How do I stop updating iCloud music library?

iCloud Music Library allows you to access your music collection across all your devices that are signed into your iCloud account. Any music you add to your library on one device will automatically download to your other devices. This can be convenient for accessing your music seamlessly across iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV and more. However, some users may wish to disable iCloud Music Library syncing for a variety of reasons. Luckily, turning off iCloud Music Library updates is simple to do through your iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC settings.

What is iCloud Music Library?

iCloud Music Library is an Apple service that syncs your music collection across devices. When enabled, any music purchased through iTunes or added to your iPhone, iPad or other Apple device will automatically upload to iCloud. This includes music imported from CDs or downloaded from other sources.

Your iCloud Music Library contains up to 100,000 songs that you can access from any device signed into your iCloud account. This allows you to stream your music collection anywhere, without needing the physical device you uploaded from. Any new music added on one device will download to your other devices so you always have access to your latest tunes.

iCloud Music Library works seamlessly with Apple Music, iTunes Match and iTunes Store purchases. All your music is stored in iCloud and made available across devices, integrating with any Apple Music tracks you save and iTunes Match songs matched from your library.

Benefits of iCloud Music Library

There are several benefits to using iCloud Music Library:

  • Access your music collection from any device – Stream your songs from any iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV or PC signed into your iCloud account.
  • New music is automatically synced – Any music added on one device downloads across all your other devices.
  • Integrates with Apple Music and iTunes Match – Provides one unified library.
  • Saves local storage space – Music is stored in iCloud rather than your device storage.

For many users, the convenience and seamless integration iCloud Music Library provides is extremely useful. However, there are also reasons you may wish to disable it.

Reasons to turn off iCloud Music Library

Here are some common reasons you may want to stop iCloud Music Library syncing:

  • Limited internet connectivity – If you regularly find yourself without internet access, you may not be able to stream your music collection.
  • Prefer local music files – If you like maintaining your own music collection locally, automatic syncing may be disruptive.
  • Duplicate tracks – iCloud Music can sometimes create duplicate copies of your tracks.
  • Apple Music issues – Some users report issues cancelling or problems streaming.
  • Syncing issues – Rarely, syncing problems may occur preventing access to your music.

Luckily disabling iCloud Music Library is simple and prevents further changes to your collection across devices. Your existing music libraries will remain intact.

How to Stop iCloud Music Library Syncing on iPhone and iPad

If you want to stop automatic syncing of your music collection to iCloud from your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

1. Open the Settings app on your iOS device.

2. Tap on your name at the top of the menu (Apple ID banner).

3. Select ‘iCloud’.

4. Scroll down and tap ‘Music’.

5. Turn off ‘Sync Library’.

This will prevent any new music added on that device from being uploaded to iCloud and synced across your other devices.

Your existing iCloud music collection will still be accessible from this iPhone or iPad until you fully disable iCloud Music Library. And your other devices will continue uploading new music to iCloud.

To completely stop iCloud Music Library syncing across all devices, you will need to repeat these steps on each device.

Re-Enabling iCloud Music Library Syncing

If you later want to turn iCloud Music Library syncing back on, simply return to the Music section under iCloud settings and toggle ‘Sync Library’ back on.

This will re-enable uploads of new music back to iCloud, making them accessible across all your signed in devices.

Just be aware this can take some time to re-upload your full music collection after having syncing disabled for a while.

Turning Off iCloud Music Library on Mac

To prevent iCloud Music Library syncing on your Mac, use these steps:

1. Click the Apple menu icon.

2. Select ‘System Preferences’.

3. Click ‘Apple ID’.

4. Choose ‘iCloud’.

5. Scroll down and uncheck ‘iCloud Music Library’.

This will stop any newly added music on your Mac from being uploaded to iCloud.

Your iCloud music collection will still be available on this Mac, but new songs will only be saved locally rather than synced across devices.

Repeat for each Mac you want to disable iCloud Music Library syncing for.

Turn iCloud Music Library Back On

To re-enable iCloud Music Library on your Mac in the future, simply re-check ‘iCloud Music Library’ in your iCloud settings.

This will resume uploading your new music to iCloud for access across devices. Just be prepared for the time it takes to re-sync your full music collection.

Stopping iCloud Music Library on Windows PC

If you use a Windows PC signed into your iCloud account, here is how to stop syncing from there:

1. Open ‘Settings’ from your PC Start menu.

2. Click ‘Accounts’.

3. Select ‘Your Info’ under ‘Your Accounts’.

4. Choose ‘Manage iCloud Account’.

5. Click ‘Music’.

6. Turn off ‘iCloud Music Library’.

This prevents further automatic syncing of music you add on your PC. Your existing iCloud collection remains available until you disable iCloud Music Library everywhere.

Turn on iCloud Music Library for Windows

When ready to start syncing again from your Windows PC, go back to the Music page under your iCloud settings and turn ‘iCloud Music Library’ back on.

Be aware this can take time to re-upload your entire music collection after having it disabled for a while.

Fully Disabling iCloud Music Library

To completely prevent iCloud Music Library syncing across any device:

1. Turn off iCloud Music Library on each device (iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC) following the steps above.

2. Open iTunes on your Mac or PC.

3. Go to Account > View My Account.

4. Sign in with your Apple ID.

5. Under ‘Settings’ click ‘Disable iCloud Music Library’.

This will fully disable the service across all your devices signed into your iCloud account. Your music collections will now remain separate on each device.

To start using iCloud Music Library again in future, you will need to re-enable it in iTunes on your Mac or PC first.

Other iCloud Music Library Settings

Aside from completely disabling or enabling iCloud Music Library, there are a few other related settings you can configure:

Optimize iPhone/iPad Storage

This setting lets you save device storage space by keeping lower resolution versions of your songs downloaded. You can still stream the full versions from iCloud when needed. To enable:

1. Go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Music on iPhone/iPad.
2. Toggle on ‘Optimize Storage’.

Automatic Downloads

You can choose to automatically download only purchased music from iCloud rather than your entire library. To set:

1. Go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Music on iPhone/iPad.
2. Tap ‘Automatic Downloads’.
3. Select ‘Purchased Only’.

Show Apple Music

This setting lets you hide the Apple Music section of the Music app if you don’t use that service. To hide:

1. Go to Settings > Music on iPhone/iPad.
2. Turn off ‘Show Apple Music’.

Troubleshooting iCloud Music Library Issues

If you experience issues syncing your iCloud music collection, here are some troubleshooting things to try:

  • Check internet connectivity on all devices.
  • Confirm iCloud Music Library is enabled in iTunes and iOS/Mac settings.
  • Update iOS, iTunes and Mac software.
  • Restart devices and sign out/in of iCloud.
  • Disable then re-enable iCloud Music Library.
  • Delete old devices from your account.
  • Contact Apple support for further help.

Resolving sync issues usually involves first ensuring you have the latest software versions. Signing out of iCloud then back in can also help reset stuck services. In difficult cases fully disabling then re-enabling iCloud Music Library may be needed, however this will require re-uploading your full library again.

Other Ways to Sync Music

If you choose to disable iCloud Music Library, there are other ways to transfer music between your Apple devices:

  • Manually transfer files via USB or wifi in Finder on Mac or File Explorer on Windows.
  • Use third party apps like doubleTwist or iMazing to sync selected playlists.
  • Stream music from a NAS drive using apps like VLC or Infuse.
  • Use Apple Music subscription which does not require iCloud Music Library.

While not as seamless as iCloud syncing, these options give you more control over your music collection across devices.


iCloud Music Library provides a convenient way to access your music collection on all your Apple devices automatically. However, there are valid reasons you may want to disable iCloud Music syncing entirely or on select devices. Doing so is straightforward by toggling off iCloud Music Library in your iOS, MacOS or Windows settings. Just remember this prevents any new music added on that device from syncing across your other devices signed into your iCloud account. Fully disabling the service for your Apple ID requires turning it off in iTunes as well. While not as seamless, you can still manually transfer music or use streaming options if iCloud Music Library syncing doesn’t suit your needs.

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