iOS: Downloading Apple Music Items to Your Device

| Quick Tip

If you’re subscribed to Apple Music, you may wonder how to tell if a particular song is downloaded to your iOS device (or if you have to stream it when you play it, which means you won’t be able to listen if you don’t have a network connection). I’ve gone through and downloaded all of the songs and playlists I work out to, for example, so no matter where I roam, my music goes with me. Here’s how you’ll do the same!

First of all, check which view you’re looking at by opening the Music app, tapping on the “My Music” option at the bottom, and then finding the drop-down near the top.

iOS Music Album View

iOS Music Drop-down

If you toggle that to song view, say, you’ll see a teeny phone icon next to any items that have been downloaded to your device.

iOS Music Downloaded

To force something to download for offline use—be it a playlist, an artist, or a song—tap the ellipsis next to it…

iOS Music

…and then tap the cloud icon.

iOS Music Cloud Icon

You’ll see a progress wheel appear next to the item, and info will show up at the top of the main app view.

iOS Music Progress Wheel


And that’s it! You can then listen to the song or playlist you downloaded offline. If it’s really important, I’d test things by turning Airplane Mode on and trying to play your stuff. Hey, it’s worth it to me! How could I possibly work out without music?

2 Comments Add a comment

  1. Paul Goodwin

    Thanks Melissa. See if you can figure out a tip on this problem. This isn’t an Apple Music issue – I’m not a subscriber yet as I have a huge library.

    In iTunes on the Mac, I’ve unchecked every song list, every artist, every playlist – everything you can uncheck before syncing. I wanted to clear my iPhone of all music before loading it with the stuff I wanted. After the sync, I can see in the iTunes colored bar at the bottom that there’s still audio in the phone. When I hook up to my car’s Bluetooth, the music app will play songs. I have no idea why those songs are still in the phone.

    I’m running the latest iOS and Mac OS, but it’s been like this for a while (back several iOS and MacOS versions.

    How do I empty the iPhone of all songs and start over without resetting the phone to factory new?

  2. Melissa Holt

    Hey Paul!

    You can delete all of the music off your phone manually by going to Settings> General> Storage & iCloud Usage> Manage Storage> Music, then swiping to delete everything from “All Songs.” In my experience, though, this may not fix the Bluetooth problem if you have other audio playing (like from the Netflix app).

    Hope that helps!


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