How to Move Apple Music to New iPhone?

Key Takeaways

  • Ensure your new iPhone is signed into the same Apple ID as your Apple Music subscription.
  • Turn on Sync Library in your iPhone’s iCloud settings to sync your music library.
  • If syncing from Mac, connect your iPhone and use Finder to transfer music.
  • Purchased music not in Apple Music can be moved with third-party software.
  • Waiting for library sync and having adequate iCloud storage are key for smooth music transfer.
  • Using Sync Library keeps music updated across devices while manual transfer is one-time.


Apple Music has become one of the most popular music streaming services, with over 90 million subscribers worldwide. A key advantage of Apple Music is the ability to save songs and albums to your library for offline listening. However, when you get a new iPhone, you’ll need to move your Apple Music library from your old device to the new one. How can you ensure a smooth transition without losing your playlists, favorites or downloaded music?

This comprehensive guide will walk through the steps to seamlessly move your Apple Music content and settings to a new iPhone. We’ll evaluate the Sync Library method, manual music transfer through the Finder on Mac, and solutions for purchased music. You’ll also learn tips to avoid issues and understand the differences between one-time transfer versus continuous cross-device syncing. By the end, you’ll have in-depth knowledge to swiftly move Apple Music to a new iPhone while keeping your library intact.

Transferring music services when upgrading devices can be tedious and risky. But with the right approach, you can port all your Apple Music favorites to a new iPhone with minimal effort. Whether you have hundreds of playlists or mostly individual downloads, this guide will enable you to keep the music playing when you switch iPhones.

So read on to discover how to smoothly transition Apple Music and protect your personalized library!

Transfer Apple Music Songs to PC or New iPhone

How to Enable Sync Library to Automatically Transfer Apple Music Content?

One of the most convenient ways to move your Apple Music library is using the Sync Library feature. When enabled, this allows your full Apple Music collection of songs, albums, playlists and more to stay in sync across different devices logged into your Apple ID. So how can you turn on Sync Library on a new iPhone to automatically transfer everything from your old iPhone?

Step 1: Check Apple ID Login

First, make sure you are logged into your new iPhone with the same Apple ID that you use for Apple Music. Your Apple ID anchors all your purchases, subscriptions and content across Apple devices. Check under Settings > [Your Name] to confirm your new iPhone has the correct Apple ID login. If not, sign out and sign back in with the proper account.

Step 2: Enable Sync Library in iCloud Settings

Next, go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > Music and toggle on “Sync Library”. This activates library syncing through iCloud so your music content stays up to date everywhere. To work properly, you’ll need adequate iCloud storage for your full Apple Music collection.

Step 3: Wait for Initial Sync to Complete

Once enabled, it takes some time for your entire Apple Music library to sync from your old iPhone to the new one. You can check the progress by going to the Music app sidebar and tapping the “Updating iCloud Music Library” progress bar at the bottom. When it completes, all your music will be available!

The advantage of using Sync Library is that your music stays synced even after the initial transfer. So if you add or modify playlists, favorite a new song or download an album on one device, those changes automatically propagate to your other devices.

How to Manually Transfer Apple Music and Playlists from Mac to iPhone?

If you have music stored locally on your Mac that you want to move to your new iPhone, then you can use the Finder app to manually transfer it. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Connect iPhone to Mac

Connect your new iPhone to your Mac using the included USB to Lightning cable. Make sure your Mac is running a recent macOS or OS X version.

Step 2: Select iPhone in Finder

Open the Finder app on your Mac. In the sidebar under Locations, select your connected iPhone.

Step 3: Click Music Tab

In the main Finder window that opens, click on the “Music” tab in the top button bar. This will show your iPhone’s Music app contents.

Step 4: Enable Music Syncing

Check the box labeled “Sync Music” and select the option to sync specific music or your entire music library. This will copy music from your Mac into the iPhone’s Music app.

Step 5: Select Content to Transfer

If needed, choose the specific playlists, artists, albums or genres to transfer. Make sure to select any playlists containing your Apple Music downloads.

Step 6: Allow Initial Sync to Finish

Wait for the sync to fully complete before disconnecting your iPhone. The transferred music and playlists will now be available in your iPhone’s Music app.

The manual Finder method quickly copies your local music from Mac to iPhone. But it only transfers content once rather than keeping it in sync. For ongoing syncing, the iCloud Sync Library is recommended.

What is the Easiest Option to Transfer Purchased Music to a New iPhone?

Purchased music that is not part of your Apple Music subscription, such as tracks bought from the iTunes Store, needs a separate transfer process. Here are two easy options to move purchased music to a new iPhone:

Use iTunes or Finder File Sharing

Connect your new iPhone to your computer and open iTunes (on Windows) or the Finder app (on Mac). Go to File Sharing > Music and transfer purchased music files to the iPhone Document’s folder. This will add them to the Music app.

Use Third-Party Software

Tools like TouchCopy or AnyTrans let you wirelessly transfer purchased iTunes music from your old iPhone to the new one over Wi-Fi. They can migrate playlists containing purchased songs. Some tools offer free trials but require paid licenses for full functionality.

The key is ensuring any DRM-protected purchased music gets re-authorized on the new device using your Apple ID. Then the tracks can be played or downloaded for offline use from Apple Music if available in the catalog.

What file formats does Apple Music support?

Apple Music supports a few common audio file formats for songs stored in your library and played through the app:

  • AAC/M4A: This is the default format used by Apple for songs downloaded from Apple Music as well as files purchased from the iTunes Store. Files have the .m4a extension.
  • MP3: The popular MP3 format is also fully supported at bitrates up to 320 kbps. MP3 files use the .mp3 file extension.
  • Apple Lossless: For uncompressed high-quality music, Apple Lossless files with the .m4a extension are supported. However, Apple Music does not allow streaming or downloading in lossless.
  • WAV: Uncompressed WAV files at up to 32-bit/384 kHz are supported, but Apple Music will convert them to a more efficient format for streaming and downloads.
  • FLAC: These lossless compressed files can be played in Apple Music but are converted during streaming or download like WAV.

So in summary, AAC/M4A, MP3, ALAC, WAV and FLAC formats can be stored in your Apple Music library, with AAC used for Apple Music content. Know your file formats when transferring music!

What are some tips to ensure smooth transfer of Apple Music content?

Follow these tips for the optimal experience moving your Apple Music library:

  • Update Software: Make sure both devices are updated to the latest iOS/iPadOS or macOS versions before transferring. This ensures compatibility.
  • Use High-Quality Cables: With wired transfers, use the original Lightning or USB-C cables. Third-party cables can cause issues.
  • Increase iCloud Storage: Sync Library requires adequate iCloud space for your full music collection. Upgrade if needed.
  • Create Backups: Back up your old iPhone’s music using iTunes or iCloud before transferring. This gives you a restore point.
  • Monitor Progress: Check in on sync progress in the Music app sidebar to see if anything is stuck or failing to copy.
  • Consolidate Playlists: If any playlists fail to transfer, consolidate them into larger playlists.
  • Retry Failed Transfers: Songs or albums that fail to copy over can be retried until successfully transferred.

Does Sync Library transfer all my Apple Music content?

Yes, when Sync Library is enabled in your iCloud Music settings on a device, it will transfer your full Apple Music content between devices logged into your Apple ID. This includes:

  • Downloaded Apple Music songs and albums marked for offline listening.
  • Your custom playlists created in the Music app.
  • Albums and playlists you have saved to your Apple Music Library.
  • Play history and listening data like play counts and last played date.
  • Liked and disliked song ratings.
  • Any radio stations you have created or favorited in Apple Music.

The only exceptions are iTunes Match content like your uploaded songs matched to the Apple Music catalog. These require having iTunes Match enabled specifically.

Overall, Sync Library is designed to provide a seamless Apple Music listening experience across all your devices. Just be sure you have sufficient iCloud storage space!

What are the typical troubleshooting steps for transfer issues?

In most cases, Apple Music transfers smoothly between iPhones and Mac. But if you encounter issues, try the following troubleshooting:

  • Check Network Connection: Ensure your devices have an active Wi-Fi or cellular data connection for transfers.
  • Authorize Computer with Apple ID: On Mac or PC, make sure the computer is authorized for your Apple ID for purchased content.
  • Increase iCloud Storage: Low iCloud storage space can disrupt Sync Library transfers. Buy more space if needed.
  • Toggle Sync Library Off/On: Try toggling Sync Library off and on in Music’s iCloud settings to reset it.
  • Confirm Apple Music Subscription: Verify your Apple Music subscription is active and valid during transfer.
  • Restart Devices: Power cycle the devices by turning them completely off and on again. Then retry.
  • Check Song/Playlist Limits: Apple Music has 100,000 song and 100 playlist maximums per library which could impact transfers.
  • Contact Apple Support: For persistent issues, contact Apple support via chat or phone for troubleshooting assistance.

In most cases, the transfer will be successful on the first attempt by following the proper setup. But even tricky issues can typically be resolved using dedicated troubleshooting. Be sure to have your Apple ID details, subscription status, and device information on hand when contacting Apple support if needed.

Does transferring Apple Music impact previously purchased iTunes content?

When you transfer Apple Music content or use Sync Library, any previous iTunes music purchases or downloads you made on that Apple ID remain unaffected. Specifically:

  • Purchased songs/albums: Music you’ve bought à la carte from the iTunes Store stays in your iTunes library.
  • Matched iTunes songs: Songs uploaded to iCloud Music Library and matched to Apple Music catalog are intact.
  • iTunes Match content: Uploaded songs, playlists or albums stored via iTunes Match do not get altered.
  • Non-music purchases: Things like apps, movies, TV shows, books or audiobooks from iTunes are also not impacted.

So rest assured, manually moving your Apple Music content to a new iPhone or turning on Sync Library does not affect any of your existing purchased iTunes content. It is solely focused on the Apple Music subscription library itself. Your broader iTunes transaction history and permanent purchases persist independently. Apple Music coexists safely alongside all your previous iTunes Store downloads and purchases.


By leveraging Apple Music’s Sync Library feature along with manual music management through Finder, you can seamlessly transition your Apple Music content to a new iPhone. Follow best practices like updating software, monitoring transfer progress, troubleshooting issues, and properly handling purchased songs not in the Apple Music catalog.

While it may take some time for your full music library to copy over initially, the end result is well worth it. You’ll be able to enjoy uninterrupted access to all your saved Apple Music songs, albums, playlists and more on your new iPhone. So sit back, let the transfers complete, and soon you’ll be listening to your familiar music collection on your upgraded device


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