How to download music from iTunes?

Downloading music from iTunes is a great way to build your digital music library. iTunes has one of the largest music catalogs available, with over 75 million songs to choose from (Apple 2022). Whether you’re looking for the latest pop hits or classic oldies, iTunes likely has what you’re looking for. The process of downloading music from iTunes is straightforward, but there are some tips and considerations to keep in mind. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about how to download music from iTunes.

Overview of iTunes Music Store

The iTunes Music Store is Apple’s music marketplace, allowing users to browse, preview, purchase, and download music to play on devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod or on a computer. Some key things to know about the iTunes Music Store:

  • Launched in 2003, it offers a catalog of over 75 million songs from major and independent record labels
  • Songs can be purchased individually or as albums
  • Downloaded music can be played through Apple apps like Music or synced to Apple devices
  • Purchased music remains accessible in users’ accounts indefinitely
  • Songs are 256 kbps AAC files with no DRM (digital rights management)
  • iTunes often offers exclusive early releases and special content

So in summary, the iTunes Music Store provides an extensive catalog of high quality, DRM-free music that you purchase and own indefinitely. Now let’s look at how to find and download that music.

Searching for Music in iTunes

The first step is browsing or searching for songs or albums you want to download in iTunes. Here are some tips for finding music:

Browse Featured Music

iTunes’ home page showcases featured new releases, top songs and albums, music recommendations based on your library, and other highlighted content. Browsing these sections can help you discover new music.

Search by Artist, Song, or Album

Use the search bar at the top of iTunes to find specific songs, artists, or albums by title. For example, search for “Billie Eilish” or “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

Explore Genres

iTunes organizes music into genres like pop, rock, hip-hop, classical, and more. Click on a genre to browse top hits.

Check the iTunes Charts

The charts showcase the most popular songs and albums on iTunes updated daily. Great way to find hot new music.

Use Playlists

iTunes features curated playlists like New Music Mix that are updated weekly with hot songs. Following playlists helps you find new tunes.

Spending some time simply exploring is one of the best ways to uncover new music on iTunes you’ll love.

Purchasing Songs and Albums

Once you’ve found music you want, it’s time to purchase it. Here’s how iTunes music purchasing works:

Purchase Options

Songs can be bought individually or as part of an entire album. Individual songs are typically $1.29 while full albums cost $7.99 to $14.99 based on length.


Every song and album provides a 90 second preview clip so you can sample tracks before purchasing.

Shopping Cart

When ready to buy, add songs or albums to your shopping cart. You can keep shopping and adding to the cart.


Complete your music purchases by going to your cart and clicking “Buy Now”. You’ll sign into your iTunes account and select payment method.

Once the order is completed, the songs are added to your iTunes library and are available for download onto devices. Simple as that!

Downloading Purchased Music

Now it’s time to download that new music for listening anytime, anywhere. Here are ways to download purchased iTunes music:

Automatic Downloads

By default, any music you purchase through iTunes is set to automatically download to your computer’s iTunes application. Just make sure you have an internet connection.

Manual Downloads

If you prefer, you can disable automatic downloads and manually download by going to Account > Purchased and selecting music to download.

Download to iOS Devices

Sync purchased music to iOS devices like an iPhone by connecting the device to a computer with iTunes installed and clicking “Sync” or through wireless iTunes Wi-Fi Sync.

iCloud Music Library

With an iCloud Music Library enabled, all purchased iTunes music is automatically accessible across iOS devices and computers signed into the same Apple ID.

So in just a few clicks, your new music can be downloaded to your computer, phone, tablet, or anywhere else. Now let’s look at some power user tips for mastering iTunes.

Tips for Power iTunes Users

The basics of using iTunes to buy music are simple, but there are some handy extra tips for getting the most out of iTunes Music.

Enable iCloud Music Library

This gives access to your full iTunes music collection on any device. Great for playlists on the go. Requires an iCloud storage subscription.

Share Purchased Music

Use Home Sharing to share purchased accounts and playlists with other computers/accounts in your household.

Re-Download Previous Purchases

If you get a new computer, you can re-download any past iTunes purchases for free from your account.

Subscribe to Playlists

Subscribe to always stay up to date as new songs are added to playlists like New Music Mix.

Use Siri

Siri can play purchased music, add it to playlists, and more. Say “Play ‘Happy’ by Pharrell” for example.

Mastering these tips will give you optimal access to your music library anywhere.

Downloading iTunes Music on Windows

While iTunes was originally built for Mac, Windows users can also purchase music from the iTunes Store and sync it using the iTunes app. Here’s how:

Install iTunes

Download and install the latest version of iTunes for Windows from Apple’s website. Follow the setup prompts.

Shop iTunes Store

Open iTunes and browse or search for music to purchase just like on Mac. Buy songs, albums, etc.

Download Purchases

Bought music will automatically download in iTunes. You can also manually manage music under Account > Purchased.

Sync to iPhone, iPod

Use iTunes to sync downloaded music to any connected iOS devices like iPhones or iPods.

So the process is essentially the same as on Mac. Windows users can fully access the iTunes music catalog.

Troubleshooting iTunes Music Downloads

In most cases, downloading iTunes music is a smooth process. But issues can occasionally arise. Here are some potential solutions:

Can’t Find Purchased Music

Go to Account > Purchased and re-download any missing music. If not there, check “Hidden Purchases”.

Music Won’t Download

Check internet connection. For large downloads use Wi-Fi instead of cellular. Restart computer or device and iTunes app.

Music Downloaded but Won’t Play

This is likely DRM issue. Deauthorize and reauthorize computer in iTunes account settings.

Only Partial Album Downloaded

Select album and re-download. Check internet connection is strong enough for full album download.

Can’t Sync Music to Device

Update iOS device and iTunes software. Use different USB cable if needed. Disable sync options for unrelated content.

Following troubleshooting steps or contacting iTunes Support should resolve any issues getting music to properly download and play.


From searching the vast iTunes music catalog to purchasing and downloading your favorite tracks, getting music from iTunes onto your personal devices is smooth and simple. With tips like enabling iCloud Music Library, you can access purchased songs anywhere. And helpful troubleshooting advice will keep your music library intact. Now go explore iTunes and start building the ultimate custom playlist!