If you previously had an Apple Music subscription and added songs to your library, but then canceled your subscription, you may have lost access to those songs. When your subscription ends, Apple Music will remove any songs that you didn’t purchase from the iTunes Store. However, there are a few ways to get your music library back if you resubscribe to Apple Music.
Check if the songs are still in your library
The first thing to do is check if the songs you want are still available in your library. Open the Music app and go to the Library tab. Even if you don’t have an active subscription, any music you purchased or ripped from CDs should still be there.
Scroll through your library and see if the artists and albums you want are still there. Any greyed out or “locked” songs require a subscription, but anything you own will be playable.
Restore your music library from a backup
If you previously backed up your iPhone or iPad using iTunes or in iOS, you may be able to restore your music library from that backup. Connect your device to a computer with iTunes and restore from a backup that contains the music you want.
On a Mac, restore backups in Finder. On a Windows PC, restore backups in iTunes. Go to the Summary tab when your device is connected and click Restore Backup. This will wipe your device and restore everything from the selected backup.
Restore an iTunes/Finder backup
If you backed up your device to iTunes or Finder on a regular basis, your music library might be included in one of those backups. Restoring an older backup can retrieve your Apple Music songs, but will also revert your device back to the date of that backup.
Restoring a backup is an all-or-nothing proposition, so make sure you are comfortable removing any apps, photos, or other content added after the backup date. But if you just want to restore your music library, a backup is the fastest option.
Restore an iOS/iCloud backup
In iOS, you can also backup to iCloud which may contain your music if you had iCloud Music Library enabled. On your device, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups to view your list of backups.
Then go to Settings > General > Reset and tap Erase All Content and Settings. On the next screen tap Restore from iCloud Backup and select the desired backup. This will erase your device again but restore your music collection from iCloud.
Re-add songs from your iTunes history
If you purchased songs directly from iTunes in the past, you can easily re-download them by viewing your purchase history.
Find purchased songs on iTunes
Open iTunes and click on Account > View My Account. Sign in with your Apple ID and go to Purchase History. Here you will see a list of every song, album, movie, app, and other content you’ve purchased from Apple.
Find the songs you want and click on the Download button to re-download them to iTunes on your computer. The next time you sync your device, the repurchased songs will transfer over.
Find purchased songs on iOS devices
You can also re-download purchased iTunes content directly on your iPhone or iPad. Go to the App Store and tap on your profile picture in the upper-right. Then select Purchased > Music and browse your purchase history.
Tap the download icon next to any song to re-download it. Downloads will be added to your Music app library automatically.
Find purchased songs on Android devices
If you switched to an Android phone but previously used Apple Music on an iPhone, you can still re-access your purchased music library. On an Android device, download the Apple Music app from the Play Store.
Open the app and sign in with your Apple ID. Tap on Account > Purchase History to view your list of previously bought songs, albums, and other content.
Tap on a song to re-download it within the Apple Music app. You can then play it directly in Apple Music or export it to services like YouTube Music if desired.
Use a third-party app to re-add songs
If you don’t have access to backups or purchase history for your music library, third-party apps offer another option to transfer songs back into Apple Music.
Open SongShift and connect it to both Apple Music and the service where your music is currently stored. For example, Spotify, YouTube Music, etc. Tap on a playlist or songs to shift them into Apple Music.
SongShift matches song titles between the two services. Any tracks it can match will automatically transfer over, allowing you to rebuild your music library in Apple Music.
TuneMyMusic is another handy music transfer service. It isn’t an app, but rather a website you visit in your phone or desktop browser. You can use TuneMyMusic to transfer playlists and music between supported services.
To get started, visit the TuneMyMusic website and select Apple Music as the destination. Then choose where you want to transfer your music from.
Log into both services when prompted. TuneMyMusic will scan your music and playlists on the source and allow you to selectively transfer them over into Apple Music.
Manually re-add song and playlists
If other methods don’t work, the final option is to manually rebuild your music library in Apple Music.
Search for songs and albums
Open the Music app and search for the artists, albums, or song titles you want to re-add. When you find the song or album, tap the + button to add it to your library.
This process will be tedious if you have a large music collection to rebuild. But it ensures you can reclaim individual pieces of music that might be missing from backups or purchase history.
Apple Music also lets you manually recreate your playlists. Open a new playlist and search for each song to add it. Title the playlist the same as your lost playlist.
While manual, recreating playlists ensures they are back to your liking with the preferred order and songs. And you can always remove songs already in your library from playlists instead of re-adding them.
Enable iCloud Music Library
To avoid losing your Apple Music library again, make sure you enable iCloud Music Library. This synchronizes your Apple Music content across devices logged into your account so it won’t disappear.
On an iOS device, open Settings > Music and toggle on iCloud Music Library. Then on a Mac, open Music app preferences and check iCloud Music Library.
When enabled, any Apple Music content you add, including songs you imported yourself into your library, will upload to iCloud. This allows you to re-download it at any time on any device.
Review your subscription and library settings
To avoid losing access to your music again when your subscription ends, double check your Apple Music membership status and settings.
Check subscription status
Open Settings > [your name] > Subscriptions and review your Apple Music status. Make sure auto-renewal is enabled if you want to maintain continuous access to the full Apple Music catalog.
If your subscription lapsed, you can re-subscribe directly from this screen. Tap on Apple Music and select a plan to reactivate your membership.
Confirm iCloud Music Library enabled
As mentioned above, enable iCloud Music Library in your Music settings. This will store your full library in iCloud so it won’t disappear if your subscription ends in the future.
Review Downloads setting
Downloaded Apple Music songs are saved even after you unsubscribe. To download songs for offline playback, tap the cloud icon next to any track name, playlist, or album.
Check Settings > Music > Downloads to enable automatic downloads for playlists and albums. This will help preserve more songs if you ever cancel Apple Music again.
Losing your Apple Music library can be frustrating, but there are many ways to restore your songs and playlists. Check your personal purchase history and backups first, which offer the quickest library recovery. If those options don’t have your full music collection, try third-party apps like SongShift for transferring tracks from other services.
Re-downloading and manually recreating your library takes more effort, but ensures you can rebuild your Apple Music collection from scratch if needed. Just be sure to turn on iCloud Music Library going forward to prevent this issue altogether.