What happened to my Apple Music playlist?

It can be frustrating when your carefully curated Apple Music playlist suddenly disappears or stops working properly. Don’t worry – in most cases, it’s possible to recover or restore your playlist with a few simple troubleshooting steps. Here are some quick answers to common questions about lost Apple Music playlists:

Why did my Apple Music playlist disappear?

There are several potential reasons an Apple Music playlist can go missing, including:

  • Accidental deletion – You may have accidentally deleted the playlist yourself.
  • Syncing issues – Playlists sometimes fail to sync properly between devices.
  • Corruption – In rare cases, a playlist file can become corrupted.
  • Service errors – Occasional glitches in the Apple Music service can cause playlists to vanish.

How can I recover my lost Apple Music playlist?

If your playlist disappeared, don’t panic. Here are some ways you may be able to get it back:

  • Check recently deleted – Playlists deleted on Apple Music stay in your “Recently Deleted” section for up to 40 days before being permanently removed. Check there first.
  • Restore from backup – If you previously backed up your device, you may be able to restore the lost playlist from the backup.
  • Use playlist recovery software – Third-party apps like iMyFone TunesFix can scan your Apple Music account and recover missing playlists.
  • Contact Apple support – As a last resort, you can contact Apple support to see if they can help recover your playlist.

Why can’t I add songs to my Apple Music playlist?

There are a few common reasons you may be unable to add songs to an Apple Music playlist:

  • Quota reached – Apple Music playlists are capped at 100,000 songs per playlist. If you hit that limit, you can’t add more songs.
  • Song not available – The song you’re trying to add may not be available in your Apple Music region.
  • Corrupt playlist – Sometimes a glitch makes a playlist uneditable. Deleting and recreating it often fixes this.
  • Account issues – Make sure your Apple Music subscription is active and your software is up to date.

Why aren’t songs playing in my playlist?

If your Apple Music playlist suddenly stopped playing songs, try these troubleshooting tips:

  • Check streaming connection – Make sure your device has an active internet connection for streaming.
  • Restart your device – Simple restarting your iPhone/iPad/Mac can clear up temporary glitches.
  • Check Apple Music subscription – You need an active subscription to play Apple Music songs.
  • Update software – Outdated iOS, iPadOS, or macOS software can disrupt music playback.

My playlist progress was reset – how do I get it back?

If your Apple Music playlist lost all its play counts and progress info, it’s probably due to one of these factors:

  • Clearing local device storage – If you cleared cached Apple Music data from your device storage, play counts reset.
  • Changing music libraries – Your play info doesn’t transfer automatically if you switch music libraries.
  • Sync issues – Playlist progress can fail to sync properly between devices in some cases.
  • Resetting device – Factory resetting your device erases all local Apple Music data, including play counts.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to retrieve lost playlist progress if it was cleared from your device or failed to sync. You’ll have to start rebuilding progress manually by replaying songs.

How do I download an Apple Music playlist for offline playback?

To save an Apple Music playlist for offline playback when you don’t have an internet connection:

  1. Open the playlist you want to download.
  2. Tap the Download button (a downward arrow) next to the playlist name.
  3. Select “Download Playlist” in the menu that appears.
  4. The playlist status will change to “Downloading” then “Downloaded” when complete.
  5. You can now play the playlist without an internet connection.

Downloaded Apple Music playlists are DRM-protected and can only be played on devices logged into your Apple ID account.

Can I recover a playlist if I accidentally un-download it?

If you accidentally removed an Apple Music playlist download for offline playback, follow these steps to re-download it:

  1. Open the Apple Music app and tap the Playlists tab.
  2. Locate the playlist you want to re-download.
  3. Tap the Download button next to the playlist name.
  4. Select “Download Playlist” in the menu.
  5. The playlist will re-download for offline playback access.

As long as you didn’t delete the actual playlist, you can always re-download it as many times as needed.

Why does my Apple Music playlist keep pausing?

If your Apple Music playlist keeps pausing unexpectedly, try these tips to troubleshoot:

  • Check Data Saver settings – Enable High Quality Streaming to prevent data throttling.
  • Disable Download over Cellular – Downloading songs can pause playback on cellular data.
  • Reboot device – Close all apps and restart your device to clear any glitches.
  • Check network connection – Move closer to a WiFi router or switch to cellular data.
  • Update iOS/iPadOS – Make sure your device software is up to date.

Persistent pausing issues may indicate an underlying problem with your device hardware, operating system, or network connection.

How do I share my Apple Music playlist?

To share an Apple Music playlist with someone else:

  1. Open the playlist, then tap the Share button.
  2. Choose the sharing method you want to use (Message, Mail, etc).
  3. Enter the recipient’s info and tap Send.
  4. The recipient will receive a link to open the shared playlist.

Keep in mind the recipient must have an Apple Music subscription to play the full playlist. Shared playlists are also updated dynamically if you make changes.

Can I collaborate with friends on an Apple Music playlist?

Yes, Apple Music allows multiple people to collaborate on shared playlists using these methods:

  • Apple Music Family Sharing – Add family members to share playlists, music libraries, and subscriptions.
  • Public playlists – Make a playlist public so anyone can follow it and make suggestions.
  • Share playlist access – Grant specific Apple Music friends access to co-create playlists.

To customize collaboration settings for a shared playlist, tap the Share button and select “Collaborate.”

How do I make an Apple Music playlist public?

Follow these steps to make an Apple Music playlist public:

  1. Open the playlist you want to make public.
  2. Tap the Share button next to the playlist title.
  3. Toggle the slider for “Make This Playlist Public.”
  4. Tap Done. The playlist will now be public.

Public Apple Music playlists can be viewed, played, and followed by any Apple Music user. You can see who’s following a public playlist.

Can I recover a public Apple Music playlist if I make it private again?

If you made an Apple Music playlist public then changed it back to private, the playlist is still recoverable through these methods:

  • Recently Deleted – Playlists deleted within the last 40 days are in your Recently Deleted.
  • Playlists tab – Toggle “Show iTunes in the Cloud” to see former public playlists.
  • Followers – If anyone followed your public playlist, they still retain access.
  • Third-party apps – Some apps can recover playlists even after they’re made private.

However, after 40 days, former public Apple Music playlists become much harder to recover if deleted entirely.

Why does my Apple Music playlist have songs grayed out?

When songs appear grayed out in an Apple Music playlist, it typically indicates one of these issues:

  • Partial content – The playlist contains both Apple Music songs and non-Apple Music local files.
  • Subscription expired – Your Apple Music membership is inactive, limiting playback.
  • Song removed – The song is no longer available on Apple Music’s catalog.
  • Sync issues – Songs may fail to sync properly between devices.
  • Region restrictions – Music licensing results in some song restrictions by region.

Check these potential causes if your Apple Music playlist has grayed out or unavailable songs.

How can I improve Apple Music playlist performance?

If your large Apple Music playlists are sluggish or stalling, try these optimization tips:

  • Limit to 100,000 songs – Apple Music playlists over this limit can lag.
  • Delete unused playlists – Remove old playlists as they still load in the background.
  • Disable iCloud Music Library – Syncing huge libraries can affect local performance.
  • Download playlists – Downloading for offline playback reduces streaming strain.
  • Close other apps – Suspend resource-heavy apps like video streaming when playing music.

Upgrading to a device with more RAM and processing power can also help enhance Apple Music playlist performance.

What are some tips for creating the ultimate Apple Music playlist?

Here are some expert tips for making the perfect Apple Music playlist to match your tastes:

  • Seed with favorite songs first – Start with a core of songs you love then expand.
  • Stick to a cohesive theme – Playlists flow better when songs have a consistent mood/sound.
  • Strike a balance – Mix up slow and fast songs, old and new hits, etc.
  • Limit to under 100 songs – Attention spans fade after 2-3 hours max.
  • Change it up – Don’t get stuck in a rut – refresh and update playlists periodically.
  • Take requests – Ask friends for song suggestions then curate the best recommendations.
  • Use advanced options – Take advantage of smart playlists and spatial audio.
  • Save as downloads – Download playlists for offline listening without streaming.

With frequent re-arranging and fresh additions, your custom Apple Music playlists can stay vibrant and captivating.

Can I export an Apple Music playlist to listen when not subscribed?

Unfortunately, Apple Music playlists can’t be directly exported as standard music files for listening without a paid subscription due to DRM (Digital Rights Management) restrictions.

However, you do have a few options for accessing Apple Music playlists without a continuous subscription:

  • Screen recording – Manually record yourself playing the playlist.
  • Partial access – Listen to short previews of unsubscribed songs.
  • Burn to CD – Older Apple Music playlists can sometimes burn to a CD.
  • Online archives – Check sites like ReverbNation for reposted playlists.
  • User uploads – Followers may upload or cover playlist songs on YouTube/SoundCloud.

But overall, an active Apple Music membership is required for full offline playlist access and exportability due to music licensing rules.


Troubleshooting issues with missing, unplayable, or disappearing Apple Music playlists can be frustrating. But in most cases, recovery is possible through recently deleted, backups, playlist managers, or contacting Apple support. To avoid common playlist problems, back up your music library, avoid exceeding limits, and keep software updated. With the right tools and some trial and error, your playlist woes can usually be resolved.