iOS 10.2 brought the return of star ratings to the Music app, but not everyone is seeing the option. TMO‘s staff had a mix of devices—including devices on the same iTunes accounts—where some had the Star Ratings option and some didn’t. We found a workaround that forces the option to show.

Star Ratings in iOS 10.2

Most people don’t care about Star Ratings, which is most likely why Apple removed them from the music app in iOS 10 to begin with. Those of who do care, however, care a lot, and we’re happy to have them back.

I posted detailed instructions for using and turning on Star Ratings in iOS 10.2 in one of the early betas. The instructions for using it are convoluted, but the short version for turning the option on is there’s a toggle in Settings > Music. Here’s what it should look like:

iOS 10.2 Music settings

Music settings in IOS 10.2

Music Settings in iOS 10.2

But here’s what TMO staff saw on two devices, both iPads, after installing iOS 10.2:

No "Show Star Ratings" on this iPad in iOS 10.2

“Show Star Ratings” option is missing

Plumbing the Mystery

We banged our heads trying to figure out why the Show Star Ratings option wasn’t available on those devices. The truth is, we couldn’t figure it out. There was no consistency between them. One had iCloud Music Library turned on, and one didn’t. One had iTunes music syncing turned on, and one didn’t. One had music already loaded onto it, and one didn’t.

But, when we turned on “Sync only checked songs and videos” (as shown below) and applied that setting, the option to Show Star Ratings magically appeared on both devices.

iTunes Summary for iPad Pro

Check “Sync only checked songs and videos” to reveal Show Star Ratings in iOS 10.2

The funny thing is that one of the two devices already had this syncing options set, while the other didn’t. But setting it on the one device and resetting it on the other device did result in both devices displaying the option in Music settings. Another funny thing about this is that when you have iCloud Music Library turned on—which we eventually did on both devices—this preference only allows you to control voice memos.

But, it worked. Our precious Star Ratings were back! There was much rejoicing, and all that.

If you’ve had this problem, please report your experiences in the comments below.

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Hi – I have an iPod touch – newest one. I followed above (sync only checked) and I still can’t get the star ratings.
I have a second iPod touch and an iPhone 6Splus and both of those have it.

Any ideas?