, restart devices, disable and re-enable “Sync Music”, upgrade software.
Transfer is slow over Wi-Fi Move closer to router, disconnect other devices to improve bandwidth.
Music disappears from new iPhone Check iCloud/iTunes Match settings. Make sure music is downloaded, not just streamed.
Songs seem to be missing Music may still be uploading. Check iCloud/iTunes Match status. Try manual transfer.
Can’t authorize music Use same Apple ID on both phones. Check iTunes account settings.

If issues persist, you may need to delete the music library on the new device and start the transfer over. Contact Apple support if troubleshooting does not resolve the problem.


Restoring your music doesn’t have to be a frustrating process. Using the iTunes sync option will transfer all your purchased music automatically. Enabling iCloud Music Library makes the process even easier by wirelessly syncing your full library across devices.

While iTunes Match and manual methods are also options, iCloud Music Library is typically the quickest and simplest solution. Just make sure to have music backup enabled in iTunes or iCloud beforehand. Be patient during uploads and downloads. With a little time and effort, you’ll have all your music restored on your new iPhone.

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