How to download songs to iPhone?

With the rise of music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, downloading songs to your iPhone may seem antiquated. However, there are still good reasons to keep music downloads as an option. Downloads give you offline listening, saving mobile data and battery life. Purchased downloads also offer higher audio quality than streams which are compressed. Finally, downloading music to your iPhone allows you to curate playlists and collections the way you want.

Can You Download Songs to an iPhone?

Yes, you can absolutely download songs to an iPhone. The iPhone has full support for music downloads via the iTunes Store, Amazon Music, and other services. Downloaded songs appear in the Apple Music or Music app on your iPhone and can be played just like streamed songs.

How to Download Songs from iTunes Store

The easiest way to download songs to iPhone is via the iTunes Store. This is Apple’s music store built into every iPhone. Here’s how to download music from iTunes Store to your iPhone:

  1. Open the App Store app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the Search tab at the bottom and search for the song or album you want.
  3. Tap the song or album result to view details.
  4. Tap the Price button to purchase the song/album.
  5. Enter your Apple ID password to confirm the purchase.
  6. Once the download completes, you will see the Downloaded tag under the song or album.

Purchased songs and albums are automatically downloaded to your iPhone and other Apple devices signed into the same Apple ID. You can re-download previously purchased iTunes music at any time from the Account section of the iTunes Store app.

How to Download Songs from Apple Music

Apple Music subscribers can also download songs for offline playback. Downloads work similarly to streaming, but the songs are stored on your device. Here’s how to download music from Apple Music:

  1. Open the Apple Music app on your iPhone.
  2. Navigate to the song, album, or playlist you want to download.
  3. Tap the download icon (a downward arrow) next to the song name.
  4. Downloaded songs appear with a checkmark next to the title.

You can find your Apple Music downloads by going to Library > Downloads. Songs will be removed from your device after the offline download expires, typically 30 days for Apple Music members.

Using iTunes to Download to iPhone

The classic way to manage music on your iPhone is through iTunes. Follow these steps to download songs to your iPhone using iTunes on a computer:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer using the included USB cable.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer.
  3. Select your iPhone from the list of devices.
  4. Under Library, select Music to view all your music content.
  5. Find the song or album you want to download, right-click and select Add to > My iPhone.
  6. Sync your iPhone to transfer the music download.

Any music you purchase through iTunes is automatically available to download to your iPhone again. You can set iTunes to automatically sync new purchases as well.

Using Amazon Music to Download

Amazon Music also gives you the option to download songs for offline iPhone listening. Here’s how it works:

  1. Open the Amazon Music app on your iPhone.
  2. Browse or search to find the song or playlist you want.
  3. Tap the More Options icon (three dots).
  4. Select Download.
  5. Navigate to Downloads in your Library to play downloaded music.

Downloaded Amazon Music tracks are available for offline listening as long as you remain an Amazon Prime or Music Unlimited member.

Downloading MP3 Files to iPhone

If you have MP3 files on your computer that you want to transfer to iPhone, here are a couple options:

  • Connect your iPhone to computer and manually transfer MP3 files to iPhone using iTunes File Sharing.
  • Email MP3 file attachments to your iPhone and save them to the Files app.
  • Use a cloud storage service like Dropbox to upload MP3s then access them on your iPhone.
  • Use a download manager app like Documents by Readdle to transfer MP3s via Wi-Fi.

Keeping MP3 downloads organized on your iPhone may take some extra effort. Using a music player app with cloud library support can help with adding and managing your own MP3 music collection.

Best Apps for Downloading Music on iPhone

Aside from the default Apple Music app, there are some great third-party apps for downloading and managing music on your iPhone:

App Highlights
Spotify Download playlists and albums for offline playback.
YouTube Music Download songs, albums, playlists from YouTube Music.
SoundCloud Download tracks from SoundCloud to play offline.
Audiomack Download hip-hop, rap, and other songs missing from the major services.
Napster Huge catalog of downloadable MP3 music tracks.

Consider the music catalog, streaming vs download features, and cost when choosing a music app for your iPhone.

How to Manage Downloaded Music on iPhone

Once you start downloading songs, albums and playlists to your iPhone, you may need some help managing your offline music collection:

  • View Downloads: In Apple Music, go to Library > Downloads to see your music downloads.
  • Delete Downloads: Swipe left on a download and tap Delete to remove it from your iPhone.
  • Save Storage: Turn on Optimize Storage in Settings > Music to automatically remove unused downloads.
  • Show File Size: In Settings > Music, turn on Show Apple Music File Size to see how much storage each download uses.

Managing your downloads helps ensure you don’t run out of storage space for new music, apps, photos and videos on your iPhone.

Troubleshooting iPhone Music Downloads

Here are some common problems and solutions for downloading music to iPhone:

Music won’t download

  • Check your internet connection – streaming and downloads require WiFi or mobile data.
  • Is your iCloud storage full? Downloaded music is stored in iCloud.
  • On cellular data, enable the iTunes setting to Use Cellular Data.
  • Restricted songs may be blocked by parental controls.

Downloads play for a limited time

  • Streamed songs from Apple Music play for a limited time if your subscription ends.
  • Check Downloaded Music in Settings to see if the song still has an expiration date.
  • Purchased iTunes downloads should never expire.

Downloads disappear

  • Check Settings > Music > Optimize Storage to make sure it didn’t auto-delete songs.
  • Restore your music and downloads from an iTunes or iCloud backup if needed.

Audio quality is poor

  • In Settings > Music, enable High Quality Audio downloads.
  • For iTunes downloads, choose MP3 Format > High Quality 256 kbps when purchasing.

Following tutorials for solving common music download issues can help you get the most out of your iPhone music experience.


Downloading songs to your iPhone opens up new possibilities for listening to music. Take your music anywhere without using mobile data. Revisit your old purchased music library. Create and manage ultimate offline playlists tailored just the way you want. Learn all the best practices for finding music, downloading new songs, organizing your collection, and troubleshooting issues. The world of music downloads is still going strong, now available right on your iPhone.