How do I transfer all my Music to my iPhone?

Transferring all of your music to an iPhone can seem daunting, but it’s actually quite straightforward once you know the steps. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get all your tunes onto your iPhone.

Should I Use iTunes or the Finder to Transfer Music?

The first decision you need to make is whether to use iTunes or the Finder to transfer your music library to your iPhone. Here’s a quick rundown of the differences:


  • Officially supported method for transferring music
  • Syncs your entire music library
  • Can be slower with very large libraries
  • More robust tools for managing music


  • Drag and drop interface is faster for large libraries
  • Transfers individual songs or albums
  • Fewer music management tools
  • Requires latest version of macOS

For most users, iTunes may be the simpler option, especially if you want to transfer your entire music collection. The Finder method is better suited for selectively transferring music or for very large 100+ GB libraries.

Transferring Music with iTunes

If you decide to use iTunes to transfer your music to your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer using the included USB cable. iTunes should open automatically. If not, launch iTunes manually.
  2. In iTunes, click on your iPhone icon in the top left navigation bar.
  3. On the summary screen, scroll down to the Options section and check “Sync Music.”
  4. Below that, check “Entire music library.” This will sync all of your songs and albums.
  5. At the bottom, click the Apply button to start the transfer process.
  6. Leave your iPhone connected until the sync is complete. The progress will be displayed in the iTunes status bar.
  7. When finished, you can safely eject your iPhone.

And that’s it! iTunes will now copy your entire music library to your iPhone automatically. Just leave your phone connected and iTunes open until it finishes.

Choosing Specific Music to Transfer

If you only want to transfer some of your music to save space on your iPhone, here are the steps:

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above to connect your phone and open the sync settings.
  2. Uncheck “Entire music library.”
  3. Check “Selected playlists, artists, albums and genres.”
  4. Select the specific playlists, artists, albums and genres you want to transfer.
  5. Click Apply and let the transfer run to completion.

This ensures you only get the music you want on your iPhone.

Transferring Music with the Finder

Using the Finder to transfer music takes fewer steps than iTunes. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using the USB cable.
  2. Open a Finder window and click on your iPhone in the sidebar.
  3. In the Finder window, click on the Music folder.
  4. Open a second Finder window to your Music library on your Mac.
  5. Drag and drop songs or albums from your library to the iPhone Music folder.
  6. The copy process will begin immediately.
  7. Let the transfer finish before disconnecting your phone.

The main advantages here are speed and selectivity. You can queue up transfers of all your music and disconnect once finished.

Transferring Music from PC

If you’re transferring music from a Windows PC, the process is very similar:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your PC using the USB cable.
  2. Open File Explorer and click on your iPhone.
  3. Open a second File Explorer window to your Music folder.
  4. Drag and drop music files to the Music folder on your iPhone.
  5. Wait for the transfers to complete before disconnecting.

Just be sure to have the latest version of iTunes installed on your PC first.

Transferring Music from External Drives

If your music library lives on an external hard drive or USB flash drive, you can transfer files directly from the drive:

  1. Connect the external drive to your computer.
  2. Open the drive and navigate to your music folders.
  3. Follow the transfer steps above to drag and drop files to your iPhone.

This prevents you from having to copy music to your computer first before transferring to your phone.

Transferring Music from Streaming Services

Music from streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music etc. gets transferred a bit differently than your personal library:

  • Spotify: Use the Spotify app on your iPhone. Log in and tap on Made For You playlists and albums to download them for offline playback.
  • Apple Music: Any music you add to your library is automatically available in the Apple Music app on iPhone. Download playlists, albums or songs in the app for offline listening.
  • YouTube Music: Use the YouTube Music app to find playlists and music to add to your library. Tap the download icon to save songs for offline playback.

Downloaded songs will be accessible in the respective apps without an internet connection. Playlists and albums may need periodic re-downloads as content changes.

Transferring Music from CDs

If you still have music on physical CDs, you can rip them to your computer and transfer the files:

  1. Insert the CD into your computer.
  2. Open iTunes or Windows Media Player.
  3. Select the option to import the CD and convert the tracks to digital files (MP3, AAC, FLAC, etc).
  4. Adjust import settings as desired.
  5. Select the album tracks and click import.
  6. When complete, eject the CD.
  7. The files can now be transferred to your iPhone using the Finder or iTunes method.

Ripping gives you digital copies that are much easier to transfer compared to CDs. Just be sure your CD drive is connected when transferring.

Checking Transferred Music on Your iPhone

Once your music is transferred, here’s how to access it on your iPhone:

  • Open the Music app.
  • Tap on Library at the bottom to view all transferred content.
  • Navigate through playlists, artists, albums, songs, genres etc.
  • Tap a song to play it and confirm the transfer was successful.
  • Use the shuffle and repeat functions to test a variety of tracks.

If any expected music is missing, you may need to check the transfer settings and run it again to catch missing content.

Listening to Music Offline

The key benefit of transferring music to your iPhone is being able to listen offline when you don’t have an internet connection. Here are some tips for offline listening:

  • Make sure Airplane mode is enabled on your device to turn off all connectivity.
  • Launch the Music app and select a playlist, album or other collection to play.
  • Tap the shuffle icon if you want a random music experience.
  • Adjust volume using the buttons on the side of your iPhone.
  • To save battery, turn off Bluetooth and background app refresh in Settings unless needed.

You can enjoy hours of uninterrupted music playback even without cell or WiFi signals with transferred music.

Troubleshooting Transfer Issues

In some cases, you may encounter issues getting all your music to transfer properly from your computer to your iPhone. Here are some troubleshooting tips:

Music won’t transfer

  • Check USB cable connections between computer and iPhone
  • Force restart computer and device
  • Update to latest version of macOS/Windows and iTunes
  • Toggle USB port being used for connection
  • Disable and re-enable AutoSync option in iTunes

Transfers are slow

  • Pause sync and resume to reset transfer speeds
  • Connect devices directly without USB hub
  • Upgrade to higher quality USB cable
  • Clear app cache and download temporary files
  • Check for software updates and install

Missing songs or albums

  • Adjust sync settings to transfer entire library
  • Consolidate library to recover missing tracks in iTunes
  • Re-check playlist, artist, genre, and album selections
  • Update music library on computer
  • Restart transfer process from beginning

If issues persist, you may need to restore or reset your iPhone and attempt the transfers again.

Alternative Transfer Options

Aside from direct USB connection, there are a few other ways to get music onto your iPhone:

iCloud Music Library

  • Store music in iCloud and make available on all devices
  • Requires subscription to Apple Music
  • Music downloads automatically to devices
  • Great for accessing same library everywhere

Third-party apps

  • Apps like AnyTrans, iMazing, CopyTrans Manager etc
  • Allow wired and WiFi music transfers
  • Offer advanced library management features
  • Helpful for large libraries or special cases


  • Wirelessly transfer songs between Apple devices
  • Just tap to share files to nearby devices
  • Limited to albums or small batches of songs
  • Handy for quick, occasional transfers

It’s worth exploring if the above options work better than direct USB transfers for your needs.


Getting all your music onto your iPhone doesn’t have to be a painful process. With the right sync tools and methods, you can transfer even the largest libraries seamlessly. Focus on high-quality file formats, smart playlist management, and regular library maintenance, and you’ll be able to enjoy your entire collection on the go.

With the availability of streaming services and iCloud Music Library, local music transfers are less essential than before. But they still offer the most control over your collection and ability to listen offline. Figure out the best transfer options for your needs and you’ll be rocking out to your favorite tracks on your iPhone in no time.

Did you find this guide helpful? Let us know if you have any other questions about getting your music onto your iPhone!

Music Source Transfer Method
iTunes Library Sync with iTunes app
Finder/Explorer Drag and drop files
External drive Direct file transfer
Streaming service Download in app
CDs Rip to computer first