There are a few common reasons why you may be unable to get music from your iTunes library onto your iPhone:
Your iPhone isn’t synced to your iTunes library
In order to get music from your iTunes library onto your iPhone, you need to connect your iPhone to your computer and sync it with iTunes. This will allow iTunes to transfer over any music, apps, or other content from your iTunes library onto your iPhone.
To sync your iPhone:
- Connect your iPhone to your computer using the included USB cable.
- Open iTunes on your computer.
- Click on your iPhone icon in the top left corner of iTunes.
- Check “Sync Music” and select “Entire music library” or select specific playlists/artists you want to sync.
- Click “Apply” to sync the music to your iPhone.
This will ensure any music you’ve added to iTunes on your computer also gets copied onto your iPhone.
Your music isn’t actually purchased through iTunes
You can only sync music from your iTunes library onto your iPhone. If you obtained your music from other sources, such as ripping CDs, downloading MP3s from somewhere other than iTunes, or using a music subscription service, that music won’t be in your iTunes library.
To get non-iTunes music onto your iPhone, you will need to:
- Add the music files to your iTunes library on your computer first by dragging and dropping them into iTunes.
- Sync your iPhone to pull that music from iTunes onto your device.
Essentially, any music you want on your iPhone needs to be purchased or imported into your iTunes library first before it can be synced to your iPhone.
Your iPhone is out of storage space
If your iPhone is completely out of free storage space, it may not be able to sync large amounts of music from your iTunes library.
To free up space on your iPhone:
- Offload unused apps
- Delete old text messages
- Remove music/photos you no longer need
- Upgrade your iCloud storage plan to store more content in the cloud
After freeing up a few gigabytes of space, try syncing your music again from iTunes.
Your music files are in an unsupported format
iTunes and iOS only support certain audio formats for music. If your music is in an incompatible format like FLAC or WMA, iTunes will not be able to sync that music to your iPhone.
Supported formats include:
- Apple Lossless
You would need to convert any unsupported audio files into a supported format first before adding them to iTunes and syncing to your iPhone.
You have iTunes Match enabled
If you subscribe to iTunes Match, it can sometimes interfere with syncing music directly from your iTunes library to your iPhone.
- Open iTunes and go to Account > View Account.
- Turn off iTunes Match.
- Sync your iPhone with iTunes again.
This will prevent iTunes Match from overriding your sync and allow music to copy from iTunes to your iPhone as expected.
Your iPhone music is managed manually
If you manually manage your music on your iPhone, music from your iTunes library won’t automatically sync over when you connect your iPhone.
To switch to automatic syncing:
- In iTunes, click on your iPhone icon.
- Go to the Music section.
- Check “Sync Music” and select “Entire music library” or playlists to sync.
- Check “Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected”.
- Click Apply.
Now when you connect your iPhone, it will automatically add any music from your iTunes library.
In summary, the most common reasons you can’t get music from iTunes onto your iPhone include:
- Your iPhone isn’t properly synced to your iTunes library
- The music isn’t purchased through iTunes originally
- Your iPhone is out of storage
- Unsupported music file formats
- iTunes Match interference
- Manually managed music
Checking these potential issues and ensuring your iPhone is set to automatically sync with your iTunes music library should help get your iTunes music working properly on your iPhone.