Having your music library synced properly across all your devices is crucial for an enjoyable listening experience. However, sometimes you may run into issues where a song or album appears on one device but not another. This can be frustrating, but don’t worry – in most cases, it’s an easy fix.
Check Your Cloud Service Settings
The first thing to check is your settings on whatever cloud service you use to sync your music library. Services like Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, and Amazon Music will all sync your library between devices, but only if syncing is enabled.
Go into the settings of your cloud music app on each device and make sure “Sync Library” is toggled on. This will make sure any new music you add or changes you make on one device also get sent to the cloud and down to your other devices.
While you’re in the settings, also check that you have syncing enabled over both WiFi and Cellular if you’re using a mobile device. Having it set to WiFi only can sometimes lead to syncing issues.
Update The App
Another common cause of sync issues is having an outdated version of your music app. Apps are constantly getting updated with bug fixes and performance improvements.
Go to the App Store (iOS) or Play Store (Android) and make sure you have the latest version of your music app installed. Check on all your devices, not just the one having issues. This will ensure full compatibility between your devices.
An simple restart of your devices can often resolve temporary glitches that are preventing proper syncing. Close the music app entirely, power down the device, wait 30 seconds, then boot it back up.
Once restarted, launch the music app again and see if the missing songs are now appearing. Restarting will clear out any corrupt caches or background processes that may be interfering with syncing.
Re-Download Missing Songs
If a restart doesn’t work, try re-downloading the individual songs or albums that aren’t syncing properly. Open the music app on the device where they are appearing correctly, then tap the download button next to each song to re-download it.
This will essentially reset the song file and retrieve a fresh copy from the cloud that should now sync across your other devices. Just be patient and allow time for the downloads and syncing to complete.
Disable then Re-Enable Sync
If re-downloading is not resolving it, the nuclear option is to completely disable syncing everywhere and then re-enable it.
Go into the app settings on each device and turn off syncing. Then close the apps entirely. After a few minutes, open the apps back up and re-enable syncing.
This will force a full refresh and resync of your entire library across all devices. Wait at least an hour after re-enabling to allow time for the process to fully complete.
Factory Reset Device
In rare cases, software glitches may be preventing proper syncing even after other troubleshooting. If you still can’t get a device to sync after trying the other steps, a factory reset may be necessary.
Note: A factory reset will erase all data on the device, so be sure to backup anything important first.
On mobile devices, head to Settings > General > Reset and perform a factory reset. On computers, you can restore the OS using the recovery options.
Set the device up from scratch, reinstall your music app, and sign in to your account. Then enable syncing. This should create a clean slate allowing your music library to sync properly.
Contact Customer Support
If you still can’t get a specific song to sync after trying all troubleshooting steps, there may be an issue on the back end that requires help from customer support to fix.
Reach out to the customer service team for your music app and explain the issue in detail, including exactly which song is not syncing and across which devices.
Support should be able to investigate further and work with you to resolve the problem through account troubleshooting or resetting the song file on their servers.
Set Up Family Sharing
If you are trying to get your music to sync across devices owned by different family members, the easiest solution is setting up Family Sharing.
Family Sharing allows you to share App Store purchases, subscriptions, and cloud media libraries between up to 6 family members.
To enable it:
- Open Settings on each family member’s iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and go to iTunes & App Store
- Tap on your Apple ID at the top and select Family Sharing
- Follow the on-screen steps to set yourself as the family organizer
- Invite family members to join your family group
Once Family Sharing is enabled, any music purchased or added by one family member will automatically appear in the libraries of all other family members. This ensures full syncing between devices.
Check File Formats
Certain music file formats may not sync well across devices, especially if you have a mix of iOS and Android devices.
Apple devices use AAC as their default format, while Android uses MP3. Having songs encoded in non-native formats can cause sync issues.
Try re-encoding any problem files into the proper native format for that device. You can use audio converter programs to change file formats.
There are also apps like Apple Music Converter that can batch convert entire non-AAC libraries into iOS-friendly formats for more reliable syncing and playback.
Remove Download Restrictions
Some music apps allow you to selectively choose which songs/albums get downloaded for offline listening versus streamed. If you restricted downloads on some songs on one device but not another, it can prevent proper library syncing.
Check each device and make sure none have any download restrictions set. Go to Settings > Downloads and toggle off “Only Download Some Songs” or any other limiting options. Removing download restrictions will allow full syncing.
Check Regional Restrictions
In some cases, licensing deals may restrict certain songs/albums from being available in specific countries. If you travel internationally with your devices, regional restrictions can cause music to disappear.
Try switching your music app region/country setting to match whichever device is showing the missing songs correctly. This will sync up the music licensing so your libraries match worldwide.
Note that using a VPN connection can also bypass regional restrictions if resetting app region does not resolve it.
Remove and Re-Add Account
As a last resort, unlinking your account everywhere and then re-adding it can force a full re-sync and potentially resolve any corrupt sync issues.
On each device, open settings, remove your account from the music app, force close the app, then re-open and re-link your account.
Give it ample time to rebuild your library in the cloud and redistribute all the correct songs to each device after re-linking. This brute force reset of your account should get everything properly synced again.
With digital music, having your full library accurately synced across all devices is essential. If certain songs go missing or won’t sync properly, it can ruin the listening experience.
Fortunately, by methodically checking settings, app versions, account restrictions, and file formats, you can troubleshoot the cause and get everything perfectly synced again.
Following this guide, you’ll be able to resolve nearly any music syncing issue. Just be patient during troubleshooting and allow time for re-uploads and downloads. Before long, you’ll have seamless access to your full music collection anywhere.