If your Apple Music library is not syncing properly across your devices, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to get your music library back in sync. Here are some common reasons why your Apple Music library may not be syncing correctly between your iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, or other devices, along with steps to fix the issues.
Check Your iCloud Music Library Settings
The first thing to check is whether you have iCloud Music Library enabled across your devices. iCloud Music Library is what allows your Apple Music collection to sync across all of your devices. Here’s how to check if it’s enabled:
- On your iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app, tap on your name at the top, then tap on iCloud.
- Make sure the switch next to “iCloud Music Library” is turned on.
- On your Mac, open the Apple Music app, click Music on the top bar, then Preferences. Make sure “Sync Library” is checked.
- On your PC, open iTunes, click Edit > Preferences > General and make sure “Sync Library” is checked.
If iCloud Music Library is disabled on any of your devices, turn it on and allow time for your music to sync across your library. This can take from a few minutes to several hours depending on the size of your library.
Update to the Latest Version of macOS and iOS
Ensuring you have the latest software updates on all of your Apple devices can help resolve syncing issues. Apple occasionally releases bug fix updates that address problems with services like Apple Music and iCloud.
On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > General > Software Update to check for iOS updates. On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Software Update. Install any available updates, including minor “dot” updates which contain fixes.
Restart Your Devices
Something as simple as restarting your devices can help get music syncing properly again. Restart your iPhone/iPad, Mac, and PC if you are still having library sync issues after updating your software.
Power your devices off completely, wait 30 seconds or so, then power them back on. This will clear out any memory issues or glitches that could be causing problems.
Disable then Re-enable iCloud Music Library
If you still can’t get your music to sync properly after checking settings and updating, try turning off iCloud Music Library completely, then turn it back on. This forces your music library to re-upload and can resolve sync conflicts:
- Turn off iCloud Music Library on all devices.
- Wait a few minutes for changes to fully apply.
- Then re-enable iCloud Music Library on each device.
Allow some time for your library to re-sync after re-enabling. This essentially resets your iCloud Music Library which should resolve any sync conflicts.
Sign Out Then Back In to Apple Music
Signing out of the Apple Music app on your devices then signing back in can also help reset everything. To sign out:
- On iPhone/iPad, go to Settings > [your name] > Media & Purchases > Apple Music > Sign Out
- On Mac, open Music app > Account > Sign Out
- On PC, open iTunes > Account > Sign out
After signing back in, check that iCloud Music Library is enabled and allow time for your music to re-sync.
Check Streaming Settings
In the Apple Music app, make sure that “Sync Library” under Settings > Music is enabled on each device. This allows songs from Apple’s catalog to stream to your device if you don’t have them downloaded.
Also check Settings > Cellular on iPhone and cellular iPads and make sure “Cellular Data” is enabled for Apple Music. This allows streaming over cellular data when WiFi is not available.
Delete and Re-download Music
If you have songs that are stuck not syncing, you can try deleting those downloads from your devices and re-downloading them. This may re-trigger a proper sync for those songs:
- On your Mac, find the problem songs in your library. Right-click and delete the downloads.
- Do the same on your iPhone/iPad by swiping left on songs and selecting Delete.
- Then re-download those songs on your devices.
This will force a fresh download from iCloud and ideally sync the song properly across devices.
Check Music Format Compatibility
Apple Music can only sync songs that are in a format supported by all of your devices. If you have some songs bought from other stores that are in unsupported formats, Apple Music may skip syncing those.
Music formats supported by Apple Music include:
So check your library for files in formats like WMA, FLAC, OGG, etc. You’ll need to re-encode those into a supported format to get them to sync.
Leave Home Sharing On Only One Device
Home Sharing allows devices on your home WiFi network to share music libraries without using iCloud Music Library. However, having Home Sharing enabled on multiple devices can conflict with proper iCloud Library syncing.
For best syncing results, enable Home Sharing only on one master device like your Mac or PC. Keep it turned off on your iPhone, iPad, and other devices.
Check Restrictions and Parental Controls
On an iPhone or iPad, having certain Restrictions or Parental Controls enabled can block Apple Music syncing. Check Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions on iOS.
Make sure the following settings are enabled under Content Restrictions:
- Music, Podcasts & News – Allowed
- Apple Music – Allowed
- iCloud Music Library – Allowed
Disabling any of those could prevent proper Apple Music and iCloud Music Library syncing to that device.
Factory Reset as Last Resort
If nothing else has worked, doing a factory reset on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac will erase any system glitches that could be interfering with Apple Music syncing. Make sure to securely back up your data first.
On iOS, a reset can be done under Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. On Mac, reboot into Recovery mode and choose to erase the disk, then reinstall the OS.
After factory resetting a device, set it up as new without restoring a backup right away. Then setup Apple Music again and check if sync works properly before restoring your backup.
Contact Apple Support
If you still can’t get Apple Music to properly sync after trying all troubleshooting steps, you may need to contact Apple Support directly:
- https://support.apple.com/contact – Contact options for 24/7 Apple Support
- @AppleSupport on Twitter
- Get help from the Apple Support app on iOS
Provide as much detail as possible about your sync issues and the troubleshooting steps you’ve tried. Apple Support can investigate further and provide personalized troubleshooting to get your music library back in sync.
Summary of Troubleshooting Tips
Here’s a quick summary of the troubleshooting steps to try for fixing Apple Music sync problems:
|1. Confirm iCloud Music Library enabled on all devices|
|2. Update devices to latest OS versions|
|3. Restart devices|
|4. Disable/re-enable iCloud Music Library|
|5. Sign out/in of Apple Music|
|6. Check streaming settings|
|7. Delete and re-download songs|
|8. Confirm music formats compatible|
|9. Leave Home Sharing on one device only|
|10. Check parental restrictions|
|11. Factory reset device|
|12. Contact Apple Support|
Following this step-by-step troubleshooting guide should help you resolve any problems getting your Apple Music library to properly sync across all of your devices.
Keeping your Apple Music collection in sync across devices can sometimes require troubleshooting. By methodically checking settings, updating software, restarting, and re-setting up the service, you can usually get music sync working properly again.
Be sure iCloud Music Library is consistently enabled everywhere. Delete and re-download problematic songs. Check that your files are in supported formats. Factory resetting devices can also help. And if still stuck, reach out to Apple Support.
With the right troubleshooting approach, you can get seamless access to your favorite Apple Music songs on all your devices. Just be patient and persistent in working through possible fixes.
Syncing your Apple Music library should bring joy, not headaches. Follow these tips to resolve issues and restore smooth streaming and downloads across your collection. So you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your music again with no limits, no matter what device you are using.