Is there a recently deleted for playlists on Apple Music?

Apple Music is a popular streaming music service developed by Apple. It allows users to listen to millions of songs, create playlists, share music with friends, and more. One common question around playlist management is whether Apple Music offers a “recently deleted” section for playlists like the Photos app does for deleted photos.

What happens when you delete a playlist on Apple Music?

When you delete a playlist on Apple Music, it is permanently removed from your library and My Playlists section. The songs themselves are not deleted, only the custom playlist you created. There is no undo option or “recently deleted” playlist area to recover deleted playlists.

This is different from how the Photos app handles deleted photos. The Photos app keeps deleted photos for up to 40 days in the Recently Deleted folder before permanently erasing them from the device. This provides a safety net in case you accidentally delete a photo you wanted to keep.

Why doesn’t Apple Music have a Recently Deleted playlist option?

Apple has likely opted not to include a Recently Deleted playlist restore feature for a few possible reasons:

  • Playlists are easy to recreate – You can always remake a playlist from scratch if accidentally deleted. Just re-add the songs to a new playlist. Photos may be harder to get back if not backed up elsewhere.
  • Limited storage – Keeping a copy of deleted playlists would take up additional storage space on devices and servers. Photos use less storage than audio files.
  • Clutter avoidance – Allowing playlist restores from Recently Deleted could lead to clutter if old playlists are not cleaned out regularly.
  • Promote deliberation – Having no safety net encourages users to pause and consider before deleting playlists.

Overall, the lack of a restore option seems to be an intentional choice by Apple to streamline playlist management. It may be inconvenient if you delete a playlist by accident, but there are workarounds.

What to do if you accidentally delete an Apple Music playlist

If you inadvertently delete a playlist from your Apple Music library, here are some options to try recovering or recreating it:

Check other devices signed into your Apple ID

Playlists are synced across devices logged into the same Apple ID. So the deleted playlist may still be available on another iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc. Check your other devices to see if the playlist exists there.

Look in Recently Played

Open the Recently Played tab in the Library section of Apple Music. If you listened to the deleted playlist somewhat recently, it may still be listed there. You can select and save the playlist again.

Check Apple Music on the Web

Sign into with your Apple ID and see if the playlist appears in Your Library. Playlists are synced to the web as well. Recover it from the web player if found.

Use a third-party iPhone recovery app

Data recovery software like iMyFone D-Back or Dr.Fone can scan your iPhone and find deleted playlists that are not fully overwritten. This depends on how much you have used the iPhone since deleting the playlist.

Try iPhone backup extraction tools

If you have an iTunes or iCloud backup of your iPhone from before you deleted the playlist, specialized tools like iBackupBot can extract the .plist file with your playlist from the backup. This is more technical but may work.

Recreate the playlist

As a last resort, you will need to manually recreate the playlist. Go through your library and add the songs back to a new playlist one by one. Refer to your listen history or Shazams if you cannot remember every song.

How to recover recently deleted Apple Music playlists on Mac

If you use Apple Music on a Mac as well, there is a handy app you can use to recover recently deleted playlists there. Here are the steps:

  1. Download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on your system.
  2. Launch the app and select the system drive to scan.
  3. In the left sidebar, select Music Library and Playlists under Apple Music.
  4. The right pane will show recovered playlists that were deleted in the past few days.
  5. Select the deleted playlist you want back and click Recover to restore it.

This Mac data recovery software is able to dig up and restore recently deleted Apple Music playlists as long as the storage space has not been overwritten. So if you delete a playlist on iPhone, you may still be able to get it back through the Mac app.

Tips to avoid accidentally deleting Apple Music playlists

To avoid having to restore playlists, it’s best to be careful when organizing your Apple Music library:

  • Use the “Hide” button instead of delete if you want to remove a playlist from view temporarily.
  • Rename playlists instead of deleting if you want to update the title.
  • Review all playlists before deleting any to avoid mistakes.
  • Back up your iPhone regularly so you have a restore point for playlists.
  • Turn on iCloud Music Library syncing to store playlists in the cloud.


Unfortunately, there is no Recently Deleted playlist option in Apple Music. Playlists are permanently erased when deleted through Apple Music on iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc. However, you may be able to recover deleted playlists from other devices, backups, or with data recovery apps in some cases. Going forward, be very deliberate when deleting Apple Music playlists to avoid losing them.