How to download all Apple Music on iPhone or iPad locally using iTunes

“Downloading your complete Apple Music collection to your iPhone or iPad is surprisingly difficult, even on the redesigned and simpler iOS 10 update,” Zac Hall writes for 9to5Mac.

“There’s no obvious ‘download all’ button and iCloud Music Library moves all syncing to iCloud, not iTunes, so you can’t just shuttle your library from your Mac to your iPhone or iPad,” Hall writes. “If you like to keep a local music library, this is a problem you will likely face when you upgrade to a new iPhone even if you restore from an encrypted backup using iTunes, which is considered the most efficient method.”

Hall writes, “There are a few ways to work around this issue using iTunes.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: With our new Jet Black 256GB iPhone Plus units, we can now fit our entire music libraries on our iPhones. We did it simply by switching off iCloud Music Library, syncing our entire music library to our iPhones with iTunes via USB, and then switching our iPhones’ iCloud Music Library settings back on while merging music libraries (select “Keep Music”).


  1. Dammit MDN – where were you when we needed you??? That was exactly what I should have done. Now I know next round. I finally gave up trying and have been downloading my 3,000 songs…one at a time.

    1. Thank you for sadly proving my point below.

      Apple Music is an abomination of an interface. The “new” version is just as abysmal as the original.

      Apple Music is certainly one of the greatest failures of the Tim Cook era as I believe that done right, there would be far, far more subscribers than the paltry amount that pay now.

      1. Bleh, I just don’t like enough music to justify paying more for s monthly subscription than I would purchasing individual albums. Imagine as though you watch 6 movies per year, and some company wants you to pay $20/month for unlimited movies. Maybe you just don’t give a sh!t and would rather buy your movies for $120 than spend $240 on a subscription for the year. I’m fine paying the $20/year for iTunes Match though. If Apple Music were $20/year, even $30/year, I’d buy it. But I just don’t like that much music. I have 2 artists that I would buy new music from regularly and I hate modern pop garbage.

  2. Of course it is difficult because both Apple Music on any device as well as iTunes have horrific user interfaces. If Microsoft created these two dung piles MDN would be ALL OVER them as incompetent hacks.

  3. It’s not surprising at all. Apple wants you to stream music and could care less about your “downloads”. You shouldn’t really even be allowed to play individual songs. Apple should work like a radio station and choose the tunes for you.

    This is not going to end well, no matter what the fanboys think.

    And where are those fantasy new Macs again?

    1. I’m not really sure where you got the idea that you shouldn’t be allowed to play individual songs. The primary purpose of Apple Music was, since the years it was called iTunes Music Store, to allow users to get the music they want (song by song) on their devices. The curation part that presumably works like a radio is there as an additional value, but the primary selling point is the immediate access to a billion of commercially available recordings for a small, flat monthly fee.

      1. The only music I’m interested in listening to is the music I already own outright, and the very small select few albums I add to my library each year. In that case the $100/year for Apple Music far exceeds the $20/year I normally spend on music.

        1. Clearly, you are NOT the target market, and for you, Apple Music will be a waste of money.

          There are many people who enjoy music, and who try to put aside enough money to purchase all the music they enjoy. If you are a fan of popular music, you buy albums of your favourite artist (as long as the artist continues producing albums, and/or your tastes don’t change). If you are a fan of Jazz, you try to get all those legendary historical recordings of the great artists from the past, as well as new recordings of current ones. And for classical, you could spend tens of thousands and amass a collection of over 1,000 albums with barely scratching the surface of the most important works in classical music.

          The point is, most people who like music tend to accumulate upwards of 500 CDs over the course of their adult life. Apple Music would likely save them money, give them access to much more music than what they can afford by buying, and make it all available from day one, rather than spread over the years of purchasing CDs.

          One other thing that is rarely mentioned is the medium. Over my own life span, we went from vinyl, to 8-track, to audio cassettes, to minidisc, to CD, to iTunes (downloads). Not everybody bought into every one of these formats, but for people of my generation, vinyl, audio cassettes and CDs were certainly extremely popular mainstream media. I know people bought Beatles’ “The White Album” three times (original vinyl, then audio cassette, and finally CD). I myself have bought several albums again (the ones I had on vinyl).

          As technology marches on, new formats gain prominence and the world embraces the new devices, abandoning the old ones. Today, Apple music allows me to finally access all the vinyl (that is now sitting in the storage), as well as all the CDs (that are still on the shelves, but collecting dust), which I have accumulated over decades of purchasing music. And in addition to that (some 100 LPs and around 300 CDs) I can access music that I simply hadn’t had the chance (or the money) to buy yet. For me, Apple music will fall into the category of mobile phone subscription — a service which I will keep for the rest of my conscious life.

    2. So Apple “could care less…”. Really? Go back to primary school and, this time, try to pay attention to basic grammar.

      As for your statement: “You shouldn’t really even be allowed to play individual songs.”, you truly must learn to control your daily intake of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

      And while you’re at it, go back to throwing chairs. We all know that’s what you do best, Monkey Boy.

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