If you’ve noticed some or all of your downloaded Apple Music is missing, there are a few potential reasons why this may have occurred and steps you can take to restore your downloads.
Why is my downloaded music missing?
Here are some of the most common reasons downloaded Apple Music may disappear from your device:
- Your Apple Music subscription expired – Downloaded songs are only available as long as you maintain an active subscription.
- Your device switched to optimize storage – iOS can automatically delete downloads to free up space.
- The songs were deleted from Apple’s catalog – On rare occasions, a song or album may no longer be available.
- Your device was restored from a backup – Downloads aren’t always retained when restoring from an iCloud or iTunes backup.
- You toggled the “Show Apple Music” setting – Turning this off in Settings hides your Apple Music content.
How to restore missing downloads
If your downloads are missing because your subscription lapsed or device storage was optimized, restoring them is straightforward. However, if the content is no longer available on Apple Music, you unfortunately won’t be able to download it again.
If your subscription lapsed
Downloaded songs are only accessible as long as you have an active Apple Music membership. If your subscription ended or was accidentally canceled, your offline music will disappear from your device until you resubscribe.
To restore your downloads:
- Open the App Store and reactivate your Apple Music subscription.
- Wait for your subscription access to update across your devices.
- Tap the download icon next to songs and albums to re-download them.
This will allow you to access all your previously saved offline content as long as it’s still available on Apple Music.
If device storage was optimized
As your device starts to run low on storage space, iOS may automatically delete downloaded content to free up room. To have more control over this, you can disable automatic storage optimization:
- Go to Settings > Music.
- Turn off “Optimize Storage.”
With this disabled, your device will no longer automatically delete downloads without your permission. You’ll need to manually delete downloads when storage is full.
To recover downloads that were automatically removed, simply open the Albums or Songs section in the Music app and tap the cloud download icon next to each one to re-download.
If the content was removed from Apple Music
Very occasionally, certain songs or albums may no longer be available on Apple Music if the provider removes it from the catalog. When this happens, there is unfortunately no way to get that download back if it disappears from your device.
However, you can check if removed content is available from another source:
- Check if the download is available for purchase in the iTunes Store.
- See if you can access it through another streaming service like Spotify.
- Look for the physical CD or MP3s to purchase from an online retailer.
If the content is gone for good, all you can do is secure any backups of the download you may have and accept the loss. This doesn’t happen often, but it’s a possibility with subscription streaming services.
How to avoid losing downloads
While you can’t prevent content removal or subscription lapses, there are steps you can take to avoid losing downloads unexpectedly:
- Back up your device regularly via iCloud or iTunes.
- Disable “Optimize Storage” so iOS won’t automatically delete.
- Check your subscription status occasionally to make sure it’s active.
- Save a copy of extremely important downloads off your device.
Following these tips will help ensure your downloads are there when you want them. But should anything happen, at least you know how to get your library back to its former glory.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did my Apple Music downloads disappear after I canceled my subscription?
Downloaded content from Apple Music is only available while your subscription is active. If your membership lapses for any reason, all downloaded music will be removed from your devices.
Can I recover downloads if I restore my iPhone from a backup?
Unfortunately, music downloads are not always preserved when restoring an iPhone from an iCloud or iTunes backup. To restore the downloads, you will need to re-download each one individually.
What happens if Apple Music removes a downloaded album from their catalog?
If Apple Music pulls an album or song from their library that you previously downloaded, it will disappear from your device and will be unavailable to download again. This is an rare scenario but can happen with licensed content.
How many devices can I have music downloaded on with Apple Music?
Apple Music allows you to download to any 10 devices maximum that are linked to your account and subscription. So you can have songs saved for offline playback across multiple iPhones, iPads, Macs, etc.
How do I know if my device deleted Apple Music downloads to save space?
Check Settings > Music > Optimize Storage. If enabled, iOS will automatically delete downloads to clear up storage space when capacity is low. Disable this option to prevent automatic deletion.
Losing downloads can be inconvenient, but in most cases it’s easy enough to get your Apple Music content back. As long as your subscription is active, you can re-download anything that disappears. Just be diligent about checking your membership status, back up your device regularly, and disable auto-deletion of downloads. With a few preventative steps, you can avoid losing your offline music library.