Why won’t my Apple Music play on my computer?

Quick Answers

There are a few common reasons why Apple Music may not play on your computer:

  • Your computer is not authorized to play Apple Music. You need to sign in with your Apple ID on your computer’s Apple Music or iTunes app.
  • The Apple Music app is not installed or properly set up on your computer. Make sure the latest version is installed.
  • Your computer is not connected to the internet or there are connectivity issues. Check your internet connection.
  • Your computer’s date and time settings are incorrect. Make sure they are set automatically or to the correct time.
  • There are software conflicts like antivirus programs blocking Apple Music. Try disabling other programs while using Apple Music.
  • Your Apple Music subscription has expired. Check that your subscription is still active.

Listening to Apple Music on your Mac or Windows PC can be a great experience with the ability to enjoy music on a bigger screen with larger speakers. However, many users encounter problems getting Apple Music to work properly on their computers. Some common error messages you may see include “Apple Music cannot play right now,” “error playing song,” or a spinning wheel that just won’t stop spinning. Don’t worry – in most cases this issue can be fixed by following some troubleshooting steps.

Make Sure Your Computer is Authorized

In order to play Apple Music on a computer, the computer needs to be authorized with your Apple ID. This applies to both Mac and Windows versions of Apple Music or iTunes. Here’s how to check if your computer is authorized:

  • On a Mac, open Apple Music and go to Account > Authorizations > Manage Devices.
  • On Windows, open iTunes and go to Account > Authorizations > Manage Devices.

You should see your computer listed there. If not, you can authorize it by entering your Apple ID and password. If your computer is already on the list, make sure there are no error messages next to it.

Reauthorizing Your Computer

If your computer was previously authorized but is no longer working, you may need to reauthorize it. On Mac, you can deauthorize your computer in Apple Music under Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer. On Windows, go to Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer in iTunes.

Then sign in again with your Apple ID to reauthorize it. This resets your authorization which often resolves playback issues.

Check Your Apple Music Subscription

Paid subscriptions to Apple Music are required to listen across all devices, including computers. If your subscription has recently expired, this can prevent Apple Music playback on any device.

To check your subscription status:

  • On a Mac, go to Account > View My Account in the Apple Music app menu.
  • On Windows, go to Account > View My Account in the iTunes menu.

This will show your subscription expiration date. If it has lapsed, you will need to renew your Apple Music subscription to continue listening.

Don’t forget, subscriptions automatically renew each month/year unless canceled, so an expired subscription typically means your payment method on file was declined. To update your payment info:

  • On iPhone/iPad, go to Settings > [your name] > Subscriptions and tap your Apple Music subscription.
  • On Android, go to the App Store > Menu > Subscriptions and tap your Apple Music subscription.
  • On Mac/PC, go to Account > View My Account and manage your subscription.

Once your new payment method is saved, your account should update within 24 hours and you’ll be able to play Apple Music on all your devices again.

Install or Update Apple Music

To use Apple Music on a computer, the Apple Music app (Mac) or iTunes app (Windows) needs to be installed. Make sure you have the latest version of the app from the official source:

  • Mac: Get the Apple Music app from the App Store
  • Windows: Get the latest iTunes installer from Apple’s website

Older versions of the apps may be missing key components to play Apple Music tracks. Installing the latest version insures compatibility with the Apple Music service.

After installing the app, try restarting your computer and then launch Apple Music/iTunes again. This will reload the program files and often resolves playback issues.

Reset Apple Music

If playback problems persist after installing the latest app version, try resetting Apple Music. On Mac, hold Shift + Option while clicking the Apple Music app icon to launch the Reset Apple Music dialog. On Windows, hold Shift while clicking the iTunes icon. Then click Reset in the dialog window.

Resetting will clear any cached files, settings, and login details from the app and prompt you to sign in again. After resetting Apple Music, authorization should be restored and music playback may be fixed.

Check Your Internet Connection

A stable WiFi or ethernet internet connection is required to stream Apple Music content. Playback failures on a computer often come down to connectivity issues.

First, make sure your computer is connected to the internet by opening a browser or running a speed test. If you have no internet connection:

  • Check WiFi settings and reconnect if necessary
  • Reboot your router and modem
  • Test with a different network or wired connection if possible

If your computer shows an internet connection, also try:

  • Restarting your computer to refresh the network components
  • Updating network adapter drivers if available
  • Checking other devices on the same network – if they also have no connection, contact your ISP for help

Using public WiFi networks can also cause issues, so try moving to a private home or office network. Cellular hotspots may lack the bandwidth to stream high quality audio.

Check in Settings > Music on iOS or System Preferences > Network on Mac to see current data rates and connection info. Healthy connectivity is needed for uninterrupted music playback.

Adjust Date and Time Settings

Outdated date and time settings are a little-known cause of Apple Music errors. The apps rely on accurate time to validate your account and subscription status. If your computer’s clock is wrong, Apple’s servers get confused.

On Windows, check that “Set time automatically,” “Set time zone automatically,” and “Adjust for daylight saving time automatically” are enabled in Date & Time Settings. On Mac, enable “Set date and time automatically” in System Preferences > Date & Time.

If problems persist, try manually setting the date and time accurately based on your timezone. Incorrect timezone data can also prevent Apple Music playback, so verify regional settings match where you live.

Reboot your computer after any date and time changes to refresh all components.

Check System Clock Accuracy

If your computer’s clock keeps resetting or drifting off, the system battery that powers the clock when unplugged may need replacement. Contact Apple Support or a repair technician to check the condition of your Mac or Windows computer’s CMOS battery.

A degraded battery can cause intermittent date issues that disrupt services like Apple Music. Scheduling a proactive battery replacement every 3-5 years can prevent problems.

Disable Antivirus and Security Software

Some anti-malware and internet security tools can interfere with Apple Music playback when running in the background. Problems like choppy audio or stalled tracks may appear.

Try temporarily disabling your antivirus or firewall program to see if that fixes Apple Music streaming. Don’t forget to re-enable it afterwards for security.

You can also try adding both apple.com and iTunes.com to your antivirus allowed/safelist to exempt them from scanning. Contact your security software’s support team for help with whitelisting.

If disabling security programs works, check for updated software from your vendor that fully supports Apple Music and prevents conflicts.

Adjust VPN Settings

Virtual private network (VPN) connections on your computer can also disrupt Apple Music’s ability to communicate with Apple’s servers and your iOS devices. Try disconnecting VPN services while using Apple Music.

Some VPNs offer split tunneling settings that allow desired services to bypass the VPN – this option could potentially resolve any conflicts while keeping other traffic secured. Check your VPN app or router configuration.

Sign Out and Back In

If Apple Music cuts in and out or displays an error saying it “cannot play right now,” signing out and back in can restore a proper authorized connection:

  1. On Mac, go to Account > Sign Out
  2. On Windows, go to Account > Sign Out
  3. Sign in again with your Apple ID and password

This will re-authenticate your account details and renew authorization with any devices linked to your account, including your computer.

Check Active Sessions

Failed sign-ins are a common source of Apple Music problems on computers. Go to Account > View My Account on Mac or PC and look under “Active Sessions.”

This shows recent login attempts. If you see unfamiliar devices or locations, you may want to take extra steps to protect your account like changing your password.

Sign out of all active sessions then sign back in on your computer to ensure only it has access to play Apple Music.

Restart and Update Your Computer

When troubleshooting any computer issues, one of the first steps is typically to restart it. This clears out memory, resets components, and reloads the operating system.

Restart your Mac or Windows PC and then try using Apple Music again. This will refresh the music apps along with the network and audio drivers.

Also make sure to install the latest operating system updates which may contain fixes for Apple Music bugs:

  • Mac: Go to System Preferences > Software Update
  • Windows: Go to Settings > Windows Update

Apply any available patches and upgrades to get the latest components supporting Apple services.

Check Your Storage Space

Low storage capacity can cause stability and performance issues across many computer functions, including Apple Music streaming. Make sure your hard drive has at least 10-15% free space.

On Windows, open File Explorer and look at your main C: drive’s capacity. On Mac, go to Apple > About This Mac > Storage.

If space is critically low, delete unused files and applications to free up room for the system to operate properly.

Contact Apple Support

If you still cannot get Apple Music working after trying the above steps, you may need further assistance from Apple Support to troubleshoot your computer.

On a Mac, you can contact Apple Support via online chat or by calling 1-800-275-2273.

For Windows PCs, visit Apple’s iTunes Support page and select Contact Us to get help by chat or email.

Provide details on when the issues started, specific error messages, and troubleshooting steps attempted. Apple can investigate logs and account details to pinpoint what is preventing Apple Music playback.


Some common fixes for getting Apple Music to work properly on a computer include:

  • Authorizing your computer with your Apple ID
  • Updating expired Apple Music subscriptions
  • Installing the latest apps
  • Checking your internet connection
  • Correcting date and time settings
  • Adding Apple domains to antivirus allowed lists
  • Signing out and back into Apple Music
  • Restarting and updating your computer
  • Contacting Apple support if needed

Checking for proper account authorization, internet connectivity, and the latest Apple Music app version will resolve most playback failures. Date/time, VPN, storage, and security software issues can also interfere with streaming.

Reauthorizing your computer and signing out of Apple Music sessions is useful for refreshing account access. Seek assistance from Apple if problems continue after trying these troubleshooting tips.


Listening to Apple Music on a Mac or Windows computer provides access to over 90 million songs, playlists, and music videos. But getting it to work properly relies on correct setup steps like authorization as well as stable internet connectivity.

Troubleshooting playback errors involves a mix of account management, network checks, app diagnostics, date/time verification, and system maintenance. The good news is that most Apple Music problems can be resolved using the fixes outlined here without needing advanced technical skills.

From checking subscription status to eliminating antivirus conflicts, there are many avenues you can explore on your own to get Apple Music back up and running. So try out these tips and hopefully your music library will once again be available to enjoy without frustrating errors or playback failures.