If you previously had an Apple Music subscription and created playlists, you may be wondering what happens to those playlists if you cancel your subscription and later renew it. The good news is that Apple Music will save your playlists so you can access them again if you resubscribe.
What happens to Apple Music playlists when you cancel?
Apple Music playlists are not deleted when you cancel your subscription. They are stored in iCloud while your subscription is inactive. This allows you to pick up where you left off if you resubscribe after a break.
Playlists created while subscribed to Apple Music remain available in the Playlists section of the Apple Music app even after cancellation. However, you will not be able to play the songs in the playlists without an active subscription.
So in summary:
- Playlists stay visible in your library
- You cannot stream songs from playlists without a subscription
- Your Apple Music library remains intact but inaccessible
This makes it easy to resume using Apple Music as before if you renew your membership.
How long are playlists saved for inactive accounts?
Apple Music will store playlists indefinitely for previous subscribers. There is currently no limit to how long your library can be retained while your membership is inactive.
As long as you use the same Apple ID when resubscribing, you will find your Apple Music profile just as you left it, regardless of how much time has passed. All of your saved music, playlists, stations, preferences, followers and follows will remain intact.
Will all of my previous playlists be restored?
Yes, all playlists created during any previous Apple Music subscriptions will reappear when you renew.
Playlists are tied to your Apple ID rather than a specific subscription period. Your account history, library, and profile details stay associated with your Apple ID forever.
So no matter when you originally created an Apple Music playlist, it will still be waiting for you when you subscribe again in the future.
Can I recover deleted playlists?
Unfortunately, playlists that were permanently deleted during your subscription will not magically reappear if you resubscribe. Playlists only persist if they were present when you canceled.
However, Apple Music does provide a limited playlist recovery option:
- Recently deleted playlists can be restored within 30 days of deletion, as long as you maintain an active subscription.
- After 30 days, playlists deleted while subscribed are permanently erased.
So while canceled playlists remain intact for resubscribers, playlists deleted during an active subscription are not recoverable after a month.
Will playlist content be current if I renew later?
When you regain access to your playlists as a resubscriber, all of your previously added content will be there. However, the availability of individual songs and albums can change over time.
If certain songs or albums have been removed from the Apple Music catalog since you originally created the playlist, they will be grayed out and unplayable.
You will need to check your playlists after renewing and remove any content that is no longer in the Apple Music library. Playlists may need some cleanup and updating after a long absence to account for music availability changes.
Do smart playlists update when resubscribing?
Smart playlists you created, which dynamically update based on certain rules and criteria, will be restored but not updated.
The contents of your smart playlists will be whatever songs and albums fit the rules at the time your subscription ended. They do not automatically refresh when you resubscribe.
To update a smart playlist, open it after renewing your subscription and click the Refresh button. This will rerun the rules and update the playlist content based on the current Apple Music catalog.
Can I see my playlists without subscribing?
Playlists remain visible for 90 days after canceling your subscription. During this grace period, you can sign in to Apple Music and view your library as read-only.
After 90 days, your Apple Music profile and library will become inaccessible until you renew your membership.
So yes, canceled subscribers can see their playlists for a limited time. But the only way to play, edit, share or otherwise use playlists is by resubscribing.
If I switch between plans, what happens to my playlists?
Your Apple Music playlists will remain intact regardless of whether you switch between subscription plans.
If you upgrade from an Individual to Family subscription, or downgrade from Family to Individual, all of your saved playlists will stay the same.
As long as you maintain continuous membership with no lapses, your Apple Music library and profile content will persist seamlessly across subscription plan changes.
Can I download my playlists before canceling?
Unfortunately there is no way to export or download your Apple Music playlists for offline use after canceling a subscription.
However, there are a couple options to preserve portions of your Apple Music content:
- You can download DRM-free music purchased from iTunes before your subscription ends.
- Songs and albums you have added to your iCloud Music Library can be downloaded for offline playback.
But there is no official method to save your Apple Music playlists outside of the service. Your best option is to screenshot playlists you want to recreate elsewhere.
What about songs I have added to my Library?
In addition to playlists, all of the music you have added to your Apple Music library will remain saved and will be restored if you resubscribe.
When you add songs, albums, or artists to your library, they become part of your Apple Music profile. Like playlists, your entire library of added content will persist, even if inactive for a long time after canceling.
Can I see my Library if I don’t renew?
As with playlists, your Apple Music library will remain viewable for 90 days after canceling your subscription.
During this 3 month grace period, you can sign in to see your library and playlists in read-only mode. After that, your library will become inaccessible until you renew.
So you have a limited ability to view your content as a reference if needed. But streaming and managing your library again requires an active Apple Music membership.
What about albums and songs I have downloaded?
Downloaded Apple Music content works a bit differently from saved playlists and library additions:
- Downloads expire and are removed automatically when your subscription ends.
- You can play downloaded content while canceled only in offline mode.
- Online playback requires an active Apple Music membership.
So unlike playlists and library content, downloads are not retained indefinitely after canceling. You can only play them offline for a limited time.
Can I recover content I added before canceling?
All playlists, library additions, stations, and other content you saved prior to cancellation will be automatically restored if you resubscribe.
As long as you use the same Apple ID when renewing, you essentially pick up where you left off. It will be as if you never canceled your subscription as far as your library and playlists.
The only exception is permanently deleted playlists. Other than that, all of your Apple Music content and history remains affiliated with your account indefinitely.
What if I use a new Apple ID to subscribe again?
If you create a new Apple ID and use it to subscribe to Apple Music, you will start fresh with a blank slate.
Your previous Apple Music profile and library will not carry over to the new account. You will have to rebuild your playlists and library from scratch.
To regain access to your playlists, stations, listening history, and other data, you would need to resubscribe with the original Apple ID used for your prior membership.
Will my Apple Music data be merged if I add another ID?
If you add an additional Apple ID to your existing Family subscription, your Apple Music data will remain separate and will not be merged between accounts.
Each member of a Family plan gets their own distinct Apple Music profile tied to their personal Apple ID. Content will not be combined across different family members.
The key points to remember are:
- Playlists and library content remain saved after canceling.
- Resubscribing with the same Apple ID restores your playlists and data.
- Deleted playlists can only be recovered for 30 days.
- Downloaded songs expire when your membership lapses.
- Using a new Apple ID will reset your Apple Music profile and library.
So as long as you resubscribe with the same account, you can pick up right where you left off. Your Apple Music collection essentially goes into hibernation when your membership is inactive, awaiting your return!