With all the features of an iPod now wrapped up inside the iPhone, there’s no reason to carry around two devices anymore. But, storing music on your iPhone can take up a lot of space — and sometimes leads to music being deleted from the iPhone.
From accidental deletions to sync errors and damage, there are a number of reasons music may go missing — but even more importantly, there are a number of ways to recover those tunes.
Here are four easy methods for recovering music from an iPhone.
1. Re-Download Purchased Music
Apple stores all of the music you purchase from iTunes and allows you to re-download the music for free. While this method won’t work if you import music from a CD (or downloaded music from another source), it’s a simple solution for most users.
First, check and see if the music is simply being stored in the cloud and not actually deleted from your phone by heading to the Music app, tapping My Music, then Playlists, then Purchased.
If those missing songs are listed with a cloud next to them, just tap the cloud to download them to your device, so you don’t need to use up data (or stay within Wi-Fi range) to listen to them.
If you don’t see your missing music there, open the iTunes Store app. Click on the More option on the bottom right (the icon with three circles), then tap Purchased, then Music. You’ll see a list of all the songs that you have purchased with your Apple ID.
At the top, click on “Not On This iPhone” instead of “All”, and you should see your purchased music there to download again.
2. Sync to iTunes from a Computer (Windows)
If you use iTunes both on a PC and on your iPhone, you can easily sync your music back to your iPhone. While not as simple as downloading purchased music, this is the method to use for recovering files that you downloaded from a physical CD.
Start by plugging your iPhone into your computer and opening iTunes. Click on the phone icon at the top left, then click Sync on the bottom right to transfer all your songs.
Or, to transfer only certain songs, click and drag the icon to the left — a sidebar will pop up, allowing you to drop the song, album, or playlist on the iPhone. If your iPhone is full, you may need to free up some space by deleting some files or apps to transfer your music.
You can also use iTunes to back up your iPhone to your computer — if you did in the past, you can restore the entire iPhone, including the music, under the Backups section and “Restore Backup.”
3. Restore the iPhone with an iCloud Backup
If your iPhone was lost or destroyed, you can easily get your music back on a new device — if you used the iCloud backup feature.
When you receive your new iPhone and power it on, you’ll be walked through the steps to get your phone set up.
When you see the option to restore the iPhone from an iCloud backup — click that and use your Apple ID to restore your new phone to your old iPhone’s settings and files.
If you’ve already set up your new iPhone, you can still restart the phone to restore from an iCloud backup.
4. Use Third-party Recovery Software
Didn’t back up your iPhone and didn’t purchase from iTunes directly? Don’t give up just yet.
An iPhone data recovery software may be able to recover your files, and you usually don’t have to purchase anything until you see what files the program could recover for you.
Losing music on your iPhone is the same as losing money. Thankfully, there are a few different methods you can use to recover your music files. From re-downloading your purchases to using recovery software, chances are, you can get your favorite songs back.